Even before the Leveson inquiry the British press had become tame, objectivity ridiculed and a culture of conformism had set in. Joining volunteers on the sofa, Mick Hume author of There is No Such Thing As a Free Press… and we need one more than ever sets the scene. Investigative journalism is facing an ice age, he explains and the ‘buts’ to ‘I believe in press freedom’ are getting louder. Discussants raise their concerns, was the response to phone hacking over the top? Why can’t we say what we think anymore? What about privacy? Do the public know or care? Can we trust the press anyway? Hume’s answers are salutary and his recommendations to create our own media to challenge ideas rather than support regulation or whinge about Murdoch are more than worth taking on board.
PRESS FREEDOM AWARD DHE GAZETA JAVA
Muzaffarabad, December 22: From being continuously "watched and monitored" by Pakistans government to restricting the freedom of expression, journalists in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir frequently face harassment at the hands of the military, the intelligence agencies and the jihadists alike.
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Is the Middle East that restrictive for media operations?
Dr. Ron Ross introduces you to a series of video essays that focus on the five freedoms promised to us in the First Amendment of the Constitution. He then goes on to add five more freedoms he thinks people of all races, gender, creed, etc. Following will be additional videos discussing each subject.
Do you think that freedom of the press is secure because it is enshrined in the First Amendment? Think again. There are forces out to nationalize the news media – that means they want a government take-over of the media. Dr. Ron Ross says…hold on…that’s not the right thing to do.
Transcript by Newsy****
BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN
You're watching multisource business video news analysis from Newsy.
If the headline writers are also soothsayers - NBC’s news operations are in for a big change.
An LA Times article warns, “Culture shock likely as Comcast takes over NBC.” Perhaps -- a timely prediction:
“Today marks the first day of Comcast and NBC Universal uniting as one company to bring you guys the very best news and entertainment programming on the planet.” (E! News)
But media watchers worry NBC’s news operations could change with the merger. Comcast says it won’t mess with NBC’s news division but after the high-profile and abrupt departure of MSNBC star Keith Olbermann last week - analysts suggested otherwise.
ANDERSON COOPER: “Both Comcast and NBC denied that their merger had anything to do with Olbermann's departure. Do you buy that? I heard even last summer, from folks in the industry saying Comcast is not going to put up with this.”
ANALYST: “Everybody agreed that Comcast would be very unlikely to put up with Keith's behavior, let's say, and prima donna activities. I don't think it was coincidentally motivated." (CNN)
And Comcast is definitely aware of the potential perception problem. USA Today reports the company promises it won’t be cutting time for local newscasts at the 10 NBC stations it owns for the next three years. Still - USA Today suggests it’s hard to imagine the merger won’t at least influence news operations.
“Comcast will control the No. 1 evening newscast (Nightly News), morning newscast (The Today Show), and Sunday talk show (Meet the Press). ... The executives have little experience in news... some observers wonder whether Comcast appreciates the nuances of the interests it must balance in the TV news properties it will run.”
And the stakes are high -- at least financially. According to the Pew Research Center, NBC’s news operations generated $1.8 billion in 2009. But local NBC stations like Miami’s WTVJ are promising viewers -- news content won’t change with the merger.
ANCHOR: “As a viewer you can expect the same level of news reporting you have been allowing us to bring into your home every day. But it was surely very exciting.
ANCHOR 2: “Yes indeed.”
But some observers aren’t so convinced. American Public Media spoke with a Hollywood Reporter editor -- who suggests Comcast could shift money spent on news somewhere deemed more profitable.
MATTHEW BELLONI: “Maybe they're going to go for sports, try to put big sporting events on their Versus network, so they can try to build that up and create a competitor to ESPN.”
In a statement distributed to NBC employees Thursday -- Comcast said, “We take our business seriously, but do not take ourselves too seriously."
Get more multisource business video news analysis from Newsy.
I read the introduction (chapter 1) of my book Zap Awake. Alternative title: Wowed by Truth.
Mexican drug war
In Mexico's chaotic drug war, attacks are no longer the work of desperate amateurs with bad aim. Increasingly, the killings are being carried out by professionals, often hooded and gloved, who trap their targets in coordinated ambushes, strike with overwhelming firepower, and then vanish into the afternoon rush hour. The paid assassins, known as sicarios, are rarely apprehended. Mexican officials say the commando squads probably travel from state to state. "The government is on the defensive. The assassins have the upper hand here. They probably perfect their techniques faster than the government can find the experts or the resources to combat them."
