Showing posts with label International Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International Media. Show all posts

December 5, 2018

Duterte of the Philippines in Accordance to The Despot Rule Book Goes After a Home Blogger

A vocal critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte posted bail on Monday, after returning to her country to face an arrest warrant and charges of tax violations.
On Sunday night at Manila's international airport, Maria Ressa, the CEO and executive editor of digital news outlet Rappler, thanked reporters for showing up to cover the event.
She had just returned from Washington, D.C., and New York, where she received the Knight International Journalism Award and the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award. Under Ressa's watch, Rappler has probed the extrajudicial killings committed in Duterte's war on drugs.
The government charged Ressa and Rappler with five counts of tax violations in November. She faces a fine and up to 10 years in prison.
"How do I feel about being arrested?" she told reporters in an airport terminal, as travelers rolled their suitcases by. "Well, number one, I'm going to hold my government accountable for publicly calling me a criminal." 
The arrest warrant "makes you feel vulnerable," she said. "But I think that's the point, right? The point is for the government to actually make you feel its power and that it can do what it wants to do, including bending the law to the point that it's broken."
On Monday she posted a bail of 60,000 Philippine pesos (about $1,100) at the Pasig City Regional Trial Court, according to Rappler.
"I surrendered to the court this morning, went through the process of what a criminal would go through, and filed bail without surrendering my right to question the Pasig court's jurisdiction over this tax case," she said.
Authorities have conducted other investigations into the outlet and Ressa's work. In January, the Securities and Exchange Commission temporarily revoked Rappler's license for supposedly violating a law that prohibits foreign majority ownership of businesses in the Philippines. The Philippine Department of Justice also began investigating Ressa for alleged cyber libel.
Ressa, a former CNN bureau chief, described the tax charges as "a clear case of harassment," adding that agents had been deployed to Rappler's office. According to Rappler, Ressa's arraignment is scheduled for Friday morning.
The charges triggered condemnation from human rights organizations.
"The Duterte administration is singling out one of its most potent critics with politically motivated charges," Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International's East and Southeast Asia regional director, said in a statement. "Rappler's fearless journalism has helped to expose the deadly reality of the so-called 'war on drugs' – and the thousands of unlawful killings of poor and marginalized people perpetrated in its name."
Brad Adams, executive director of Human Rights Watch Asia Division, called the charges the latest example of the administration's contempt for free press, saying, "The Philippine government is targeting Rappler and Maria Ressa for their dogged reporting on Duterte's murderous 'drug war.' "
Shawn Crispin, senior Southeast Asia representative of the Committee to Protect Journalists, called for the "spurious charges" to be dropped "before any more damage is done to his administration's already threadbare credibility."
Rappler launched in 2012, gaining praise for its 2017 "Impunity" series, which investigated killings in Duterte's drug sweep, and a series about propaganda, which examined how social media was exploited after Duterte was elected president. 
As his plans to eradicate drugs unfolded, Rappler's staff were among the government's first targets in 2016, Ressa told NPR this spring. "You can say I was blindsided by the fact that the government has used authoritarian tactics to try to control the narrative - the public narrative and to use a propaganda machine in a completely new way," she said.
Staff reporter Pia Ranada was banned from Malacañang Palace, the president's residence and place of work, and she was attacked on social media. The president's trolls "say they wish death upon me," she told NPR. "They wish I get gang raped. They wish that they could do all kinds of really gross sexual assaults on me."
In November, the impunity of officials in Duterte's drug war appeared to lapse: three police officers were found guilty of murdering a 17-year-old — the first convictions in Duterte's anti-drug campaign, NPR's Emily Sullivan reported.

