Help for Haiti’s Journalists

by Genevieve Long for my blog on Media and Foreign Policy for the Foreign Policy Association

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has moved quickly to connect with and help Haitian journalists impacted by the recent earthquake there.

CPJ has responded with direct assistance for basic daily needs to “get them on their feet again”, according to the organization.

CPJ’s Journalist Assistance program is cooperating with Jean Roland Chery. He is a reporter for Radio Haiti-Inter who lives in New York, but maintains an outstanding network of contacts on the ground in Haiti. Through Chery, the CPJ has been able to develop a network of on-the-ground contacts to reach journalists, see what they need, and find out whether partnering with local organizations is possible.

Chery’s blog about Signal FM tells about the only Haitian radio station to have broadcast continuously before and after the Jan. 12 earthquake.

The organization is also in touch with Guylar Delva, Haiti’s leading press freedom advocate, and head of SOS Journalistes, which protects local reporters and promotes professional journalism.

You can read about his experience in the earthquake on the CPJ Blog.

A thaw in U.S.-North Korea relations?–Radio Smart Talk, Thursday, August 6

LISTEN TO MY INTERVIEW ON WITF RADIO HERE

Written by Scott LaMar

Is it a sign of progress?  Former President Bill Clinton’s publicly unannounced trip to North Korea Tuesday, that secured the release of two American journalists, may have opened the door for better cooperation between the two rival nations.

The White House stated that Clinton acted as a private envoy and wasn’t negotiating with North Korea.  The U.S. and several other nations have denounced North Korea for it’s on-going attempts to develop nuclear weapons.  The communist regime of Kim Jong Il launched a long range rocket, conducted a nuclear test, and test fired missiles earlier this year.

It’s not clear if President Clinton discussed nuclear proliferation with Kim.
Will this episode lead to at least the resumption of talks between the U.S. and North Korea?
GUESTS
John Park, Sr. Research Associate, Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, U.S. Institute of Peace
Genevieve Long, a contributing editor for The Epoch Times and a blogger on foreign affairs for the Foreign Policy Association

Chinese Netizen Journalists Face Restrictions

by Genevieve Long for The Foreign Policy Association

In a country like China that is already so restrictive of press freedoms, it’s surprising that the grip of control could be tightened any further. Yet, according to a new press release from the non-governmental organization Freedom House, that’s exactly what is happening.

Freedom House says it is “dismayed by new Chinese Internet restrictions,” which include stricter rules about video sharing websites. The measure follows closely on the heels of a gruesome video that was circulated last week which contained graphic footage of alleged persecution of Tibetans. The video, which was widely circulated, could have been linked to Chinese authorities blocking YouTube.

Of particular concern to Freedom House is a section of the new restrictions which reads:
“The regulations specifically mention videos from “netizen reporters,” who have played a critical role in informing Chinese citizens about police brutality, the melamine scandal, and the lethal consequences of corruption surrounding the Sichuan earthquake.”

Netizen is defined by the dictionary as a blending of the two words citizen and net. So a netizen reporter, under China’s repressive laws governing the dissemination of information and control of information, could be a crucial link between the public and information. Even in the face of the facts that a netizen reporter has no media affiliation or fact-checker or editor, they would still be potentially doing what has been referred to in new media jargon as “acts of journalism”.

The gathering and dissemination of information under the current circumstances in China, even without editorial content or control, could be critical information nonetheless.
Mark Twain once said, “Get your facts first, and then you can distort ‘em as much as you please.” The Chinese people deserve the opportunity to at least have access to the facts, and can then decide what to do with them.

In addition to being a contributing editor for The Epoch Times, Genevieve Long writes the Media and Foreign Policy blog  for the Foreign Policy Association, where this piece was first published.