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The Media Censorship Your Rights Online

Online Reporters Now the Journalists Most Often Jailed 147

Posted by timothy
from the three-hots-and-cot-and-a-beating dept.
bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists today released the results of its annual survey of journalists in prison. For the first time, they found more Internet journalists jailed worldwide than journalists working in any other medium. CPJ found that 45 percent of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors. Their chart of journalists jailed by year is also interesting."
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Online Reporters Now the Journalists Most Often Jailed

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  • knowing their rights (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TBoon (1381891) on Friday December 05, 2008 @06:42AM (#26000885)

    Wonder how much could be because your average blogger doesn't know half as much about what rights they have within the laws as their "professional" counterparts do. (Regardless of the freedom of the press is their country)

    And for restricted countries, that a paid journalist is either screen by their government, and/or doesn't feel like risking their reasonably comfortable life for challenging said government, leaving the "anti-patriotic" reporting to the bloggers, who (wrongfully) think they are posting anonymously.

    • Anonimity isn't a myth, you just need to know what to do.
      People need to know how to cover their asses when they feel the urge to complain about their governments.

      • sadly true (Score:3, Insightful)

        by a302b (585285)
        It's a shame that this needs to be the case, that a person needs to go through a lot of effort to remain anonymous, just to comment on a government ostensibly there to protect them.

        Sigh. The world today...
        • No, the real shame (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tkrotchko (124118) *

          The real shame is that so many people *who should know better* say that online anonymity is a bad thing and that only "criminals" try to remain anonymous.

          What they don't realize is the person making the laws and appointing judges gets to define who is a criminal. That's pretty much true everywhere.

    • by davester666 (731373) on Friday December 05, 2008 @09:33AM (#26001873) Journal

      It could also be because it's less likely for a 'real' newspaper, with lawyers on-call, to be standing behind the blogger. Hell, there's more of a time lag for somebody to notice that a blog isn't getting updated than there would be for a reporter that stops checking in.

      And yes, for more totalitarian states, if you part of the 'real' press [tv, print], your organization generally keeps you toeing the line, as it's not just your neck if you step over it. If you're a blogger, it's more of a proofread/publish it yourself, and then get a reaction. If the reaction is for the police to show up at your door, it's too late...

      • Good points. It's easier for police/secret police to pick on individuals rather than take on a larger media organization. It's also easier for them to bend the rules and get away with it if a larger organization is watching.

        On the flip side, it's easier for Joe Blogger to make libelous statements or violate his country's laws without realizing the full implications of what he is doing.

    • by Atrox666 (957601)

      Part of it is because we have this false idea that someone who gets paid by a big corporation deserves more rights than someone who doesn't to report the news.

      There should be no such thing as "Reporter" rights just individual rights.
      It is the government's sworn duty to uphold them and they should be impeached whenever they fail to do so.

      The other side of the story is that bloggers generally are not trained to know where the line is drawn and how to push that boundary without crossing it.

    • As for your average blogger whingeing about freedom, well, if any citizen can be a journalist then your average thug in prison can call himself a journalist, right?

      In fact TFA seems to have done its homework and doesn't seem to be exaggerating the professional bona fides of any of these people. You might argue they have inflated the numbers for China, most of those people are "activists", and yes, any idiot can lie down in the middle of the street and call themselves an "activist", but in China, journalists

  • by theaveng (1243528) on Friday December 05, 2008 @06:48AM (#26000917)

    ""Civil Disobedience" is Thoreau's extremely personal response to being imprisoned for breaking the law. Because he detested slavery and because tax revenues contributed to the support of it, Thoreau decided to become a tax rebel. In July 1846, he was arrested and jailed.

    "Ralph Waldo Emerson visited Thoreau in jail and asked, "Henry, what are you doing in there?" Thoreau replied, "Waldo, the question is what are you doing out there?" Emerson missed the point of Thoreau's protest, which was not intended to reform society but was simply an act of conscience. If we do not distinguish right from wrong, Thoreau argued that we will eventually lose the capacity to make the distinction and become, instead, morally numb."