October 15, 2018

BBC Promises to Have More Gay Characters to Fight The Heteronormative

Image result for bbc

The BBC is going to increase the number of LGBT people appearing in its programmes and news output as part of new diversity reforms.
They will be "incidental" portrayals, meaning that their sexuality is not part of a storyline or directly relevant to a news item.
Off-screen and off-air, LGBT staff will be encouraged to "bring their whole self to work" and be open about their sexuality.
Other recommendations include the use of non-binary pronouns used by staff where appropriate, and a network of "straight allies" who will announce their status with pin badges or special email signatures.
They are included in a new report based on a survey of LGBT staff attitudes, which found that many perceived the corporation to have a "heteronormative culture".
LGBT staff account for 11 per cent of the total BBC workforce and 12 per cent of senior staff. BBC bosses say they have acted to ensure they retain and attract the best LGBT talent as an employer, and to appeal to a younger audience as a broadcaster.
James Purnell, director of radio and education, said: "One of our big challenges currently is around young audiences.
"In a recent YouGov survey only 51% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they identified as completely heterosexual.
"An organisation that appears to have a heteronormative culture is not one that is going to cut ice with them either as a consumer or an employee.
"We're aiming to create the most open, inclusive culture we can."
An internal survey of 300 LGBT staff at the BBC revealed areas requiring improvement, including a heteronormative culture, a need for inclusive non-binary language, insufficient support for trans staff, and a need to "adopt LGBTQ or LGBTQ+".
Concerns were also raised that gay men were the most visible members of the LGBT community at the company, that intersectionality of race and background within the LGBT community was not reflected enough, and that there was a need for more visible LGBT leaders.
Karen Millington and Matt Weaver, said: "We hope this makes everyone feel included - whether genderqueer, bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, non-binary, pansexual, intersex, asexual, queer, questioning or an ally."
Telegraph UK

August 26, 2015

Trumps’ Sticks Univision’s Reporter’s Foot in his Mouth

 World Known Jorge Ramos of Univision

Donald Trump ordered Univision anchor Jorge Ramos unceremoniously evicted from a news conference Tuesday as the immigration issue continued to dominate the Republican presidential primary.

At the news conference in Dubuque, Iowa, Ramos stood without being called on and began asking questions about Trump’s immigration proposals, which include ending birthright citizenship and deporting the estimated 11 million people who are in the U.S. illegally, along with their families.

Trump did not answer, but told Ramos to sit down.

Republicans wonder: How do you debate Donald Trump?
Republicans wonder: How do you debate Donald Trump?
“You weren’t called,” said Trump. “Sit down.”

As Ramos continued to ask questions, Trump again asked him to sit down.

“Go back to Univision,” Trump told Ramos, who is based in Miami at the Spanish-language network.

The candidate continued to tell the anchor to sit down, until security escorted Ramos out of the room.

When asked by a reporter why he'd had Ramos kicked out, Trump said he didn’t know much about him.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever met him, except he started screaming. I didn’t escort him out,” Trump said. “You’ll have to talk to security, whoever security is.”

Ramos had not screamed.

Shortly thereafter, Ramos was allowed to return, and Trump called on him. Ramos stood and began to ask questions.

“How are you going to build a 1,900-mile wall?” he asked, referring to Trump's plan to wall off the U.S.-Mexico border and make the Mexican government pay for it.

“Very easy. I’m a builder,” Trump said, noting his background in real estate development.

 When Ramos asked how Trump planned to deport everyone in the country who is here illegally, the billionaire businessman said he’d do it in a “humane way.”

“I have a bigger heart than you do,” Trump said.

As Ramos continued to press him during their five-minute exchange, Trump turned to the issue of crime, which he says is associated with illegal immigration.

“Listen, we have tremendous crime,” Trump said. “We have some very bad ones” – apparently alluding to immigrants in the country illegally.

Trump has used crime as a wedge in the immigration debate, citing in particular a killing in San Francisco last month in which the suspect had been deported five times.

And finally, Trump reminded Ramos he was suing Univision for dropping Trump's Miss Universe pageant -- a decision the network made after Trump announced his presidential candidacy in June and described Mexican immigrants in the U.S. illegally as “rapists” and drug runners. “And some, I assume, are good people,” he said then.

