A plan to regulate the British press as a result of the country's phone-hacking scandal was signed by Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday despite the objections of publishers who sought a court order to block such a measure. The royal charter approved by the queen and the nation's major political parties calls for the creation of a watchdog group designed to curb the type of abuses revealed by the scandal.
China's media regulator has vowed to protect "lawful reporting rights," state media said, in a rare official intervention over press freedom after a journalist was detained by police. Chen Yongzhou, with the New Express tabloid, was held last Friday on "suspicion of damaging business reputation" after he wrote a series of articles on "financial problems" at Zoomlion, a partly state-owned construction machinery manufacturer.
For years, Google has been developing ways to help people living under oppressive regimes thwart online suppression. Today, the company unveils three new tools to help advance the fight. Starting Monday, Google users in places like Iran, Syria, China, and Russia will be able to mask their online identity with the help of a friend in a censor-free country. Human-rights groups will have a new tool to stop their governments from shutting down their websites.
China’s Communist Party has begun ordering all Chinese journalists not to take supportive stances toward Japan when writing about territorial and historical issues between the two countries, participants of a mandatory training program revealed Saturday. Around 250,000 journalists who work for various Chinese media organizations must attend the nationwide training program to learn about such topics as Marxist views on journalism, laws and regulations and norms in news-gathering and editing, in order to get their press accreditation renewed.
The Malaysian authorities should immediately drop charges against a rights activist accused of showing a film about Sri Lanka’s civil war without Censorship Board approval, Human Rights Watch said today. Lena Hendry, of the human rights group Pusat KOMAS, was charged under the Film Censorship Act for organizing a screening of “No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka” on July 3, 2013, in Kuala Lumpur. Hendry, whose trial starts on October 21, faces up to three years in prison and a fine of RM30,000 (US$9,500).
Most Cubans remain cut off from the Internet but are still using creating ways to access and spread information online, a dissident blogger told journalists from around the Americas Sunday. Yoani (YO'-ahn-ee) Sanchez gave a largely grim report of the state of the press in Cuba at a meeting of the Inter American Press Association in Denver. She said President Raul Castro's regime has been aggressive in arresting and beating people who speak out against the government and has failed to document those actions, as his brother Fidel did. However, she said neither is better than the other.
Chinese readers of Ezra F. Vogel’s sprawling biography of China’s reformist leader Deng Xiaoping may have missed a few details that appeared in the original English edition. The Chinese version did not mention that Chinese newspapers had been ordered to ignore the Communist implosion across Eastern Europe in the late 1980s.
Yesterday, the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported that Iran’s Communication and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi, talking about social-media websites such as Facebook, said, “It has not been planned that these websites will be unblocked, and they will remain in the same condition they were in before.”