    - http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0503e.asp [fff.org]

    The journalists who are jailed felt telling the truth & standing by their morals was more important than freedom. Even a good form of government is "liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it." Moreover, even if a government did express the voice of the people, this fact would not compel the obedience of individuals who disagree with what is being said. The majority may be powerful but it is not necessarily right.

    Perhaps the best description of Thoreau's ideal relationship occurs in his description of "a really free and enlightened State" that recognizes "the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived."

    • This image of principled individuals with high levels of integrity diligently uncovering sleaze, wrong-doings and corruption looks good in films. However in real-life, most journalists write sensationalised, shrill, bloat that is verging on the libellous - merely to sell their articles as freelancers or to desperately try to boost the ratings of whichever rag was dumb enough to employ them.

      Given the overwhelming proportion of trash that is churned out: both online and wasting newsprint, on a daily basis -

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by theaveng (1243528)

        Yeah because "You libeled me," is a really good reason to deprive a writer of his/her freedom.

        Not.

      • by terrahertz (911030) on Friday December 05, 2008 @09:10AM (#26001687)
        You seem to miss the point that no matter how disposable yellow journalism might be, the types of stories that get journalists arrested are the ones that you and I, regular people, typically need to hear about in order to be informed participants in modern society. Do you really think China is jailing its journalists for "shrill bloat"?
        • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

          I call bullshit on both your posts. China is jailing bloggers, not journalists.

          • by jafiwam (310805) on Friday December 05, 2008 @11:11AM (#26002833) Homepage Journal

            Do us all a favor o graciously arrogant one, and share with us your omnipresent definition of a journalist, be sure to highlight in particular the part that clearly carves out a blogger as not being a journalist.

            Oh, and fuck off too.

            • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

              Real journalists have integrity. Real journalists present data in an unbiased fashion, without spin. Real journalist check their sources, don't manufacture news, and don't commit plagiarism, all of which is rampant on blogs.

              I bet you are a wanna-be journalist who does all of the above.

              Now shut your hole and go fuck yourself, pissant.

              • Real journalists have integrity. Real journalists present data in an unbiased fashion, without spin. Real journalist check their sources, don't manufacture news, and don't commit plagiarism, all of which is rampant on blogs.

                And can you provide an example? Off the top of my head, I can't think of one.

                • by bhiestand (157373) *

                  Real journalists have integrity. Real journalists present data in an unbiased fashion, without spin. Real journalist check their sources, don't manufacture news, and don't commit plagiarism, all of which is rampant on blogs.

                  And can you provide an example? Off the top of my head, I can't think of one.

                  Bill Moyers [pbs.org].

              • Yup, real media never have problems with reporters making stuff up [nytimes.com], or plagiarism [plagiarismtoday.com], or using DoD Propaganda [editorandpublisher.com] as articles or even using altered photographs [nppa.org]. Yup, every single person in the professional traditional media holds to the finest standards of journalism.

                • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

                  Go read my comments in other threads.

                  Occasionally, writers get jobs as journalists and then precede to give the profession a black eye. It has been happening more and more as of late.

                  Blogging, however, is built upon lies, half-truths, spin, unsubstantiated claims, and plagiarism.

                  • by theaveng (1243528)

                    Kinda like the "yellow journalism" of the 1980s-era newspapers. Why you think traditional print media is any better than electronic media makes no sense to me. Newspaper reporters have a lot in common with bloggers.

                    Oh, and I guess next you'll tell us "Thomas Edison was not a real engineer" just because he never held a college degree. There's more to people than whether or not they hold a piece of sheepskin..... there's talent. An amateur blogger can be just as good a journalist as someone who holds a P

                  • OK, so you don't like me painting traditional media with a broad brush, but you tear the heck out of anyone who calls you for doing the same thing to bloggers.

                    Seriously, I hope to heck YOU are not a journalist, because your objectivity is seriously lacking.