On Tuesday, Trump softened that language, saying he did not believe a majority of immigrants in the U.S. illegally are criminals. “Most of them are good people,” he said.

 Univision has invited Trump to appear on the news channel, and extended that invitation again Tuesday. So far, Trump has declined.

Ramos is known for his tough questioning of politicians when it comes to immigration, including tense exchanges with President Obama. 

Videos via Huffington Post. 
Story by  at L.A.Times

January 10, 2015

I was Surprised How Arab Papers Reacted to ‘Charlie'

If you thought the Arab world celebrated the attack on Charlie Hebdo as a blow 

against blasphemers, some Arab-language newspapers tell a different story.

Many newspapers across the Arab world have published cartoons expressing 

solidarity and support with the French satirical newspaper, much those published by Western cartoonists just hours after the attack. 

But cartoonists find themselves in a difficult position: Despite the alleged wave 

of democratization that swept the region during the Arab Spring, free expression is still very much in danger across the region.

“Nearly four years later, many people are still watching their step," Israel's YNet newspaper

 writes. “Authoritarian rule has returned to many Arab countries while the rise of Islamic

 State militants who have seized large areas of Iraq and Syria also poses dangers

 to anyone who dares to debate religion."

Below is a collection of cartoons gathered from across the region. 

These two cartoons are from the An Nahar newspaper, with the first one reading “But ... he called me a terrorist."
The Al Akhbar newspaper, which some view as pro-Hezbollah, printed the following with the Arabic reading “freedom up in the air.

The second one reads: "This is how we avenge the cartoonists' killer.”A Lebanese cartoonist described the situation "easier but far from ideal," following the Arab Spring since some saw that as the beginning toward freedom of speech. 
"We want to defend the freedom of the press, the freedom of the media and the freedom of opinion. This is our mission," said Stavro Jabro, who draws for two newspapers and knew some of the victims.

English-language newspaper Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed printed a powerful image of a pencil overpowering a bullet.
Makhlouf, a young cartoonist, drew two cartoons for the privately owned newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm. 

“In support with Charlie Hebdo," it says on top with the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie. 
In the other cartoon, Makhlouf drew "himself holding up a pencil in the face of an assailant wearing a balaclava, with almost alien-like eyes, as he points a gun at him," the outlet writes. The Arabic again says "In support of Charlie Hebdo." 


January 14, 2014

How Would NBC Cover Gays a the Olympics?


Russian police officers detain a gay-rights activist during a protest outside the Winter Olympics organizing committee office in Moscow. Clashes over gay rights put NBC in a difficult position: Olympic officials insist that the games should not be politicized, while activists push the network to report on the issue as a journalistic enterprise.
Russian police officers detain a gay-rights activist during a protest outside the Winter Olympics organizing committee office in Moscow. Clashes over gay rights put NBC in a difficult position: Olympic officials insist that the games should not be politicized, while activists push the network to report on the issue as a journalistic enterprise.

Ivan Sekretarev/AP
The Winter Olympics next month, held in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, Russia, should provide mesmerizing athletic spectacle on ice and snow. But each Olympics also affords a brief global platform for dissidents in host countries to get the attention of the world — primarily through the media. And the exclusive American broadcaster, NBC, is coming under pressure to do more on behalf of gay rights and journalists there.

A 'Last Chance' To Shape Russian Attitudes

Five channels and various digital streams will provide viewers 1,500 hours of coverage of Olympic events in Sochi. Jim Bell, the NBC Sports executive overseeing this 2 1/2-week extravaganza, will broadcast images of athletes unfurling rainbow flags in protest.

But he says he has a simple philosophy for what he'll do in the absence of newsworthy events: "Show the Olympics. Show the events, show the competition, show the athletes," Bell says. "This is the athletes' moment. That's really what it's about."

