Ossigeno Media News Review – APRIL 15, 2020

15 April 2020 By Luciana Borsatti – Here is a brief review of some topics highlighted recently by NGO and international organisations for media freedom

PARIS – Spanish government yields to the pressure of journalists and agrees to live press conferences, Reporters without Borders (RSF) says. Spanish journalists are finally able to pose their questions to ministers in a live communication without intermediaries. Thanks to the mobilisation of journalists’ associations backed by RSF, the government abandoned its practice of asking for questions in writing and in advance. READ HERE

BRUSSELS – The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), representing 320,000 journalists, calls on national governments, the European Commission and the European Parliament to take rapid, targeted and coordinated action in support of all workers – staff, freelance and self-employed – and companies in response to the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the media sector. READ HERE

LONDON  – ARTICLE 19 has called on a Russian Federation official to withdraw threats he made on Facebook to an Italian journalists reporting on the coronavirus. On 2 April 2020, the spokesperson of the Russian Ministry of Defence, General Igor Konashenkov, posted threats about the Italian journalist Jacopo Iacoboni, who has been investigating Russian support to tackle the coronavirus in the Italian region of Lombardy. READ HERE 

VIENNA  – The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, expressed his concern regarding two recent incidents against the KoSSev online portal in Kosovo. On 11 April, the police briefly arrested the editor-in-chief of the KoSSev portal, Tatjana Lazarević, for allegedly violating the curfew announced last month. On 9 April, the Head of the Crisis Headquarters of Mitrovica North, Aleksandar Spirić, urged the portal not to cause instability by posing political questions. READ HERE

WASHINGTON D.C—The Committee to Protect Journalists said it is appalled by an official White House statement accusing Voice of America (VOA), the U.S. Congress-funded international broadcaster, of “speak[ing] for America’s adversaries” and promoting Chinese propaganda on the COVID-19 pandemic. Journalists for Voice of America often put themselves at risk by reporting in highly censored or dangerous countries,  CPJ said. For example, they have been harassed and detained in China.   READ HERE 

LONDON – Donald Trump tells a US reporter that her questioning is “horrid”, Jair Bolsonaro dismisses Covid-19 as a media conspiracy. These incidents are part of an emerging trend Index on Censorship has beeb tracking on his global map monitoring media freedom violations during the coronavirus pandemic. READ HERE

TORONTO – We know that extraordinary measures are a necessary companion to these extraordinary times, an op-ed by IFEX says.  Protecting people’s health and safety are paramount. But that doesn’t take away our responsibility to ensure that, down the road, such exceptional measures do not become the new rule of law. READ HERE

WIEN – According to data collected by the International Press Institute (IPI), over the past few weeks an alarming number of governments, especially in eastern and central Europe, have used the crisis as a pretext to restrict the free flow of information and clamp down on independent media. READ HERENEW YORK – Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presidency is now intent on using the COVID-19 crisis as a pretext to exert direct control over social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, Human Rights Watch says. Eight articles buried deep in a draft law on economic measures to address COVID-19, seek to strong-arm social media platforms to submit to Turkish government control and censorship. READ HERE

Read previous Media Reviews here

LB

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