                    Blogging is not built on anything. It is what the individual blogger makes of it. Yup, IMO most of it is pointless drivel, and a lot of it is seriously slanted or of questionable accuracy. But there are a number of bloggers who are extremely professional.

              • Real journalists have integrity. Real journalists present data in an unbiased fashion, without spin. Real journalist check their sources, don't manufacture news, and don't commit plagiarism, all of which is rampant on blogs.

                I bet you are a wanna-be journalist who does all of the above.

                Now shut your hole and go fuck yourself, pissant.

                Please identify more than one publication that prints primarily submissions from what you define as "journalists". And why haven't you submitted stories from this publication to slashdot?

                • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

                  Time magazine, NewsWeek, the NYT, the Washington Post, etc, etc, etc.

                  And, I have submitted stories from those sources, but others have done so before me so my submissions never make it to front page.

                  You will note, not a single blog among those sources.

          • by theaveng (1243528)

            By your narrow definition, Benjamin Franklin and his printing press was "merely blogging" not journalism.

            Of course that distinction is nonsense. Anyone who publishes is a journalist, whether he's using a printing press or a website.

            • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

              No, that is not true. The difference between a journalist and a blogger and/or writer is that a journalist tries to publish the true facts. Mere writers and bloggers don't bother with the unbiased truth, have no problem manufacturing or hiding information to support their spin, and have no qualms about plagiarizing entire articles.

              • Where did you get the idea that bias was something you could even get away from? All reporting of any merit contains at least some bias. It's the crap news shows that pretend to be fair and balanced.
              • by theaveng (1243528)

                So someone who "publishes true facts" can no longer be called a blogger?

                Bassbackwards.

              • Mere writers and bloggers don't bother with the unbiased truth, have no problem manufacturing or hiding information to support their spin, and have no qualms about plagiarizing entire articles.

                - DaveV1.0

                So by your definition -- 'writers and bloggers' are plagiarizing liars, and conversely 'journalists' are not? What universe are you living in? Is the reality distortion field that surrounds you set so high that it blocks out logic and common sense?

                I'm not a professional journalist. I am a writer. I've never plagiarized anything (though I was accused once by a professor that couldn't believe I had the skill to write as well as I do - and proved him wrong), I've never lied or misrepresented facts, and nev

          • by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday December 05, 2008 @12:47PM (#26004041) Homepage Journal

            China is jailing bloggers, not journalists.

            That's because they've already executed the journalists.

          • I call bullshit on both your posts. China is jailing bloggers, not journalists.

            What makes someone a "journalist"? What makes a "blogger" not a "journalist"? Third question, why does it matter if someone who is jailed for what they publish is a "journalist", "blogger", or just some ordinary Schmoe?

      • by sorak (246725) on Friday December 05, 2008 @10:42AM (#26002537)

        I had a similar thought, but we're not talking about WorldNetDaily or Matt Drudge...

        (From TFA)

        China continued to be world's worst jailer of journalists, a dishonor it has held for 10 consecutive years.

        The article goes on to mention other countries, such as Cuba. So, in the most oppressive nations on Earth, people saying illegal things do it on the internet, instead of television or radio...

        It doesn't seem very surprising when put in that context...

        • In other words, try getting a full time job as a dissident journalist in China, Burma, or Cuba. Or see what happens when you try to mail order a printing press or TV station or even a copy machine. Since "professional journalists" are tools of the state in these countries, the internet is all they've got.

      • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

        However in real-life, most journalists write sensationalised [sic], shrill, bloat that is verging on the libellous [sic]

        Someone is jealous of all that book learnin'.

    • by ErikZ (55491) * on Friday December 05, 2008 @10:38AM (#26002495)

      Thoreau didn't have a wife and kids. His job was living in Ralph Waldo Emerson's house.

      It's easy to make a stand when you're taking no risks and no one depends on you.

      • True enough, but some of us made a conscious choice NOT to have kids (or pets!) because of that.

        If I felt it was safe enough to have kids and stick to my morals, I probably would have.

