In Thailand, protesters are calling for the prime minister's resignation and street rallies have turned deadly. So how do journalists cover the anti-government protests, without running afoul of the government? Try Shallow News in Depth — an online parody newscast. The show uses sarcasm and slapstick comedy to comment on the current political situation. And while that may be old hat to American fans of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, it is unusual for Thailand.
For journalists in Ukraine, safety has become a leading concern. Radio Svoboda, the Ukrainian branch of Radio Free Europe, had been covering the protests (in Ukrainian) since they started in November.
The United Arab Emirates has started to ban its citizens from working at Qatari media outlets following its recent decision to withdraw its ambassador from Doha. The UAE government has requested a number of prominent anchors to terminate their contracts with the Doha-based Bein Sports network (formerly Al-Jazeera Sports).
Social media can be a powerful tool, especially when considering how it empowers regular people with the ability to reach a large audience. It certainly played a prominent role in the Arab Spring protests of 2010, when protestors took to Twitter and Facebook to document the uncensored reality of their experience.
In 2012, after having been sentenced to 11 years in prison for "terrorism" for illegally entering Ethiopia from Somalia in the presence of the Ogaden National Liberation Front, Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye took the advice of their legal council, confessed to their "crimes" and requested an official pardon. It was a pragmatic move - both journalists vehemently denied the charges and considered any confession to be a charade - taken to save their own skins.
A Ugandan tabloid, The Red Pepper, published a list with names and photos of the nation’s ‘top homosexuals’ on Tuesday, outing 200 people, many of whom have not openly identified as gay. A popular Ugandan hip-hop star, a Catholic priest, and several gay activists were on the list.
Among the principal assets of U.S. public diplomacy are American values. They are admired around the world, even by many people who dislike American policy. No other political system offers such extensive individual and systemic freedoms as those enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Showcasing and standing up for those freedoms should be at the heart of U.S. public diplomacy.
Leaving behind their pens and voice recorders, journalists switched roles yesterday to march in defence of press freedom. The "Free Speech, Free Hong Kong" protest was organised by the Hong Kong Journalists Association, which said 6,000 took part. Police put the figure at 1,600. "Such a big number of people illustrates that the public has started to feel that press freedom is at risk," association chairwoman Sham Yee-lan said.