Think Pieces

Japan’s blurred vision of media freedom

New research and analysis supports the UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye’s findings from his 2017 Japan report and presents fresh cases pointing to need for remedial actions by the Japanese government.

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Fake news has always existed, but quality journalism has a history of survival

Professor Jackie Harrison, CFOM Chair, writes about the long history of media manipulation and fake news, and the staying power of quality journalism. This piece for The Conversation, published on the World Press Freedom Day 2018, marks also the UNESCO announcement for Jackie Harrison, who has been awarded a prestigious new UNESCO Chair in Media Freedom, Journalism Safety and the Issue of Impunity.

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Can a Free Press Survive in Russia? The scorecard so far

In 2017 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation handed down an exceptionally important decision. It struck down a series of previous convictions handed down against Elena Nadtoka, the editor of a local newspaper in the Rostov Region, and instructed the local courts concerned to reverse their verdicts. The move followed a final ruling from the European Court of Human Rights on what was seen as a crucial test case in the struggle for survival of free media in Russia.

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Wanted: clear criteria for news organisations when dealing with hate speech and extremist content

There are clear signs that hate speech is on the increase, often turbo charged by social media. The London Bridge attacks in July triggered a big spike in hate crimes with a significant amount of them being attacks in the street directed at British Muslims, the Guardian reported. Figures released by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, showed a fivefold increase in Islamophobic attacks since the atrocity at London Bridge, and a 40% increase in racist incidents, compared with the daily average this year.

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The flawed role of the media in international justice and reconciliation in former Yugoslavia

In 1993 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY’) was established to deal with the war crimes committed during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.  In over two decades, the ICTY has convicted and sentenced 83 individuals. This is an unprecedented feat for an international court which also prides itself for having paved the way for reconciliation. Despite the positive institutional view of the tribunal’s impact in terms of promoting reconciliation, the tribunal has been beset by negative perceptions by local peoples across the States of the former Yugoslavia. Numerous factors have led to these negative perceptions, but it would be impossible to understand public perceptions of the ICTY without taking account of the role played by the media.

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