WHAT IS Russia up to? IF THERE is one thing we can be sure of it is that no-one at … Continue reading
Does the British coalition government hate you with a vengeance? Roland says “Tough up.” THE UNINTENDED consequences, or even the … Continue reading
What could Joyce and his Ulysses have to tell us about topography? Read on … BY THE TIME James Joyce … Continue reading
EPILEPSY. The term is believed to come from mid-16th century France — épilepsie — via the proverbial late Latin. It … Continue reading
“Let’s take a jolly holiday …" No, no, no! That was the last time. Roland thinks — yes he does, … Continue reading
What on earth does a thoroughly ‘middle-class’ children’s film tell Roland? IS THERE a “Mary Poppins” theory of socialism? No, … Continue reading
Spreading the word(s)
Updated 7 March 2014
Doodle-away on #doodleday
No ‘life of Riley’
IF ANY visitors to Storyboard4 are still of the view that journalists generally lead a ‘life of Riley’, passing anecdotal celebrity gossip off as news — here is the other news. In January 2013 the International Federation of Journalists reported that 121 journalists and media workers were killed in 2012 as a result of targeted killings, bomb attacks and crossfire. Syria and Somalia topped the league table of dangerous places to report from.
Little has changed with barely two months gone of this year; indeed the physical dangers are being exacerbated by an increasing clamp-down on journalists ability to work and report freely. Egypt is a particular case in point. Twenty journalists have been charged with “fabricating news and assisting or belonging to a terror cell”; eight of the defendants worked for Al Jazeera English (AJE). The trial has, for the moment, been adjourned until 5 March although the news that the current Cairo government has resigned (24.02.14) it would be probably be too speculative to say what may actually occur. Sites such as Index on Censorship and Reporters Without Borders are following events closely. Please try to share campaign appeals as widely as you can and if you can afford to donate even a small amount all the better. Unsurprisingly, these are not organisations drowning in ‘sugar-daddy’ corporate sponsorship.
Not a ‘pig-in-a-poke’
(Original reporting: Philip Pullella; editing: Janet Lawrence)
Libel and privacy
INTERESTING PIECE on the Index on Censorship site about European Union attempts to “harmonise” libel and defamation laws in order to “defend [...] freedom of expression where the laws of member states fail to do so.”
Kurdish journalist murdered
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL are calling for an immediate enquiry and Reporters Without Borders have condemned the murder of journalist, Kawa Germyani, editor of the magazine Rayal and a correspondent for the newspaper Awene, in Kalar, in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. Further details are on Kurd Net.
BRIAN ASHLEY, a long-standing South African activist and contributor to the magazine Amandla, has posted a short, but touching tribute to Nelson Mandela on the International Viewpoint website.
‘…Disgrace for Ukrainian authorities’
IN A recent mailing, Index on Censorship published a report from Andrei Aliaksandrau on the latest events in Ukraine and particularly the country’s capital Kiev. The full article can be found here.
REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS are campaigning around the Sochi Winter Olympics and recently made an appeal for support.
“In less than three months, the Sochi Olympic Games will open. These Games are unique. They will take place in a country which is not like any other country.
Since May 2012, when Vladimir Putin returned to power as President, the Russian government adopted a series of repressive laws to attempt to contain the thriving of more freedom of information. Thirty journalists have been killed in connection with their work in Russia since 2000.
Political leaders and Olympic Games organizers will do everything they can to hide the realities of Russia. They won’t tell you about censorship, pressure on journalists, threats, murders going unpunished and police investigations at a standstill.
They won’t tell you either about Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev, deputy editor in chief of the weekly Novoe Delo, who was shot near his house in the caucasus village of Semender on July 9, 2013.
We won’t keep silent about these realities. We have a lot to report regarding freedom of information in Russia. Follow us during the next months to learn more about these chilling Games.”
More information can be found here.
“Hard working” gibberish
Woops! I’m not reproducing
REUTERS REPORTED earlier this month that a senior, “conservative”, cleric in Saudi Arabia has said that he believes that women who drive regularly will damage their ovaries. While Reuters admit that they had previously got a name wrong — I mean, we all drop a “Saad” here and there don’t we Annie? — Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan has, without any verifiable evidence, hit the nail on the head. He’s a misogynist with a problem. Come on; come out and, rather than be proud, be stoned by women who have those ovaries you are apparently so concerned about.
I, Ms Marie Jones, have a theory that is not verifiable. Men’s balls get too large when they drive. Stick that in one of your orifices.
A group of socialists in the Midlands, supporters of different left groups and none, have published a collection of articles articulating the views of democratic, secular, progressive and socialist currents active today in Syria. The pdf can be downloaded directly from Box.net in the left hand-hand sidebar or viewed here
Support journalists in Iran
REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS are campaigning for the release of 54 journalists currently in jail in Iran. The regime has recently cut off access to the internet and routinely censors the national press and prevents foreign journalists getting into the country. They have jailed and sentenced more than 350 journalists and “netizens” since the Presidential election of 2009. Reporters Without Borders are concerned that the winner of the forthcoming election will be chosen behind closed doors — with nobody able to dissent. The campaigning group urgently needs donations to carry on work defending journalists in Iran. Gifts can be made here here.