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Walking the press freedom walk

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World News Publishing Focus
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Walking the press freedom walk

“Governments in the UK and US are hiding behind a terrorism blanket to suppress information and this is being used to fine and jail journalists,” said McKenzie, herself a former editor from the United States, with experience in the Bahamas and Ghana.

Cases such as Judith Miller’s, which saw the New York Times journalist jailed for three months for refusing to reveal her source (later uncovered as CIA agent, Valerie Plame), highlight that it is not just the repressive pre-revolution regimes of the Middle East who have targeted journalists.

Speaking later in the afternoon, editor, Eynulla Fatullayev (pictured above), who was imprisoned for four years in his native Azerbaijan, until his release in May 2011, reiterated McKenzie’s point: “A crisis of European values is strengthening authoritarian countries.”

Pointing to examples from across Europe and the US, Fatullayev shared his exasperation in the increasing targeting of journalists in what he considered to be the “cradle of democracy”.

“When countries like the US and UK violate press freedom it makes it much more difficult for us to uphold and to defend press freedom in other countries,” said McKenzie, suggesting that the more repressive regimes use the poor actions of these supposedly liberal countries as a shield to protect their own violations of press freedom rights and ideals.

She also pointed to the vibrant college press in the USA as a frequent victim of attacks, saying that freedom of student journalists on campuses in the US is violated “unabated”.

“Countries that talk the talk must be made to walk the walk.”


Louise Hallman


2011-10-12 18:03

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The 71st World News Media Congress, the 26th World Editors Forum and the 3rd Women in News Summit took place from 1 - 3 June 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

In this blog, WAN-IFRA provides previews, interviews, summaries of the presentations and other useful information about the Congress.

Participants were also very active on Twitter throughout the event under the hashtag #wnmc19.

In 2011 the newspaper world gathered in Vienna, Austria for IFRA Expo 2011, 63rd World Newspaper Congress and 18th World Editors Forum.

This is the event's live blog.

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