Friday, November 03, 2006

Freedom of expression under attack - Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, Jeff Jarvis, & Piet Dorsman

Below is a roundup of some current threats ranging from censorship to violence, as well as some protests against them, usefully assembled by the journalist & blogger Jeff Jarvis (Colleagues in Peril). This is obviously a very partial survey, but it conveys a sense of the situation. Governments, terrorists, and criminals (not always easily distinguishable categories) all play roles in this story.

I was alerted to Jarvis's roundup by Piet Dorsman (at PeakTalk). As Dorsman reminds us, it has now been two years since the murder of the Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh, who was assassinated by an Islamist fanatic for making the film "Submission" in collaboration with the Somali-born Dutch feminist, secularist ex-Muslim, and then-Member of Parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali. For some of Dorsman's reflections on this affair, its significance, and its subsequent repercussions, see here & here & here.

--Jeff Weintraub
Jeff Jarvis (BuzzMachine)
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Colleagues in peril

* Amnesty International asks bloggers to show their support for freedom of speech and fellow bloggers who are denied it.
* Reporters Without Borders asks us to join a demonstration: “Everyone is invited to support this struggle by connecting to the Reporters Without Borders website ( between 11 a.m. (Paris time) on Tuesday, 7 November, and 11 a.m. on Wednesday, 8 November. Each click will help to change the “Internet Black Holes” map and help to combat censorship.”
* Chris Anderson of Columbia emails that his friend Will Bradley Roland was killed by paramilitaries in Mexico. Chris writes: “Brad was a friend and colleague of mine. He was a true citizen journalist. He did more than sit behind a laptop all day and pontificate about what he thought the news meant. He wasn’t an “official” member of any news organization, but he took his video camera and his notebook and traveled all over Latin America, providing passionate reporting about events and places few Americans knew (or cared) much about. In the past five years, he has committed more acts of journalism than many paid, “professional” journalists. He was killed today, as a journalist.”