Nepali journalists protest
Nepal's leading newspapers are protesting an attack on a prominent media house by Maoist activists. In Nepal Tuesday, any English and Nepali-language newspapers left editorial spaces blank, some with bold black borders. The newspapers are protesting the Sunday attack on one of the country's biggest publishing houses, Himal Media by dozens of activists belonging to a labor union affiliated to the Maoists. The protesters attacked journalists and property, demanding the reinstatement of Maoist-affiliated employees who had been sacked. Several people were injured. The attackers also expressed anger at coverage critical of the Maoist government. Regular attack over media houses by state owned political party has proved their foresight intention over press freedom.
Banking has not only flourished in Pakistan over the past six years in big cities like Peshawar a number of new banks have started their businesses and those already in existence have extended their services to the growing towns in NWFP despite the persisting problems of peace and security. In Hangu, Swat and few other districts some banks have been plundered and put on fire during violence. Nevertheless, the number and popularity of banks continue to grow among the masses because banks are not only safer than homes to keep money in but also most of the banks have retained their profit rates because of the worsening crisis in global economy.
Advani addresses rally, Shimla
The Sankalp rally addressed by Mr. LK Advani is meant to highlight the achievements of BJP government which came to power in the state this day exactly one year ago. The grand show aims at showing how successful BJP has been in fulfilling the wishes of the people in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The leader of the opposition sounded the election bugle and asked the state party cadre to make preparations for the upcoming 2009 general elections. At the same time he stressed the need to jointly fight the menace of terrorism irrespective of the government in power. He also said that his party was committed to the cause development, public welfare and security within the country.
Mr. Rajapaksa’s tough line on the Tamils, conduct of the war and this unparalleled victory has made him extremely popular in Sri Lanka. He can take satisfaction from the army’s successes, which appear to have rectified years of incompetent campaigning against the Tigers, including many spectacular reversals. The victory comes after two and a half years of offensive much criticized abroad. The world may hold us responsible for human rights abuse and hundreds of disappearances but it should not forget that it is our sovereign right to protect our territorial integrity. This victory would at least ensure that the majority live in an environment of peace and security.
The Kenyan media now faces suppression after president Kibaki signed a law meant to gag press freedom. The media has mourned, the whole country has protested but president Kibaki is not moved. Even after immense petitions from all corners, not to append his signature to the newly amended Communication Act (2008), the head of state went ahead and signed the now destructive law. The law advocates for the closure of radio and TV stations that are seen to be critical of the government. "The president’s move has caused confusion in the coalition government forcing the Prime minister’s party to issue new threats over the running of government matters, saying the party could demand fresh agreement with the coalition partner. The cracks in the coalition arose from President Kibaki decision to sign into law the Bill seeking to control broadcasting content which the prime minister says were done without consultations.
Veil made compulsory in Pakistan University
The decision to impose veils while also denying any external pressure sounds disappointing because it violates basic human rights especially the rights of women. It becomes even more when done in the name Islam since takes pride in advocating basic human rights. Imposing veils on women is an open instance of policing male chauvinism and dictatorship against the opposite gender. We are going to expect such a decree from fundamentalist element but not at all from a government university. This alarming rule is also a sign of the increasing influence of fundamentalism that is hostile to women and treats them as object of male desire. Hopefully such injustice will not spread to other educational institutes of higher learning in the country.
King Abdullah of Jordan organizes blood donation camp
His Majesty King Abdullah of Jordan started a blood donation camp last week in order to support Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. This is the least contribution we can make for our brothers in Gaza King Abdullah stated. Adding that Jordanians feel that the ongoing ordeal of Palestinians people to who we are the closest nation. The campaign prepared three major branches in the city to receive donors in the city of Amman as well as four locations in other Jordanian cities. The professional associations’ council estimated that more than 700 Jordanians went to the various locations in Amman everyday to donate blood. Jordan’s Hashemite organization society said that meanwhile more than 68 trucks were sent to Gaza with food, medical supplies and blood units.