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Online Reporters Now the Journalists Most Often Jailed

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the three-hots-and-cot-and-a-beating dept.

The Media 147

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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FIRST TROUT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000841)

I AM A FISH!

Re:FIRST TROUT! (-1, Offtopic)

arotenbe (1203922) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000871)

I have mod points, but I couldn't bring myself to mod you offtopic. It's just too weird a comment.

Now go swim upstream and spawn.

Re:FIRST TROUT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000879)

Or die. Preferably.

Re:FIRST TROUT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26003307)

I have mod points, but I couldn't bring myself to mod you offtopic.

Apparently, not everyone had that problem.

Re:FIRST TROUT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26002437)

Thought so ! Now swim off, OK ?

knowing their rights (5, Interesting)

TBoon (1381891) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:knowing their rights (2)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001251)

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 (2, Insightful)

a302b (585285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26003093)

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...

Re:sadly true (1)

slashtivus (1162793) | more than 5 years ago | (#26003277)

Sigh. The world today...

Oppression is definitely nothing new to the world, it has been going on for most of human history.

No, the real shame (2, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26004459)

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.

Re:knowing their rights (4, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001873)

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...

Re:knowing their rights (1)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002759)

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.

Grammar? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26000915)

The title lacks "to be" verb right?

Thank god someone is putting them in jail (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26001267)

There are two many of them, and their articles usually suck.

Henry David Thoreau & Ghandi (5, Interesting)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#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."

yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (1, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001379)

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 - getting more of these people off the streets and out of our lives would be a public service. If that involves jailing them, well too bad.

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (2, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001459)

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

Not.

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (4, Insightful)

terrahertz (911030) | more than 5 years ago | (#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"?

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002259)

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

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (3, Insightful)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002833)

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.

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26004275)

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.

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26004465)

I guarantee that your parents are ashamed to have you as a child.

"Pissant"? Did you seriously use that word? Did we go back to the nineties?

Your "Journal" eats cock, by the way. Nice "blogging" attempt, shitbird.

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26004901)

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.

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26002841)

China is jailing bloggers, not journalists.

The difference in China being the blessing of the State in assigning press credentials.

Remember, big government is watching out for you!

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (1)

malcomreynolds (1358799) | more than 5 years ago | (#26003359)

Just like the government defining what is torture and what not.

Remember, big government is watching out for you!

Isn't that what Bush keeps telling us?

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26003315)

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.

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26004363)

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.

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (3, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26004041)

China is jailing bloggers, not journalists.

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

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26004661)

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?

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (3, Insightful)

sorak (246725) | more than 5 years ago | (#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...

Re:yebbut - this isn't what most journo's do (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 5 years ago | (#26003759)

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'.

Re:Henry David Thoreau & Ghandi (5, Insightful)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Henry David Thoreau & Ghandi (1)

BaronHethorSamedi (970820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26003111)

Only too true. I've never liked the civil disobedience letter--Thoreau's great sacrifice was spending a single evening in a comfortable jail, for refusing to pay a (modest, if not negligible) poll tax. The whole context of the essay sort of gives me the impression that Thoreau was jailed, not as a political dissident, but because some poor poll officer didn't know what else to do with him. Also, the whole essay would roll off the tongue a little easier if Thoreau hadn't been bailed out of jail by his aunt shortly after he went in (though admittedly he didn't want her to do this).

Re:Henry David Thoreau & Ghandi (1)

boyko.at.netqos (1024767) | more than 5 years ago | (#26003383)

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.

Protest versus Imprisonment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26002525)

Because he detested slavery and because tax revenues contributed to the support of it, Thoreau decided to become a tax rebel.

His protest also stemmed from his objections to the Mexican-American War, which I think are more relevant in modern times. One can imagine a protester doing the same thing during the Iraq War. (Interesting thought experiment: would you regard such a person as a hero or a hippie?)

But how can such a symbolic protest be compared to a journalist exercising their human right to free speech? The tax evader expects and wishes imprisonment. Thoreau wasn't happy when his taxes were paid by a relative and he was freed. The journalist, on the other hand, does not want to be imprisoned. They just want to communicate. This makes their imprisoning a violation of their basic rights, not a natural part of their protest. Journalists want to be freed so they can continue to publish.

Is this for REAL? (5, Insightful)

nulled (1169845) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Is this for REAL? (4, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000951)

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.

Re:Is this for REAL? (1)

amam12 (1405915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000961)

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:Is this for REAL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26001277)

I work for a company that does market research and gets consumer response and feedback for several multinationals from the "blogosphere". so.... yeah, Blogs and forums are certainly taken seriously.

