Out of Africa: The winning ways of the enemies of press freedom

By William Horsley, CFOM International Director World Press Freedom Day in Africa meant loud drums and a gathering of almost a thousand people – including Ghana’s president, senior  African judges, hundreds of West African journalists and a keen circus of press freedom advocates from all corners of the world. The big question before the freedom-hungry Read more about Out of Africa: The winning ways of the enemies of press freedom[…]

A media view of the Commonwealth summit: too much self-praise and not enough open democracy

By William Horsley, CFOM International Director

Proposals which were described as ‘important and timely’ were submitted for the attention of Commonwealth leaders by an expert Working Group for a new ‘code’ on media-government relations, but they were ignored in the final Communique. Even so, foreign ministers from the organisation’s 53 member states meeting in London heard powerful appeals for the Commonwealth to do more to protect media independence and the lives of journalists who face threats and acts of violence for their work. […]

Poland, cradle of a democratic revolution, again a frontline in the fight for press freedom

By William Horsley, CFOM International Director Gdansk is a bitter-sweet symbol of Poland’s fight against tyranny back in the time of Lech Walesa. The three tall metal crosses erected over the Gdansk shipyard  recall the heady days in 1980 when Solidarity, the East bloc’s first free trade union, triumphed in a trial of strength against the then Read more about Poland, cradle of a democratic revolution, again a frontline in the fight for press freedom[…]

Two thoughts on Nick Robinson’s plea for a re-think on journalism

By William Horsley, CFOM International Director   Nick Robinson told some awkward truths about Britain’s broadcasting media in the inaugural Steve Hewlett Lecture on Thursday: above all the need for them to up their game by defending impartiality and engaging ‘dissident’ voices. He captured the excitement and confusion of the great debate about ‘whose side the Read more about Two thoughts on Nick Robinson’s plea for a re-think on journalism[…]

Press freedom watchers see threats from enemies within

By William Horsley, CFOM International Director   Journalists killed with impunity in Syria and Bangladesh, Kenya and Mexico. Insidious state controls through new technologies. More journalists in jail than ever before… Now is the most dangerous time ever to be a journalist: that is the dark and all too familiar picture that emerges from the Committee Read more about Press freedom watchers see threats from enemies within[…]

The Commonwealth as an international force to counter violence against journalists?

William Horsley, CFOM International Director This week the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland QC, said the 52-nation organisation must recognise the weaknesses in government accountability that lie behind the violent deaths of 61 journalists worldwide last year, according to Reporters Without Borders figures. She called that figure ‘appalling’ and deplored the fact that in Read more about The Commonwealth as an international force to counter violence against journalists?[…]

Five reasons why President Trump’s ‘war with the media’ really matters

By William Horsley, International Director of CFOM Donald Trump’s pugnacious defence of his under-fire Attorney-General, Jess Sessions, is part of a wider pattern of disregard for truth in which he sees the news media as his main enemy. It is the latest twist in Mr Trump’s evasion of scrutiny about the core matter on which Read more about Five reasons why President Trump’s ‘war with the media’ really matters[…]

Are British media failing the test of reporting Brexit?

By William Horsley, CFOM International Director The British media have been accused, along with the politicians, of doing a poor job of informing the nation about the great issues thrown up by Brexit, the biggest story for a generation. Is the criticism justified? A review of the course of the great debate over the past year Read more about Are British media failing the test of reporting Brexit?[…]

Sir Alan Moses condemns ‘freezing’ impact of Section 40 on UK press freedom

By William Horsley, CFOM International Director On Monday Sir Alan Moses, the former Appeals Court judge who chairs the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), publicly applauded the ‘implacable opposition ‘ of the British press to the controversial Section 40 of the 2013 Crime and Courts Act, which provides for aggravated penalties against publishers who fail Read more about Sir Alan Moses condemns ‘freezing’ impact of Section 40 on UK press freedom[…]

In Poland, Media Freedom Fears Persist as New Plans Restricting Journalists’ Access to Parliament to be Unveiled in January

By William Horsley, CFOM International Director In many parts of Europe the freedom of the media is under serious threat not only from restrictive laws but also from a wide range of administrative and informal constraints and pressures. In Poland the government has already enacted a law to take direct control of the governance of Read more about In Poland, Media Freedom Fears Persist as New Plans Restricting Journalists’ Access to Parliament to be Unveiled in January[…]