  • Is this for REAL? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nulled (1169845) on Friday December 05, 2008 @06:49AM (#26000921)
    People are going to JAIL for speaking their minds? In a blogging sense, this only clarifies that the Internet Blogosphere is being taken seriously. The ones in jail are probably blogging about anti-government related things, probably in countries where people are actually being killed. In countries like the middle-east, cuba or other very rough climated countries. But, the average blogger in UK. US, Australia and etc, blogging about how microsoft vista SUX, do not fit in this category. So, fear not bloggers, oh and BLOG ON.
    • by Captain Splendid (673276) * <capsplendid.gmail@com> on Friday December 05, 2008 @06:53AM (#26000951) Homepage Journal
      RIGHT ON

      I think I've got a HARD ON

      And I'm gonna ROCK ON

      Keep on coming on COME ON

      On and on and on and on til the BREAK OF DAWN

      I'm done.
    • by amam12 (1405915)
      It does speak clearly to that fact that Bloggers are being taken seriously, but I wouldn't have fathomed how many people are in jail for thier content.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In countries like the middle-east

      What's the capital of the middle-east again?

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by hailukah (1270532)

        What's the capital of the middle-east again?

        Iraq, that's where the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center are from.

        • Actually ,as you probably know, according to the U.S. government, most of the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center were from Saudi Arabia.
    • by RobertinXinyang (1001181) on Friday December 05, 2008 @09:19AM (#26001763)

      "The ones in jail are probably blogging about anti-government related things"

      Not always. I was threatened with jail for writing a book review (it really was a crappy book). The charge was "interfering with a trade good." The rational was that a book is an item offered for sale, thus a trade good. Writing a poor review of it had the potential of negatively impacting sales, thus interference.

      As I am sure you can guess (by the fact that I am here to post this) I pulled the book review and all mention of it and the author from my blog.

      So, it is not just anti-government things. In this case the book was a very poor workbook that intended to teach English though watching movies written by a total crank.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by moose_hp (179683)
        You could have posted that as a slashdot entry (with copy of the emails and scans of the legal documents) or something like that for a very cool Streisand effect... before going to jail >.>;
      • by operagost (62405)

        So, it is not just anti-government things. In this case the book was a very poor workbook that intended to teach English though watching movies written by a total crank.

        Its title was, "Learning to speak American, the Michael Moore Way."

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday December 05, 2008 @06:53AM (#26000959)

    Stuff on mainstream media has to pass through an editorial board. So potentially "criminal" reports get stopped there.

    The board will know to not report something like, "the Grand Hoo-haw of our country is a stupid jerk."

    Because the Grand Hoo-haw will take offense, and toss the whole staff in jail.

    Bloggers, well, they just blog whatever they want. That's why they are sometimes much more interesting and insightful than mainstream stuff.

    • by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday December 05, 2008 @07:20AM (#26001093)
      It also results in insane amounts of slander and libel. Rumours get posted as fact, fact checking is non-existant (is your average joe blogger really likely to have contacts who would be able to officially deny or confirm something?).

      Reading blogs is often like reading a trashy tabloid, only they're even more comfortable posting outright lies.

      Blogs can make a good starting point for finding info on something but overall they generally only post stuff that doesn't appear in papers or news channels because they lack the quality control or journalistic integrity of news organisations.

      • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Friday December 05, 2008 @08:19AM (#26001371)

        News stations/traditional media: give you one angle, theirs, decided by what's going to get them sued and what's going to sell most copies. What's "true" is a minor concern if it could get them sued.

        Bloggers: Give you every angle, largely ignoring what could get them sued, getting most hits could be considered to be like selling most copies but since there's rarely significant money involved this has a very small effect. "true" amounts to whatever the blogger opinion is.

        Are we lumping board in with bloggers?
        I have gotten sick of reading my national newspapers because I got sick of seeing so many stories (a week after I'd seen them online) where half the important facts of the situation were left out entirely and you could see the reporter had decided that X was guilty or that Y had happened and only presented that half of it in the story.

