2008 Press Freedom, and freedom of expression today.

look in one direction please

Reporters Without Borders wrapped up their 2008 press freedom report.

In short, this year:

- 60 journalists were killed
- 1 media assistant was killed
- 673 journalists were arrested
- 929 were physically attacked or threatened
- 353 media outlets were censored
- 29 journalists were kidnapped
- 1 blogger was killed
- 59 bloggers were arrested
- 45 bloggers were physically attacked
- 1,740 websites were blocked, shut down or suspended

Talking about freedom of expression. On Newsvine, I read an article about the war in Gaza today. The article starting with:

"As a young American living here in Israel the recent events in Israel have been terrible. Without getting into the discussion of ideology I want to talk about events."

I found the article quite polarized with a lack of relativation and I posted a comment:

"Mmmm... Stories told from either end are always coloured."

A few hours later, my comment was deleted by the article's author.

I could not but resubmit a comment:

For an article and a discussion that throws around the word 'truth', I see plenty of reason why my comment should be removed. I totally agree my comment was inflammatory, insulting, and discriminating...

Sheez, says something about your opinion of "truth", guys... Which one? Yours?

So, you are going to delete this comment now too?

So, for an interesting exchange of relativating views, engaging in an open discussion where clearly views from both sides are solicited, read the article and its comments and judge for yourself ;-)

Well, surprise. My second comment was deleted too :-)
I guess what stroke me the most of this (minor) incident, is not the issue of 'freedom of expression' itself, but the combination of the subject -the conflict in the Middle East-, and the unwillingness to even consider there is 'a view from the other side'..
Getting off my high horse now. It is the year's end. Time for more positive thoughts. Let's hope 2009 brings a solution for the suffering in both Palestine and Israel. An end to the suffering on both sides.

Update#2: Well it seems more people were thinking like I did, and similar comments came out on the post... Apparently more than the author could delete... There might still be hope for a freedom of expression. :-)


Seabee 31 December, 2008 10:05  

The RWB report makes sobering reading doesn't it.

As for your Newsvine reference, the writer is like so many people I've argued with, who go on endlessly about democracy and media freedom but will listen to no opinion other than their own.

Happy Newy Year.

Peter 31 December, 2008 10:16  


I guess I should not get annoyed by it.. but I did... I thought 'Voila, that is exactly one of the reasons why there is trouble down there'...



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