Via the New Republic:
Though the Washington Post published one scoop based on [Edward] Snowden’s leak, it is the Guardian, through its new digital only U.S. website, that has provided a structured timeline of exposés and promises more. This is getting to be something of a habit. Three years ago, along with the New York Times, the Guardian was also the main news agency to systematically publish (and redact) excerpts from over 250,000 classified State Department cables. Though Julian Assange’s Wikileaks had been trickling out stories from February 2010, the real impact of the disclosures came with the publication of edited and contextualised material in the mainstream press. In its 2011 annual report, Amnesty International specifically cited the paper’s coverage as a catalyst for a series of risings against repressive regimes, with revelations about the corruption of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, leading to his overthrow. Foreign Policy magazine concluded that the ‘Wikileaks Revolution’ was a catalyst for the Arab Spring.
How did the Guardian—a formerly Manchester-based, 192-year-old left-of-center paper with a print readership of less than 200,000 a day—manage to insert itself into 2013’s biggest news story? In many ways, it’s a classic example of a news organization wringing new scoops out of readers who were impressed by previous ones — in this case on both ideological and operational grounds. According to Snowden, his choice of publisher was determined by the Guardian’s track record in handling both vulnerable intelligence and whistleblowers. “Harming people isn’t my goal,” he told the Guardian. ”Transparency is.”
The Wikileaks publication worked similarly. For transparency’s sake, it’s worth remembering that it wasn’t Assange who orchestrated the release of the cables, but rather an American-born freelance investigative journalist, Heather Brooke, who acquired encrypted data and passwords from another activist and took them to the Guardian. Why the Guardian? “They had a track record in dealing with stories concerned with national security and power,” she told me: “And a proper understanding of how to protect sources.”
FJP: Important to note, as the New Republic does, is that despite its US operations, The Guardian operates more or less as an outsider among the Washington press corp. This allows it to go after adversarial stories without worrying about the inevitable “exclusion from briefings, refusal[s] to confirm or deny stories, or provide interviews from senior politicians and staff.”
— Consultation Paper : Telecom Regulatory Authority of India - have your say by 8th March 2013
The report finds that while media ownership is sometimes obvious, media owners often use their spouse, parents or trusted friends to register their media outlets, making it difficult to obtain clear data on media ownership. For instance, the researcher notes that the connection of presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta with MediaMax (owner of Kameme FM, Milele FM, The People and K24 among others) is factually true but legally untrue because the name of Uhuru Kenyatta does not appear in any legal document."
Set to live blue grass music from Down Hill Strugglers, her all-female models presented her latest Fall 2013 creations.
One model presented a profusion of colour which included a lilac-fold coal coat worn over a leaf green shibon knit shirt and a black/grey/cream crystal pleated tartan skirt with a grey leather belt. Other conspicuous features of this creation included a blood orange slip and circle dress with a zero waste mobius accessory.
A blonde model sported a linden wool/mohair tie jacket/coat with leaf green shibori knit dirndl tie collar shirt with a purple/black mini-check pant.
The collection of techy 21st century fabrics and vintage pindots in wool, pinchecks in cotton and pinstripes in nylon was locally produced and presented at just across the street from her showroom to ensure “sustainability, small carbon footprints and zero waste”.
In an interview with Bernama, Yeohlee said the underlying theme for her latest creations was freedom of expression. “I have emphasised comfort and ease in my latest creations. My clothes are uninhibited by the notion of time or seasons, they can be used in any season anywhere in the world,” she said."
— Malaysian fashion designer Yeohlee Teng finds inspiration for her Fall 2013 collection in Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech. Perhaps an under-utilised medium for media policy advocates?
One of the most consistent observations made by economists of government regulation has been the seemingly inevitable phenomenon of “regulatory capture” (Dal Bó, 2006; Kahn, 1971; Laffont & Tirole, 1991; Levine & Forrence, 1990; Mitnick,1980; Stigler, 1971; Wu, 2010). According to Horwitz (1989), this occurs when a regulatory agency “systematically favors the private interests of regulated parties and systematically ignores the public interest” (emphasis in original, p. 29). The public interest thus becomes “perverted” as a regulator matures through several phases. “As the agency hits old age, it becomes a bureaucratic morass which, because of precedent, serves to protect its industry” (Horwitz, 1989, p. 30). Fraser (2000) used the same analogy of life stages to explain regulatory capture:
In their infancy, regulators show youthful activism. By middle age, they have succumbed to subtle co-option by industry interests. In their final stages of bureaucratic senility, they degenerate into passive interests of the corporate interest under their purview. (p. D11)
By that description, he added, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) provided an excellent example of regulatory capture."
— Marc Edge, in the latest Canadian Journal of Communication.
In this system, the EU’s role – defending the European values of media freedom and pluralism – is further justified by the need to protect its own representative democracy. After all, free and democratic European parliamentary elections could be called into question if some of the member states in which they are held lack media freedom and pluralism.
The fact that the group’s recommendations do not align with much of the media’s reporting on them suggests either that the group’s report overstates its intentions, or that the reading of some media outlets has been skewed. Reports that the group’s recommendations would empower the EU to protect media freedom, not to regulate the media – and even criticism that the recommendations leave too much to national authorities – support the latter interpretation. They also raise questions about why some in the media read so much EU control into the report; maybe the fact that it was an EU report meant more than its content."
Jason Pontin writes a letter to John Stuart Mill on the current challenges of free speech in the context of Google, Facebook and Twitter.