Sunday, January 13, 2008

Roy Greenslade: Press for Freedom

Press for Freedom
Documentary Archive (BBC World Radio)
Roy Greenslade presents this four-part documentary series on the freedom of the press.

Part One - Government control

When reporting, Russian journalists Anna Politkovskaya was critical of the government and sought to expose the human rights abuses of the war in Chechnya. The deputy editor of the newspaper she worked for, Vitaly Yaroshevsky, believed she was killed because of her work. "We don't see any other motive for this terrible crime," he said.

Part one of this series looks at the effects of government control and the risks that journalists take to pursue the truth.

We hear from a young Iraqi journalist - Ali Fedhil - who describes the dangers of being perceived to belong to one press factions in Iraq over another.

Peta Thornycroft talks about the difficulties of being a foreign correspondent in a country that wants to put you in prison.

Part two: Freedom of the internet

How do the motives of mainstream news websites compare with the agendas of blogs?

In this part of 'Press for Freedom', we talk to Iraqi blogger Salam Pax and others who have delivered on-the-ground viewpoints in regions where the government would have otherwise silenced them.

In Kuala Lumpur, we hear from the government-owned Bernama press, who also fund Nam News Network, supposedly the only unfiltered news wire in a non-aligned world.

Part Three - Building democracy

What is the role of radio in building democracy?

In Papua, a new radio station is being installed as part of Indonesia's 68H network. 68H has introduced electricity by building a dam to power the station in the village.

How did 68H get around censorship under Suharto? And why is radio such a key player in building civil society?

Part Four: Established democracies

What is the story of press freedom in established democracies?

What is getting in the way of editorial integrity in societies which apparently have freedom of the press?

In the final part of the series, we hear from Michael Wolff, biographer of News Corp's Rupert Murdoch; former editor of the Los Angeles Times, Dean Baquet; and Dan Gillmor of the Centre for Citizen Media.

To Listen to the Series

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