Archive for the ‘Press Censor’ Category

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Australian Film Classification BoardIn May 2017, the Australian major news platform, news.com.au published an article titled Islamic State terror guide encourages luring victims via Gumtree, eBay A week after it was published on May 31, 2017, the Attorney-General’s office contacted news.com.au to demand it be taken down, saying the Classification Board had ruled it should be refused classification as it directly or indirectly advocated terrorist acts.

It appears to be the first time section 9A of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 has been used to censor a news report, since it was first added in 2007. The action has alarmed the publisher of news.com.au as Australian media in general were not informed the Classification Board had the power to ban news stories or that the eSafety Commissioner had the power to instigate investigations into news articles.

A separate Press Council investigation into the article was commissioned and the Council has ruled in news.com.au favour, accepting there was public interest in its article publicising the disturbing ways Islamic State was trying to target potential victims.

News.com.au has just published the Press Council decision and it reveals that news.com.au was not given the opportunity to defend the article prior to it being censored.

News.com.au editor-in-chief Kate de Brito said any censorship of the media by a government department raised serious concerns about press freedom.

This is a deeply concerning development of media censorship. The Classification Board has silenced the reporting of a legitimate threat to the Australian public, she said. Australians have a right to know if their safety or lives are being placed at risk — there can be few more important matters of public interest.

The secretive way the Classifications Board acted in this way is a direct attack on freedom of the press and journalists should condemn it.

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impress 2016 logo The Daily Mail writes:

Max Mosley has launched a chilling new attack on Press freedom, with an extraordinary legal bid to scrub records of his notorious German-themed orgy from history.

The former Formula One boss also wants to restrict reporting on the £3.8million his family trust spends bankrolling the controversial Press regulator Impress.

He has taken legal action against a range of newspapers — the Daily Mail, The Times, The Sun and at least one other national newspaper — demanding they delete any references to his sadomasochistic sex party and never mention it again.

However, in a move that could have devastating consequences both for Press freedom and for historical records, Mr Mosley is now using data protection laws to try to force newspapers to erase any mention of it. He has also insisted that the newspapers stop making references to the fact he bankrolls Impress — the highly controversial, state-approved Press regulator.

Yesterday, MPs warned against data protection laws being used to trample Press freedoms. Conservative MP Bill Cash said:

The freedom of the Press is paramount and it would be perverse to allow historical records to be removed on the basis of data protection. If data protection can be used to wipe out historical records, then the consequences would be dramatic.

John Whittingdale, a Tory former Culture Secretary, said:

Data protection is an important principle for the protection of citizens. However, it must not be used to restrict the freedom of the Press.

In his action, the multimillionaire racing tycoon claimed that the Daily Mail’s owner, Associated Newspapers, had breached data protection principles in 34 articles published since 2013 — including many opinion pieces defending the freedom of the Press. These principles are designed to stop companies from excessive processing of people’s sensitive personal data or from holding on to people’s details for longer than necessary, and come with exemptions for journalism that is in the public interest.

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house of lords red logoTheresa May today vowed to overturn a disgraceful bid by peers to muzzle the press.The House of Lords yesterday voted to force the vast majority of papers – including the struggling local press – to pay all legal costs in data protection cases even if they win.

Peers voted by 211 votes to 200, a majority of only 11, to introduce the new legal fees costs on the media.

Critics have pointed out that it will hamper the media’s ability to investigate wrongdoing and corruption as criminals could drag the press through expensive courts without having to pay a penny themselves.

The PM said:

I think that the impact of this vote would undermine high-quality journalism and a free press.

I think it would particularly have a negative impact on local newspapers, which are an important underpinning of our democracy.

I believe passionately in a free press. We want to have a free press that is able to hold politicians and others to account and we will certainly be looking to overturn this vote in the House of Commons.

The Lords also voted by 238 votes to 209 for a new probe effectively mirroring the second part of the Leveson inquiry. This also attempts to punish the press by denying them justice by making them pay regardless of the merits of the case.

New Culture Secretary Matt Hancock also weighed in against the lords saying that the proposed changes would be a hammer blow to the local press and made clear he would seek to overturn the changes in the elected House of Commons

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ipso 2016 logo Press regulator, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), has announced a review of the way its regulations should apply to global digital publishers. The review has been triggered by concerns that IPSO’s original regulations may no longer be adequate to deal with some of the issues thrown up by new models of global publishing.

IPSO Chief Executive, Matt Tee said:

When the current regulations were drafted nearly four years ago, it was difficult to imagine the developments that would take place in digital publishing, with some publishers having numerous editorial bureaux across the world focused on different audiences in different time zones. This is already an issue for some IPSO members and is bound to affect others in future. It may also be a disincentive to other global digital publishers joining IPSO. We want a solution that enables IPSO to be an effective regulator for relevant consumers and provides a definition that is intuitive and workable for publishers.

The review will be carried out by IPSO’s Board as expeditiously as possible. The terms of reference for the review will be to:

Consider how best to define the content, published online by a global publisher, that should fall under IPSO’s remit consult with global digital publishers on a proposed definition examine the experience of overseas press regulators as well as regulators in other areas of communication, such as broadcast or video on demand seek advice on how a revised definition would best be implemented.

Until the review is concluded, IPSO may exercise its discretion not to consider new complaints which relate specifically to articles and other content about events in overseas jurisdictions, and which are not primarily targeted at a UK audience.

IPSO will be contacting relevant parties in the next week inviting them to make submissions to the review, however submissions are welcome from any person or group. Submissions should be sent to digitalreview@ipso.co.uk. The closing date for submissions is midday on Friday 19 August 2016.