Freedom of the press

Dangerous Words

Hamas are restricting the Press despite the MSM’s Pro-Palestine bias

Hamas really are an ungrateful lot. Foreign journalists could not be more cooperative. ?Already predisposed to seeing Palestine as the victim and Israel as the aggressor the articles on the conflict seem to be always biased in Hamas’s favour. When Hamas store weapons and fire rockets at Israel from inside hospitals, schools, and mosques the press dutifully report that the terrible Israelis attacked hospitals, schools, and mosques which ?are not legitimate military targets. ?When Hamas damages with rockets an Israeli power station ?that supplies power to both Israel and Palestine, the media dutifully report that the terrible Israelis have cut off power to Palestine.

Despite this Palestine friendly coverage, Hamas is restricting the work of foreign journalists in the Gaza Strip.

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The Political cartoon that upset a President



Political cartoons are powerful things or at least they can be. Cartoonists have been murdered for drawing them and journalists have been jailed for publishing them.?As always the battle rages over whether political cartoons that attract controversy are about free speech or racism. In 2010 ?a president didn’t like a political cartoon that used crude imagery to get the message across that he was abusing the justice system. He didn’t murder the cartoonist and he didn’t imprison him but what he did do was sue him for $774,500 New Zealand dollars.
DATE: 2010

South African President Jacob Zuma has sued a leading media group and others over a two-year-old political cartoon depicting him in a sexually suggestive scene with a figure representing ”Lady Justice”.

Zuma is seeking 4 million rand ($NZ774,500) for defamation from Avusa media? and an additional 1 million rand from a former editor with the group’s Sunday Times newspaper and the cartoonist, said Eric van der Berg, an attorney with the Sunday Times, on Tuesday.

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United we stand, divided we fall, the surrender of Charlie Hebdo

635669814468278882-050515---Indianapolis-web-only---MohammedArtExhibitCharlie Hebdo has thrown in the towel, they will no longer draw pictures of Muhammad.

Despite the worldwide horror at the massacre at Charlie Hebdo the vast majority of Media outlets acted as if their countries were already under Sharia law and refused to publish any of the satirical cartoons about Islam. If the world’s media had been united in their desire to maintain Freedom of the Press and had stood united with Charlie Hebdo in reality, instead of tweeting meaningless hashtags of solidarity a strong message would have been sent to both the Islamic terrorists and their Moderate Muslim supporters that Sharia Law has no place in Non-Islamic countries and that the Press will not be silenced.

Instead Charlie Hebdo has been hung out to dry. Used as a symbol of all that is courageous and free they have fought a lonely battle for the right to poke fun at ALL religions. A lone bastion of Press Freedom where the heaviest price possible has been paid in the blood of their fellow journalists they have finally capitulated.

I do not blame them as the mental strain and the constant threats on their life would wear down anyone. What I do find unforgivable is that they were left to fight this battle on their own. Where was the united support from the Media in the West? Bastions of free speech? They are Cabals of cowards.

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Face of the day

Today’s Face of the day is a man of courage, a man who stood for freedom of expression, a man who persisted in the face of danger. His body guard was not able to save him or the others at his newspaper. I honour him, and them today and I challenge us all to not let their deaths be in vain. We too must be brave. We too must stand strong against this worldwide threat against the freedoms that we hold so dear.


Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier Photo: AFP

Stephane Charbonnier, editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, was among four cartoonists killed in the Paris massacre which left 12 people dead in total.

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Herald Editorial on my appeal

The editorial in the NZ Herald today lends its support to my appeal.

Blogger Cameron Slater has been told by a Manukau District Court judge his “Whaleoil” website is not a news medium. This will surprise everybody aware of the Len Brown affair. Whaleoil broke that story and was almost alone among news media in covering the seamy details. Muckraking to that degree might not be to everyone’s taste but if anybody wants to rake it or read it, they have a right to do so. The ruling by District Court Judge Charles Blackie will not stop them but it denies Whaleoil a right asserted by all news media to protect their sources from discovery in court.

The case has nothing to do with the Brown affair. Slater is defending an action for defamation on a different subject. The judge’s ruling is important for its general application to news and comment online, and possibly for the future regulation of mainstream media too.

Judge Blackie has decided the website does not come within the definition of a news medium in the Evidence Act 2006: “a medium for the dissemination to the public or a section of the public of news and observations on news”.

He appears to regard a blog as a private and personal indulgence. He quotes a passage in the Law Commission’s 2011 report on media regulation that said, “blog sites are not democratic forums”, they were “often highly partisan” and “can be highly offensive and personally abusive”. ? Read more »