Ahead of the Sochi competition, Bell says, the network will sketch out for viewers the context in which the games take place in Russia. "I think our approach is to do a thorough explanation," he says. "To talk about President [Vladimir] Putin really being a driving force behind the games, gay rights, whatever else."

Let's look at that second element: gay rights. Last June, Putin's government banned "gay propaganda." The change affects reporters: Even neutral news coverage of issues involving gays and lesbians appears to violate that law.

Konstantin Yablotskiy, co-chairman of the Russia LGBT Sports Federation, says the effects have been severe. In the past Yablotskiy participated in the Gay Games as a figure skater. Now, he says, national networks devote documentaries to denouncing homosexuals. He looks to the Olympics for hope.

"Probably it's our last chance to try to change this situation, to change attitudes of Russian society, to show people that we are not marginal sodomites," Yablotskiy says. "We are normal people who have their normal lives, who can do sports and win medals."

How Much Responsibility Does NBC Bear?

"We're not there to poke a sharp stick in anybody's eye, but we're not going to shy away from reporting anything either," says Bell, the NBC Sports executive. "... My colleagues in NBC News [will] ask appropriate questions. They'll do what they have to do to report stories as they develop. I don't think we're worried about that at all."

More On The Sochi Olympic Games

Billie Jean King spoke with CNN after being named to the delegation, saying  "I'm very proud to go as an athlete, and as a gay woman."
Simon Says
Billie Jean King Travels With A Message About History
Brian Boitano skates at Izod Center on Dec. 11 in East Rutherford, N.J. Boitano will go to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as part of the presidential delegation.
Figure Skater Brian Boitano On Coming Out And Going To Sochi
Indeed, NBC News Senior Vice President Alexandra Wallace noted that the network has paid attention to gay rights in Russia of late. She points to coverage in Sochi itself, as well as stories about President Obama's appointment of gay athletes to represent the U.S. in the opening ceremonies.

"Billie Jean King is on the Today show Thursday. We had Brian Boitano on last week," she said in a recent interview. "I would hold up our reporting on LGBT issues in Russia — maybe not with Foreign Affairs journal, but I think we've done a good job of it, actually."

The scenario resembles the 2008 Beijing Olympics: A repressive regime seeking legitimacy is serving as host. Minky Worden, the director of global initiatives with Human Rights Watch, says that the scenario bestows both an obligation and a lot of sway to the IOC — and its media partner. Worden doesn't distinguish much between the two: An NBC executive sits on the IOC executive committee, and the network's corporate parent paid $775 million for the right to broadcast the games.

Worden says they should have campaigned against Russia's anti-gay propaganda law. Instead, she says, the IOC, NBC and other Olympic sponsors "really dropped the ball last June." After all, the law is aimed at reporters as well as gays and lesbian activists.

"It's really a double bind," Worden says. "I think the only principled way forward for a company like NBC is to report in a robust way on the Olympics and on human rights abuses that have defined these Olympics."

'We're Not Activists: We're Observers'

The International Olympic Committee says it has firm assurances from Putin that no one attending the games will face discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation — though a public protest by athletes would be provocative.

Violence met past demonstrations at which Russian gays and lesbians kissed, while no arrests ensued from other violent attacks that were captured in videos and uploaded to Russian social media platforms. Those videos were intended to celebrate the attacks.

NBC has accelerated its pace of coverage of the nonathletic side of the games in recent weeks, and its news division hired The New Yorker's editor, David Remnick, who has reported extensively from Russia, as an analyst. Still, the coverage often comes off more as reactive than enterprising.

Wallace says NBC News' journalists have a single mission.

"Our job is reporting what's going on in the world. We're not activists: We're observers and analysts," Wallace says.

Later this week, the Committee to Protect Journalists will release a report concluding that Russian authorities have intimidated the national media and bought off smaller outlets. It says freedom of the press requires international news outlets to step up and create running room for local media outlets — on issues such as the rights of gays in Russia.