        Example:
        A story a few years ago about a woman who's twins had died because she refused to have a Csection. The (respectable) national newspaper presented the story as a "look how selfish this woman was, she killed her children becuase she was afraid of blemishing her body with a scar, she should have been forced to have a Csection!(for the children)" I should mention that this newspaper tends to push the view of women as incubators whenever abortion issues pop up.

        Of course I'd read the story online before that and had run into the little fact that this woman already had kids, at least one of whom had been born by Csection and so she already had csection scars. The newspapers didn't feel that this fact was important yet it completely tore apart their whole story.

        But sure those evil bloggers with their lies! they just want to put "real jornalists" out of a job!

        With message boards when someone does that another person will jump in with the second half and call bullshit(normally). When newspapers present exactly half the story people treat it as gospel. "I read it in the newspaper!"

        Blogs and message boards are a hundred times better to get your information from than all but the very very best traditional news media.

        If you only ever read one blog your going to get worse information than from reading one newspaper, on the other hand if you read a few message boards you're likely to get much much much better info than you'll get from the same stories presented in a few normal newspapers.

        Lies by omission are still lies and I'd prefer to be told the whole truth along with a pile of falsities than be told only the half of the truth which supports some hacks beliefs or agenda.

      • Wrong... I disagree here.

        Yes some bloggers spew. BUT those bloggers that are serious about their stuff, and the ones that are probably being jailed it is because they believe in freedom of speech.

        The main stream media is not a media anymore. They are more interested in appeasing people than actually telling about issues. It is easy to spew about the church, or spew about governments in certain places.

        The people of power have learned that they can hold reporters at bay if they feel the reporters is getting

        • by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday December 05, 2008 @11:39AM (#26003169)
          The trouble is, they don't say things 'as they are' they say things that fit in with their view. At least with with newspapers, the fact they'll get sued means they have to reign in their viewpoints. With bloggers they don't have to (or at least don't feel the need to).

          They'll twist any story to meet their means any if they need to add cridibility to their viewpoint, 10 minutes on google will find you a view by someone who is incredibly qualified that will match the point you're trying to make. No matter how stupid.

          The US election and the primaries brought out the very worst in the blogosphere. Take the whole Ron Paul fad. A commodity backed economy cannot and does not work in a global economy (evidenced by the fact that not a single country does it and the last attempts to create one failed). However suddenly everyone on the blogosphere who went crazy after Ron Paul went into overdrive. They found books that backed him, they found economists they'd never heard of before and built them up to be incredibly famous, powerful people who are never wrong.

          Bloggers are after their scoop. They'll scan speeches for out of context quotes, twist around statistics, post slight glimmers of rumours as major exclusives. All so they can get Dugg or Reddit or whatever.

          • The US election and the primaries brought out the very worst in the blogosphere. Take the whole Ron Paul fad. A commodity backed economy cannot and does not work in a global economy (evidenced by the fact that not a single country does it and the last attempts to create one failed).

            I'm not a Ron Paul supporter, but what kind of logic is this? The absence of a current example doesn't mean it can not be done.

            Besides I come from France, and for a time, the only way we got our country's currency trusted again

      • by ErikZ (55491) *

        It sounds like you have no idea what it takes to be a successful blogger.

        You can't just spew your thoughts on a page. You need references. And if you're the type of blogger that does write articles with references, it's not that hard to call someone to get an official statement.

        Do you have to drive for a living to be a good driver?

      • It also results in insane amounts of slander and libel. Rumours get posted as fact, fact checking is non-existant (is your average joe blogger really likely to have contacts who would be able to officially deny or confirm something?).

        You mean like how the mainstream media reports things like how lots of children get killed every year by handguns, only to find out from more informed sources that most of those "children" are late-teenage gangbanger? How about the way that the media reports incidents like wha

    • by PMuse (320639)

      So, why are so many online journalists being jailed?

