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The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle…

The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom (Columbia…

by Joel Simon

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Censorship—and murder—threatens journalism

The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom by Joel Simon (Columbia University Press, $27.95).

A Japanese journalist was executed by ISIL just a few days ago, his only crime reporting on the disappearance of another Japanese journalist—also executed by ISIL. There are three Al-Jazeera journalists in prison in Egypt, accused of spying because they dared to report on protests in Cairo. A total of 61 journalists died during the course of doing their jobs in 2014.

Joel Simon, the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, addresses the state of freedom of the press from a global perspective in The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom, paying close attention to trouble spots around the globe as well as explaining general trends in censorship.

He’s quick to point out—using the case of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl as one example—that not all violence against journalists comes from governments, and censorship is far from the only danger journalists face. While the Internet has opened up more opportunities to report from troubled areas and oppressive regimes, it’s also put more journalists at risk. Essentially a report, Simon relies on the facts to make his case, and doesn’t limit his criticisms to totalitarian regimes.

Reviewed on Lit/Rant: www.litrant.tumblr.com ( )
  KelMunger | Feb 13, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 023116064X, Hardcover)

Journalists are being imprisoned and killed in record numbers. Online surveillance is annihilating privacy, and the Internet can be brought under government control at any time. Joel Simon, the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, warns that we can no longer assume our global information ecosystem is stable, protected, and robust. Journalists -- and the crucial news they report -- are increasingly vulnerable to attack by authoritarian governments, militants, criminals, and terrorists, who all seek to use technology, political pressure, and violence to set the global information agenda.

Reporting from Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, and Mexico, among other hotspots, Simon finds journalists under threat from all sides. The result is a growing crisis in information -- a shortage of the news we need to make sense of our globalized world and to fight against human rights abuses, manage conflict, and promote accountability. Drawing on his experience defending journalists on the front lines, he calls on "global citizens," U.S. policy makers, international law advocates, and human rights groups to create a global freedom-of-expression agenda tied to trade, climate, and other major negotiations. He proposes ten key priorities, including combating the murder of journalists, ending censorship, and developing a global free-expression charter challenging criminal and corrupt forces that seek to manipulate the world's news.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:05 -0400)

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