Re:Is this for REAL? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26001011)

In countries like the middle-east

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

Re:Is this for REAL? (1, Funny)

hailukah (1270532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001085)

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

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

Re:Is this for REAL? (0, Troll)

Davidis (1390527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001237)

Just so you know. The middle east is a region of the world which includes many Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. IF you want a capital for a world region whats the capital of the american continent Brazil? Argentina? Canada? (still waiting for the sarcasm tag btw)

Re:Is this for REAL? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26001415)

Are you kidding? You need a sarcasm tag? Really? Maybe I need a sarcasm tag for your post, because the sarcasm in the GP was really very obvious. He was mocking the same type of ignorance the AC was pointing out.

I suppose it's a good thing he was modded troll, though. In less civilized parts of the world the people without senses of humor throw people in jail for speaking their minds.

Gads. It's no wonder sarcasm is so popular these days. You can hit people in the head with a brick and they don't even feel it. If it's not over-the-top apparently it's not sarcasm anymore. Subtle irony is right out.

Re:Is this for REAL? (3, Insightful)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Is this for REAL? (2, Interesting)

moose_hp (179683) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002485)

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 >.>;

Lack of an editorial board. (4, Informative)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Lack of an editorial board. (3, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Lack of an editorial board. (4, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Lack of an editorial board. (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001383)

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 a special scoop. You know the one on one feeling. Like, "hey I will give you an interview, but here is what we need to talk about." Bloggers don't give a flying hoot and as such will say things as they are. They will say, "you know you are an idiot" because they don't want nor care about "special access."

I know that this is the real issue since it has happened quite a few times with me. Now I just don't care anymore...

Re:Lack of an editorial board. (4, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Lack of an editorial board. (0, Offtopic)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002009)

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.

And also because they aren't hookers.

Re:Lack of an editorial board. (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002435)

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?

You also described the media (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002483)

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 what happened in Jena Louisiana? Then there's the blatant partisanship of the media during most elections.

"Journalistic integrity" is a myth.

Re:Lack of an editorial board. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26003543)

At the same time the "professional" media doesn't really verify anything either. A friend of mine was on the news once, they didn't even get his name right and pretty much all the details of the story they presented were completely fictional. It was an eye opener to see events, names and dates I knew about first hand presented completely differently as "fact".

Puts the rest of what I see on the news into perspective. That was ten years ago, I haven't watched the news or read a newspaper since. And guess what? I find out about everything that directly influences my life, from factual real life sources.

Re:Lack of an editorial board. (1)

PMuse (320639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26004493)

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.

Getting up on the cross again, I see (0, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26000997)

Ugh, I despise when journalists get up on the cross and moan about how oppressed they are. I used to have sympathy for this sort of thing, before it was made obvious to all that journalists are mostly of despicable character. Seriously, I used to be a big supporter of press freedom, back before I saw it so ruthlessly abused to serve the political ends of those who run the industry.

Re:Getting up on the cross again, I see (1)

Adrilla (830520) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001013)

I don't believe these particular journalists are getting up on any crosses as they won't fit into the cells these journalists are currently confined to.

Re:Getting up on the cross again, I see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26001223)

But if we don't have press freedom, the politicians will still ruthlessly abuse it, it's just the non-mainstream opinions which will be silenced.

Re:Getting up on the cross again, I see (4, Insightful)

pzs (857406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001425)

Are you using the fact that some journalists are arse-holes to justify curtailing freedom of speech? That's mental.

The principle of press-freedom is separate from how that freedom is used in individual cases. That freedom is an absolutely vital component of a healthy democracy, because it means that corrupt or self-serving officials always have the fear that what they do will be uncovered and made public.

Yes, some journalists are whiny bitches. However, we must fight with all our might to protect their freedom to make a fuss.

Re:Getting up on the cross again, I see (-1, Flamebait)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001593)

All journalists are whiny bitches and idiots to boot.

Fixed.

Re:Getting up on the cross again, I see (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002651)

No, as a matter of fact, I'm not "justifying curtailing of speech". I'm just expressing a total lack of sympathy. It has nothing whatsoever to do with our treasured rights and freedoms, and getting up on the cross like this about "press freedom" when the issue doesn't touch it, is EXACTLY WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.

Re:Getting up on the cross again, I see (2, Insightful)

pzs (857406) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002987)

You're right that it's annoying when these guys whinge. However, it's not too hard to just ignore it. All I'm saying is that the alternative to letting them whinge is a good deal worse.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26001007)

Slashdot Reporter bckspc has been jailed, details at 6.

Are we supposed to be surprised by the list? (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001021)

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 should be getting some good care.

As for the US and Iraq, well if your in a war zone your just as lucky to get arrested as shot. Seems we forgot all the horrors of real war. Sometimes getting arrested or detained may save their life as some of the other forces over there aren't so nice to the press.

Then again we like to exaggerate things today to make ourselves feel as if we are suffering, cue all the calls for Depression 2. If ours isn't the wimpiest generation I don't know whose was.

How do YOU know? (2, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001723)

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.

Re:How do YOU know? (1)

schon (31600) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002283)

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

Nobody said anything about censoring a report about health care.