      1. The number of online journalists now exceeds the number of offline journalists.
      2. Online journalists (on average!) do more illegal things that offline journalists due to lack of formal training.
      3. When arrested, offline journalists (typically) have support/lawyers to get them out while online journalists (typically) do not.
  • China continued to be world's worst jailer of journalists, a dishonor it has held for 10 consecutive years. Cuba, Burma, Eritrea, and Uzbekistan round out the top five jailers from among the 29 nations that imprison journalists. Each of the top five nations has persistently placed among the world's worst in detaining journalists.

    Uh, aren't they also like the worse for real human rights anyway regardless of their own internal propaganda? Well at least Cuba has good health care so their jailed journalist sho

    • How do YOU know? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mangu (126918)

      Well at least Cuba has good health care so their jailed journalist should be getting some good care.

      Who told you that? The Cuban government. Suppose it isn't true, no one is allowed to say so.

      IF the Cuban health care were as good as the Cuban government claims, then why the censorship? Any government would be pretty happy to let journalists report freely on it. Since the press is not free in Cuba, it only stands to reason that the situation there is much worse than the Cuban government is willing to admit.

      • by schon (31600)

        I think you're reading more into Shivetya's post than was said.

        Nobody said anything about censoring a report about health care.

      • by whoop (194)

        Um, where have you been? Michael Moore said so, therefore it must be true!

  • they send internet journalists to jail or do they just assassinate them like the other journalists.
  • by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday December 05, 2008 @07:14AM (#26001069)
    A lot of bloggers are being jailed I imagine for basically thinking the laws that journalists have to follow don't apply to them yet, when they get arrested they demand the protection journalists get.

    Most common thing is libel. In some places this can be criminal but in most it's a civil offence. If you're posting "xyz did indecent things to a barnyard animal" and it's a post that is meant to be taken seriously, it's no different to doing the same thing in a newspaper. You're posting lies about someone in a public manner.

    Other common areas on contention are court orders. Orders banning people from posting names and addresses (most commonly done to protect children involved in crimes or to stop lynch mobs being formed for people accused of a bad crime) apply to everyone, not just the big papers.

    You don't have the automatic right to post classified or confidential information either. A good quote (from the UK Press complaints commision) is "something that is of interest to the public is not always in the public's interests". People may be fascinated that you've hacked in to Britney Spears' email account. Does that mean you should be able to publish her emails and not be punished? This is something a lot of bloggers need to realise.

    • >A good quote (from the UK Press complaints commision) is "something that is of interest to the public is not always in the public's interests".

      I take offense with this comment. Yes your example is correct in legal terms, but I would argue your example and statement have nothing to do with each other. The email example is illegal regardless if you publish the emails or not.

      What I think the UK press comment was getting at is if you should publish something just because the public is interested in it, even

  • by ACK!! (10229)
    I wonder if this is simply a reflection of the sheer number of bloggers out there in the world. Besides let me get on my high horse and say a journalist is a journalist and a blogger is a blogger. They both have their place but a blogger with a few exceptions are not online journalists. They are frickin bloggers. Each have their place and their uses and I am not saying one is better than the other. But they are not the same.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      From TFA:

      "CPJ does not apply a rigid definition of online journalism, but it carefully evaluates the work of bloggers and online writers to determine whether the content is journalistic in nature. In general, CPJ looks to see whether the content is reportorial or fact-based commentary. In a repressive society where the traditional media is restricted, CPJ takes an inclusive approach to work that is produced online."

    • by eggnet (75425)

      Agreed. I think a better statistic would be the percent of bloggers jailed vs the percent of journalists jailed.

    • by timeOday (582209)

      I wonder if this is simply a reflection of the sheer number of bloggers out there in the world.

      I'm sure it's at least partly that - which means that the Internet is indeed having an unprecedented democratizing effect on the media, and that repressive governments are feeling pressure from larger numbers of citizens than ever before. If your implication was that only the rate of imprisonment between various media is significant, I disagree entirely. A broad, grass-roots consensus in favor of freedom around

  • So, worldwide there are 125 "journalists" in jail. Personally, I'd expect the number of people from any job (I nearly said "profession" - ha ha) who are in jail - across the entire planet to be much, much higher than this. Even if it's for non-job related reasons.