September 4, 2013

If You Got The Feeling “Aljazeera" Was One Sided Pro Militant Islamist so Does The Egyptian Army

A screenshot of Aljazeera channel showing anti-government protests in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on Aug. 30, 2013. The protests were not covered by Egyptian TV channels.A screenshot of Aljazeera channel showing anti-government protests in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on Aug. 30, 2013. The protests were not covered by Egyptian TV channels.
 Edward Yeranian

May 8, 2013

Russian Pavel Durev The Father Of Russia’s FaceBook is Crashing With Putin’s Government

The world has started paying attention to an escalating clash between entrepreneur Pavel Durov and the Russian government — wondering what the implications are for the founder of Europe's largest social network.
Durov, 28, the founder of, is also a libertarian who has often clashed with the government  — but never like this.
The official story is that Durov is being investigated in regards to an April 5 incident where a traffic cop was allegedly injured by an unidentified driver in a white Mercedes (this being Russia, of course there is dash cam footage).
Durov and his colleagues deny being part of any hit-and-run, however, and claim that the case is part of a larger campaign against him and VK, according to Der Spiegel (Durov's representatives say he doesn't even own a car).
The conspiracy has also been floated in The Globe and Mail, Washington Post, and other publications.
The government's prosecution of this case has certainly been aggressive. Twenty police officers raided VK's St. Petersburg headquarters last month as part of the investigation. The investigation is headed by Russia's Federal Security Service, which is the successor to the KGB and doesn't usually investigate traffic violations, according to Washington Post's Will Englund.
Durov has been in hiding since the allegations went public and has reportedly missed a court appearance.
But the investigation is just one part of Durov's problems with the government.
Earlier in April, Putin-backed businessman Ilya Sherbovich led a hostile takeover of VK, secretly buying up 48% of shares. After the takeover, allies of Putin control around 88% of the company, according to Quartz. Durov is left with just 12%, running a serious risk of losing control.
So what did Durov ever do to upset the Kremlin?
There's speculation that authorities might be retaliating against Durov for refusing to follow a government order to shut down VK's forums, which frequently feature pirated and pornographic material.
The site had also been used to organize members of Russia's vocal opposition movement and in 2011 refused to delete a group used by protesters despite government pressure, the BBC reports. In mid-April 2013 leaked emails appeared to show Durov colluding with the Russian state to suppress opposition groups, but some observers view this leak with skepticism, wondering if it is part of a broader smear campaign.
Durov is something of a character. The 28-year-old was raised in Italy (his father was working as an academic) before moving to Russia's second city, St. Petersburg, where VK is still based.
He created the site six years ago, working alongside his brother, mathematician and programmer Nikolai Durov. VK now has something like 200 million registered users, earning Durov hundreds of millions of dollars.
To a certain audience, Durov has become an icon in Russia — the Globe and Mail points towards his all-black wardrobe, love of the Matrix movies, and refusal to drink and smoke. However, there's also a distinctly political element to Durov's personality — he describes himself as a libertarian on his own VK page and has published "anarcho-capitalist" manifestos for Russia.
There's a clear rebellious streak to Durov as well. Last year he had perhaps his first taste of international fame when he threw 5,000-rouble ($160) notes out of his window
Adam Taylor

April 10, 2013

A Gay Sit Com Becomes a Hit in Viet-Nam

Image via YouTube
Image via YouTube
A new sitcom sensation has attracted over a million Vietnam viewers to YouTube. The show’s theme is a comedy about the LGBT community titled “My Best Gay Friends.” The popularity of the show is surprising because those who are LGBT are often ridiculed in public as well as in media. Dang Khoa, 21 and gay, created the series to try to change the image of how gays are viewed in the country. “I’ve seen many movies and comedies about the homosexual community. The images of homosexuals are very negative and audiences then have an ugly idea of the community,” said Khoa. But times may be changing for gay people in this communist country. There was talk last year that the government was considering gay marriage. This topic will be fully debated in 2014. [The Telegraph]
Watch an episode after the jump (video is in Vietnamese)

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