Re:How do YOU know? (1)

whoop (194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002753)

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

I wonder if in Russia... (2, Interesting)

elthicko (1399175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001043)

they send internet journalists to jail or do they just assassinate them like the other journalists.

Re:I wonder if in Russia... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26003189)

That's the feeblest version of the "in Soviet Russia..." meme ever.

Re:I wonder if in Russia... (1)

jvkjvk (102057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26004207)

That's because often times, the truth talks softly.

Bloggers have their heads in the sand (3, Interesting)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Bloggers have their heads in the sand (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001413)

>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 though it may be potentially harmful to somebody.

An example that comes to mind is this credit crisis. Here we have oodles and oodles of reporters talking about the market meltdown, when it would be in the best interest of the public to not make it so dramatic.

I think these reports are not helpful, but this is where balance comes to mind. We need people to take the other side and say, "hey you know what this is crazy."

Re:Bloggers have their heads in the sand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26002771)

Serious question:
Does that mean people like Alex Jones of infowars.com aren't in jail yet because all they write is true, or are conspiracy theories an accepted form of satire?

Re:Bloggers have their heads in the sand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26002893)

Right; so you "imagine".

Re:Bloggers have their heads in the sand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26002899)

Freedom cannot be re-organized or broken down into "selective" freedoms which apply differently from one individual to another. Are we really that far down the road to totalitarianism that we can't see the fundamental difference?

Sheer numbers??? (0, Troll)

ACK!! (10229) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001073)

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:Sheer numbers??? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26001147)

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."

Re:Sheer numbers??? (1)

eggnet (75425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001163)

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

Re:Sheer numbers??? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26004243)

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 the globe is just what we should be working for.

muddled and meaningless (2, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001165)

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 real differentiation between the two groups.

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.

Re:muddled and meaningless (2, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26004767)

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 professions - or jobs, if you prefer - have that significance.

I don't think you necessarily have to put journalists (I liked them better when they called themselves reporters) on a pedestal in order to acknowledge the importance of the concept their job represents.

Biased (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001281)

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.

Bloggers aren't journalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26001301)

Especially not you, timothy.

Bloggers are not all journalists (2, Insightful)

Arimus (198136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001317)

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

Re:Bloggers are not all journalists (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002735)

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

Enlighten us. Just what makes somebody a journalist?

simply explained (2, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001337)

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 (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26001791)

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 ;-)

Re:proud of the west (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26002697)

God bless America.

Strangely, no sarcasm this time.

Re:proud of the west (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002761)

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.

Re:proud of the west (1)

ibwolf (126465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002915)

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

I don't imagine that you'd get into trouble for calling G.W. Bush "a fucking moron" anywhere.

Re:proud of the west (1)

anti-pop-frustration (814358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002935)

Last time I checked Germany and Europe were part of the west.

Europe and the US of A just have a very different conception of what constitute freedom of speech and hate speech.
Europe has gone through the holocaust, after which they said "never again" and decided to ban some ideas from public discourse. You may disagree with hate speech laws, but the important thing is to understand why these laws were voted in the fist place.

Also, good luck with calling George W. Bush a fucking moron on network television...

Re:proud of the west (1)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26003865)

Europe has gone through the holocaust, after which they said "never again". . .

Never? [wikipedia.org]

BTW - you won't go to jail for calling George Bush or anyone else a fucking moron on American network television - you'll just pay the FCC a hefty fine.

Have a nice day.

More than just bloggers and "new media" types. (2, Interesting)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Most bloggers are not journalists. (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002157)

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:Most bloggers are not journalists. (2, Interesting)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002293)

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.

Re:Most bloggers are not journalists. (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26002583)

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!

Re:Most bloggers are not journalists. (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26004211)

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.

Re:Most bloggers are not journalists. (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26003029)

protection accorded journalists

What "protection accorded journalists"?

90% Bullshiat Rule of the Internet (2, Insightful)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26003691)

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 blameless as well. The simple fact that traditional media survives on advertising dollars means that they don't give a rat's ass about getting the story right as long as it's scandalous and inflammatory because those kind of stories sell and simple just-the-facts-ma'am reporting does not. If the New York Times gets it wrong today, they don't give a damn because they can sell a followup article tomorrow. Why is it that the TV news teases you with clips like "It's one of the deadliest substances known to man and you might be eating it for dinner...the story AFTER the movie........Ummmmmm....is it peas?" But they got you to keep watching their precious advertising. Even DURING the news broadcast they tease you to keep you watching. And what the hell is up with reporters constantly INJECTING OPINION, THEORY, and CONJECTURE into the report? What makes them qualified to do that? I'd bet good money that the so-called investigative journalists haven't the tiniest bit of factual knowledge of what they're blathering about.

Simple: No mega-corporation to back you up. (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 5 years ago | (#26003929)

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

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