free-the-internet

Independent Media in Asian Democracies Battle Internet Rules

Independent news organizations in Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea are experiencing both direct and indirect challenges in cyberspace, from content blocking to censorship and self-censorship. Edgardo Legaspi, executive director of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, says threatened governments are “playing catch-up” after recognizing that the Internet can be an effective tool for voices to be heard.

Maidan 2

What Makes Governments Resistant to Coups? Transparency.

The relationship between transparency and political stability in democracies is simple: More transparency means more stable democratic rule. As transparency rises, democratically elected leaders are less likely to be ousted through extra-constitutional methods like a coup. In non-democracies the situation is more complicated. But greater transparency still means fewer coups.

Khadija Ismayilova walks out of prison after spending 1-1/2 years behind bars. (Photo: Meydan TV)

Khadija Ismayilova Freed from Azerbaijan Prison

Journalist Khadija Ismayilova was set free after her final appeal hearing today at the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan two days before her 40th birthday. Ismayilova, an award-winning reporter who exposed the corruption of the ruling Aliyev family, has been in prison in Baku since her arrest on Dec. 5, 2014. “There was no crime,” Ismayilova told the press upon her release. “President Aliyev and his clique decided to get rid of any criticism against them.”

Direkt36

Hungarian Journalists Build New Site After Controversy

In 2014, Hungarian investigative journalist András Pethő wrote an exposé about a series of expensive overseas business trips taken by the chief of staff to Prime Minister Viktor Orban for the popular website Origo.hu. Within days of the story’s publication, Origo’s editor in chief, Gergo Saling, resigned – apparently due to political pressure on Origo’s parent company, Magyar Telecom. Pethő and much of the rest of the site’s news staff quit soon afterwards in solidarity. The walkout led to much scrutiny of Origo and Hungary’s press freedom climate, both in Hungary and internationally.