    What we actually have is a fall in the numbers from a few years ago - and including pretty much antone who writes a blog as being a journalist is misleading. Further, since pretty much every "paper" journalist gets published online, there is no r

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dutch Gun (899105)

      In short, this article sounds like some guy bleating on and trying to get attention that frankly, neither he nor is line of work deserves.

      You're correct in that the number of people "unjustly jailed or persecuted" would be a more meaningful number to most people, and perhaps would be somewhat fairer. My guess is that the relative percentages would remain approximately the same.

      But the reason journalism - or even blogging, if you don't consider them equivalent - is important to protect is because it's inextricably linked to the concept of free speech, which most people acknowledge as a prerequisite for a free and just society. Few other prof

  • This list apparently only includes things the authors think the 'journalists' shouldn't be jailed for. In other words, they disagree with the laws in those countries.

    I'm sick of us meddling in the affairs of other countries. If they want to fix their country, let them come to -us-, not the other way around. If they think their country is hopeless, that's what emigration is for. There are plenty of countries that aren't hopeless.

  • by Arimus (198136) on Friday December 05, 2008 @08:08AM (#26001317)

    Calling someone a journalist just because they write a blog does not make them a journalist...

    • Calling someone a journalist just because they write a blog does not make them a journalist...

      Enlighten us. Just what makes somebody a journalist?

    • Although, if what they write in that blog results in them getting arrested, there's a pretty good chance they're journalists. Hell, there are an awful lot of "real" journalists without the dedication to risk prison.

    • throughout the us and much fo the west, traditional newspaper and television news rooms are dying and laying off personnel left and right. the ad revenue just isn't there anymore

      http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/nbc/nbcu_to_cut_500_jobs_layoffs_begin_at_nbc_news_bureaus_102371.asp [mediabistro.com]

      http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_11142071 [denverpost.com]

      pretty soon, all we will be left with are 10 reporters, the drudgereport and 10,000 bloviating bloggers

      (shudder)

  • simply explained (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@gamerslST ... .com minus berry> on Friday December 05, 2008 @08:11AM (#26001337) Homepage Journal

    online journalists are usually bloggers. They just don't have the legal protections that a print or tv journalist would have with the backing of their corporate entity.

  • proud of the west (Score:5, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Friday December 05, 2008 @09:22AM (#26001791) Homepage Journal

    you can't slander the king in thailand, you can't talk about nazism in germany, you can't besmirch attaturk in turkey, you can't question islam most anywhere islamic, you dare not question the technocrats in china, you dare not be a journalist writing stories critical of the kremlin in russia, you dare not question the tinpot dictator in autocratic countries, etc., etc., etc.

    but in much of the west: canada, australia, the usa, i can, for example, call gw bush a fucking moron, and i haven't the faintest doubt nothing bad will come of me for that

    that reallty means something in this world

    and you who question my pride in the west for this freedom: you have something you wish to criticize about the west and its behavior?

    ok. go ahead

    thereby further proving my point ;-)

    • by kellyb9 (954229)

      and you who question my pride in the west for this freedom: you have something you wish to criticize about the west and its behavior?

      I have something I'D like to critisize... ahref=http://xkcd.com/503/rel=url2html-2206 [slashdot.org]http://xkcd.com/503/>. Sorry couldn't help it.

    • The experiment being attempted in America is that of convincing people to police themselves without the heavy-handed direct tactics of old. Seems to be working. As Henry Ford might have put it, "You can have any president you want, so long as it's Barak."

      That being said, the West doesn't have an entirely clean slate with regard to the treatment of on-line journalists. Amy Goodman could describe something about it. Of course, her arrest didn't come on orders from the top down, but the enforcers who arres

      • you must suffer the bloviating of morons

        if, locked in a room and forced to listen to the contents of your dimwittedness for longer than 10 minutes, i might be persuaded to give up freedom of expression and freedom of the press in order to shut the likes of you up

        9/11 truthers
        creationists
        fluoridated water/ chemtrail conspiracists
        fred phelps and westboro nutjobs
        etc

        great flying spaghetti monster save me! chinese style censorial autocracy please! ;-P

        • See? Freedom of expression is meaningless when self-policing works so well.

