All posts tagged: freedom

‘Freedom was around the corner’: how UK activists helped the exiled ANC to defeat apartheid | ANC (African National Congress)

‘Freedom was around the corner’: how UK activists helped the exiled ANC to defeat apartheid | ANC (African National Congress)

[ad_1] Speak to those who were fighting it from afar, and they’ll tell you that for a long time, the political situation in apartheid-era South Africa appeared intractable. Even as they wouldn’t allow themselves to feel despondent – the campaign to boycott South African goods had, after all, been successful, and few musicians would tour the country – many activists wondered, deep down, if change would ever come. But in the mid-1980s, things seemed at last to shift. Suddenly, the atmosphere was heady. “There was an energy and excitement that I can’t even begin to describe,” says Chitra Karve, who in 1986 had just taken up a full-time job at the Anti-Apartheid Movement in London. “I worked an inordinate number of hours, but I never thought about that. I never even got tired. You were driven by the pace at which possibility was coming towards you: the possibility of real change.” Front row, from left: President of the ANC Oliver Tambo, US civil rights campaigner Rev Jesse Jackson and then Greater London council leader Ken …

Female journalists under attack as press freedom falters | Press freedom

Female journalists under attack as press freedom falters | Press freedom

[ad_1] Female journalists are at the “epicentre of risk” as attacks on press freedom intensify around the world. According to organisations representing women in journalism, the past year has seen an escalation of smear campaigns; racist and gendered attacks; detentions; deportations; censorship; and police violence levelled at female journalists, which is leading to a “chilling” silencing of women’s voices in the media landscape. There is a very real danger the perpetrators will effectively silence women from playing an active part in the media Alison Phillips Kiran Nazish, the founder of the Coalition for Women in Journalism (CFWIJ), said: “We have seen a crackdown on women journalists in the past year from Poland to Bangladesh to Nigeria, Turkey, Canada and the US, as political will in maintaining press freedom declines. “Women and non-binary journalists are on the frontline of an increasingly hostile environment and are most at risk,” she said. Nazish pointed to multiple examples of individuals targeted in the past year. In Iran, the country that jails the most female journalists, Parisa Salehi became the …

Sharleen Spiteri: ‘I love getting old – I love the freedom it allows you’ | Sharleen Spiteri

Sharleen Spiteri: ‘I love getting old – I love the freedom it allows you’ | Sharleen Spiteri

[ad_1] Born in Scotland, Sharleen Spiteri, 56, worked as a hairdresser before forming Texas with Johnny McElhone aged 17. They went on to have hits I Don’t Want a Lover, Say What You Want and Inner Smile. Last year they released The Very Best of 1989-2023 and played Glastonbury. This March, Texas released The Muscle Shoals Sessions with Spooner Oldham, and in September there will be a UK arena tour. Spiteri has a daughter and is married to the chef Bryn Williams. She lives in London and Wales. What is your greatest fear?When I was little, a couple of rapes took place in Glasgow. I remember my mum saying to walk in the middle of the pavement, and to this day I am very conscious of where I am. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?I’m impatient. What is the trait you most deplore in others?Schemes. I hate schemers. What was your most embarrassing moment?Going on stage and saying, “Good evening Lyon!” I was in Marseille. What is your most treasured possession?A little three-legged stool that belonged to …

Alex Crawford slams ’empty’ press freedom words with no Gaza action

Alex Crawford slams ’empty’ press freedom words with no Gaza action

[ad_1] The panel at the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index 2024 launch. Left to right: freelance Hong Konger journalist Jessie Lau; RSF London bureau chief Fiona O’Brien; Sky News special correspondent Alex Crawford; Foreign Press Association London director Deborah Bonetti; RSF director of campaigns Rebecca Vincent; and Eritrean filmmaker and campaigner Vanessa Tsehaye. Picture: Press Gazette Sky News special correspondent Alex Crawford has said press freedom speeches given by the Prime Minister and Culture Secretary this week amounted to “empty words” in light of the ongoing Israeli ban on journalists entering Gaza. Crawford, who in February organised an open letter from 55 foreign correspondents pleading for the Israeli government to allow some international journalists into Gaza, said “there is no freedom of information” when reporters cannot get on the ground. Crawford was speaking on Friday as part of a launch event for the 2024 World Press Freedom Index produced by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). [Read more: RSF Press Freedom Index 2024 — UK and US scores hit by widespread job cuts] Alex Crawford: …

Most countries in Asia see decline in press freedom

Most countries in Asia see decline in press freedom

[ad_1] Bangkok —  Global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, says press freedom in Asia continues to see a decline, with 26 out of 31 countries falling on its annual index. According to the group’s latest press freedom index, Asia is the second-most difficult region for practicing journalism. Five countries in the region — Myanmar, China, North Korea and Vietnam — are among the world’s 10 most dangerous countries for media professionals in the 2024 rankings. There are no countries in the Asia-Pacific region in the top 15 ranking for press freedom. China, North Korea and Vietnam, three of the world’s remaining communist governments, have long been near the bottom of RSF’s press freedom index ranking of 180 countries. This year, China was ranked 172, Vietnam 174 and North Korea 177. Overall, it’s the countries and territories that have shown a drop in press freedom in recent years that have contributed to East Asia becoming a difficult place for media to operate. Hong Kong was once a model for press freedom in the Asia …

Governments aren’t doing enough to protect press freedom

Governments aren’t doing enough to protect press freedom

[ad_1] Threats posed by governments and lawmakers are among the most concerning challenges for journalists around the world, Reporters Without Borders said in a report on Friday. More governments and political authorities are failing to support and respect press freedom, the media watchdog, known as RSF, said as it released its annual World Press Freedom Index. The rankings look at the political, legal, and economic factors affecting media, as well as the security situation for journalists in 180 countries and territories. Each is then assigned a score, where 1 shows the best environment. The political sector saw the greatest deterioration of press freedom across all regions, RSF said. “Political actors are more emboldened to denigrate the media, to vilify the press, to attack individual members of the press and journalists, to seek to weaponize the government apparatus against individual media outlets that are critical of them,” Clayton Weimers, the head of RSF’s U.S. office, told VOA. That trend is all the more worrisome in a year where dozens of countries are set to hold national …

Four major threats to press freedom in the UK

Four major threats to press freedom in the UK

[ad_1] Just five years ago, the UK took the bold step of setting up a Media Freedom Coalition of 50 countries committed to protecting press freedom against its enemies in authoritarian states around the world. But at home, journalists have been squeezed between new waves of restrictive legislation and a general decline in public trust in institutions, including traditional media. Barrister Geoffrey Robertson KC has written scathingly that UK law is “antipathetic to serious journalism” and must be reformed if the fourth estate is to effectively scrutinise the rich and powerful. UK press freedom may soon face a crucial test over the possible extradition of Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder could face espionage charges in the US, dependent on ongoing legal battles and President Joe Biden’s recent suggestion that he may yet decide to drop the case. All of this has been made worse by open hostility towards journalists on social media, and the financial difficulties facing the industry as a whole. On World Press Freedom Day, here are four key threats to press freedom …