Last Saturday saw the launch of the Media Reform Coalition’s (MRC) Media Manifesto 2019 at their well attended Media Democracy Festival in London. The festival was built around the theme of democratising the media and the various diverse workshops looked at just how this should be done.The manifesto is built on extensive research and a number of briefing reports from a wide range of specialists and media reform campaigners. It follows in the tradition first established by the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (now disbanded) which had for many years published a Media Manifesto in advance of general elections to place policy choices for media reform in front of the public and political parties. Continue reading What sort of media do we want?
Two days after writing my last blog (‘No happy new year for them’ – 7 January 2019) which highlighted the world wide attacks on media workers and journalism, Parliament held a one hour debate in Westminster Hall on the International Protection of Journalists. Called by Tory MP John Whittingdale, one time Culture Secretary and Chair of the Culture Select Committee, speaker after speaker highlighted the plight of many journalists under threat for just doing their work and the subsequent appalling state of journalism.
The change of year has not meant a change of circumstances for the 177 journalists who, according to The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), spent New Year’s Eve in prison. Following reports from the EFJ national affiliates, 177 journalists spent New Year’s Eve in prison in Europe: 159 in Turkey; 11 in Azerbaijan; 5 in Russia; 2 in Ukraine. In Turkey, a significant number of journalists continued to be detained on charges related to alleged terrorism, while others convicted in 2018 received heavy imprisonment sentences, including life sentences. According to the EFJ no progress has been recorded concerning journalists currently serving life-imprisonment or very long imprisonment sentences and they have issued a strong call for release of all imprisoned journalists in Europe.