          Militant ignorance is worn like an arm band these days. --Though, you might want to reconsider the whole creationism thing if you really want to rise through the ranks rather than molder among the aging recruits.

          -FL

  • by Steauengeglase (512315) on Friday December 05, 2008 @09:31AM (#26001851)

    I know it sounds arrogant, but in the age to automobiles you aren't going to have has many injuries in a buggy whip factory.

    There is also something else. The reporter whose stories are going up on the paper's website is going to have a greater range of stories because printing is expensive and database storage is cheap. More stories lead to less stringent editing ("its just going up on the website") and it leads to more trouble.

  • They do not follow the tenets of journalism, therefore they are not journalists and do not deserve the protection accorded journalists.

    Sadly, many print reporters are now following the bloggers and are no longer acting as journalists and should be stripped of their journalistic protections.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ErikZ (55491) *

      I just tried looking them up "tenets of journalism" in Google, and they're not listed anywhere I could find.

      So either there aren't any, or they're so obscure that not even GOOGLE knows what they are.

    • by Thelasko (1196535)

      Sadly, many print reporters are now following the bloggers and are no longer acting as journalists and should be stripped of their journalistic protections.

      Who are you to decide? I wish journalists had more integrity too, but this is the 21st century, we're all journalists now. Even you!

      • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

        So, it being the 21st century is an excuse for not having integrity?

        No, we are not all journalists. You can call a turd a rose, but that does not make it a rose nor does it smell as sweet.

    • by Qzukk (229616)

      protection accorded journalists

      What "protection accorded journalists"?

    • I'd say that you have it exactly backwards - the protection journalists have is the protection everyone's supposed to have.

      Journalism is made possible by freedom of press and speech, freedom of speech and press are not made possible by journalism. Nobody should ever be stripped of "journalistic protections" - although outright provable and malicious libel and slander should be punishable via civil suit.

      The last thing any of us should ever want is a controlled press that is a cartel of, by, and for the "eli

    • What protection should journalists get the "regular people" do not?

      If you mean protecting their sources, I say, bollocks. You can't know until they've actually done it just how far a journalist will go to protect their source. Prison time isn't a punishment for a journalist, it's a resume builder.

      Plus, there is the question of what the journalist is protecting his source from. Retribution for leaking, certainly, but crimes committed? gray.

      It gets even muddier when the leak is the crime. Certainly you

  • Given that one must apply the 90% Bullsh*t Rule of the Internet before buying into anything you read on there, I'd say this doesn't surprise me. The problem I have with these so-called journalists on the internet especially those of the blogger ilk is that they are not required to back up their drivel with actual corroborated facts which are then submitted to an editorial board for verification. What's worse is that so many morons believe this crap. That's not to say that traditional media outlets are bl

    • People don't get arrested for false reporting. Truth holds little value for those in power. --People get arrested for irritating those with the power to do something about it.

      The 90% bullshit rule still applies, naturally, (though, I'd round it up another nine percentage points). But in that top 1%, some innovative and interesting control measures start to show up. --Third party bullying, hacking, and information pollution sponsored by the usual suspects. There's more ways to harass a writer than by sw

  • Is this any surprise? Internet reporters are unlikely to have a mega-media-corporation backing them up with armies of attorneys to save them.

  • Goodness! There appears to be a large number of people who still seem to buy into the idea that on-line journalists are not 'real' journalists. This speaks of something very significant.

    People who voice dissent have throughout history been persecuted. But now there's a flashy new system in place in the West, whereby the public itself condemns and self-polices its own thinking by castigating outspoken people for not conforming to the 'official' definition of Person On A Soapbox. --That's all journalists

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken

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