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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Media freedom is your freedom 

Or so says the slogan on the back of my t-shirt from the Vanuatu Trading Post newspaper which I purchased quite some years ago.

Ironically, I just did a google search on the Trading Post and saw the following comments on the Commonwealth Press Union's website:

"In January 2000 the publisher of Trading Post was deported by the Sope led government following investigations of corruption and fraud by the Prime Minister over bank guarantees.
Three months later the Sope government fell and the following year the ex prime minister was jailed on fraud charges"

Yeah, fool.

Continuing on the media freedom angle the American-led Iraqi government has just banned Arabic news organisation Al Jazeera for a month.

Predictably, there's an excellent article on it in The Guardian, a couple of pars from which read:

"During the war, the Americans were furious that al-Jazeera was able to broadcast from behind 'enemy lines' without permission of coalition forces.
It was able to prove that Basra had not "fallen" as the coalition forces had claimed, because it had supplied locals with cameras and satellite phones before the war.
It showed that the Americans were continuing to bomb Fallujah after a truce had been declared."

It seems that Al Jazeera's coverage of militant groups and their statements/thoughts/hostages and what is happening on the ground is unacceptably real and leads to unfair Iraqi coverage, or as Iraq's interior minister put it:

"They have been showing a lot of crimes and criminals on TV, and they [send] a bad picture about Iraq and about Iraqis and encourage criminals to increase their activities."

Newsflash dork, there are a lot of crimes going on in Iraq with - surprise, surprise - criminals perpetrating them.

Perhaps only Fox News could paint a "good picture" of postwar Iraq:

"These little children used to be bored with life but now thanks to President Bush and the American public they now have these funky little, multicoloured, unexploded bomblets to play with." (satire)

Just to throttle the media freedom subject entirely lets turn to the most recent Cracker blog on public address. In it Damian Christie elegantly describes the difficulty of running a long-term blog:

"The problem with sometimes having opinions on stuff is that – by definition – sometimes you don't. "

(God, that sounds like something Yamis himself could have written)

Christie goes on to say that many blogs fall silent following the removal of the author's "veil of anonymity".

I see his point that many commentators are vociferous only when they can mouth-off unknown.

At bloggingitreal all bloggers blog from behind the security of blogging psedonyms however there are numerous practicle reasons for this:

For me, first and foremost, it means my employer can't see how many hours I spend at my desk each week writing blogs. (1 hour 25min today alone, muhahahaha)
2nd: it means that my employer will never realise the "balding prick" commentry I once proferred was directed at him.
3rd: I can talk freely about political opinions/drug use/thoughts-in-general while remaining semi-anonymous.

(God forbid that a journalist would reveal their political leanings: aka John Campbell.)

Its not that I am unprepared to defend the comment in my blogs, just that its nice to have a rant without the Man watching ya.

(My preparedness to defend my blogging is entirely hypothetical as in the six months that I've been blogging, feedback has ranged somewhere between the non-existent and sweet-fu*kall range!)

On a similar issue, have you seen this?

Follow all the links off it. A surprisingly compelling argument.

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