The Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press has issued an updated report showing "how the war on terrorism affects access to information and the public's right to know." The report includes sections on "covering the war," "military tribunals," "domestic coverage," and "the USA PATRIOT Act." The World Press Institute has just issued a similar report.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia banned broadcast media from his speech on March 19 at an appearance where he received an award for supporting free speech. "That was one of the criteria that he had for acceptance," said James Foster, executive director of Cleveland's City Club, which gave Scalia its "Citadel of Free Speech Award."
"For years, people will be debating
what made [South Korea] go from conservative to liberal,
from gerontocracy to youth culture and from staunchly
pro-American to a deeply ambivalent ally - all seemingly
overnight. ... But for many observers, the
most important agent of change has been the Internet. ... In the last year, as the elections were
approaching, more and more people were getting their
information and political analysis from spunky news
services on the Internet instead of from the country's
Denver police intelligence bureau officers may have conducted background checks for private companies and spied on journalists, according to a federal lawsuit.
"If the Homeland Security Act is not amended before passage, here is what will happen to you," warns William Safire.
During recent protests in Washington against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, police deliberately used mass arrests to round up protesters who had committed no crime, writes law professor Jonathan Turley. "All the students were arrested while trying to comply with the law," he writes. "The D.C. and National Park Service police had used the same technique in each instance: Surround the crowd. Tell its members to disperse or face arrest. And then, as people try to disperse, block their escape with rows of officers in riot gear and arrest them. ...
"The Lebanese government is prosecuting the news director of a major television station," reports MSNBC, "setting the stage for a broader crackdown on press freedoms in a country once admired as the only bastion of free press remaining in the Arab world. ... Rumors are the true currency of political discussion on the streets and in the cafes of the Arab world, where media outlets are either owned by the government or privately owned by political leaders and under the constant threat of sanction and closure."
Reporters Without Borders, a group that advocates for greater press freedoms, has issued a report warning that security abuses by the world's governments in the year since September 11 have increasingly put the Internet under the control of government security forces.
George Hesselberg, columnist with the Wisconsin State Journal, is fed up with all the government and media hype for war on Iraq. He excoriates the ignorance of US citizens as reflected in recent surveys but asks, "What do you expect in a country where ... the media seem to spend more money printing fast-fading flags and producing flag-waving promotions than on researching and reporting the actual degradation of rights, even the dissolution of rights, among citizens. ...
"Can A Sitting President Be Charged With Plagiarism?" asks TomPaine.com's New York Times op-ad. "As President Bush wages his war against terrorism and moves to create a huge homeland security apparatus, he appears to be borrowing heavily, if not ripping off ideas outright, from George Orwell's 1984," writes Daniel Kurtzman, a San Francisco writer and former Washington political correspondent. "1984 was intended as a warning about the evils of totalitarianism -- not a how-to manual."