UN Celebrates World Press Freedom Day By Suppressing Presentation Of Turkey Suppressing Press

from the hello,-ambassador-streisand! dept

Hey, everyone, today is World Press Freedom Day, which is a day created by the UN to "celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom," to "assess the state of press freedom throughout the world" and to "defend the media from attacks on their independence." Sounds good, right? So how is the UN itself celebrating World Press Freedom Day? Why, by refusing to allow a presentation to be heard that calls out Turkey for its suppression of press freedom.

For real.

The News Literacy Project -- which, as the name suggests, seeks to increase new literacy among students -- was all set to do a presentation at the UN's Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) for World Press Freedom Day. However, just before the event, the UNAOC told NLP that it was "indefinitely postponing" their presentation unless references to the suppression of press freedoms in Turkey were removed. Really.

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) indefinitely postponed an event at the U.N. tomorrow to observe World Press Freedom Day after the News Literacy Project (NLP) refused UNAOC’s request to remove references in our presentation to several countries where press freedom is limited.

The references are in videos from a new lesson on international press freedoms in our Checkology virtual classroom, which I was planning to introduce at the event. The videos include remarks, written for the lesson by NLP and presented by lesson host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson of NPR, about severe restrictions on press freedom in Turkey, Mexico and Egypt and comments by Russian and Pakistani journalists describing the challenges they face.

NLP submitted the presentation to UNAOC on Monday so it would be ready to be shared with the audience. A UNAOC official then asked us to delete the reference to Turkey — which, along with Spain, had proposed the creation of UNAOC in 2005 — and the official later insisted that NLP not share any of the video clips.

Of course, all this is really doing is driving a hell of a lot more attention to (1) the suppression of press freedom in Turkey and (2) the out and out hypocrisy of the UN. We've certainly written a bunch about how Turkey has suppressed the media by throwing hundreds of journalists in jail and then calling them terrorists, and it has tried to export its journalist suppression elsewhere, including here in the US.

There are so many stories of Turkey throwing journalists in prison that it's tough to keep track of them all. And, frankly, most people would have never known about NLP's presentation, which only appears to mention Turkey's journalism suppression in passing, had the UN not tried to silence them.

So, it would certainly appear that inadvertently, in trying to stifle any mention of press censorship and intimidation by the Turkish government, the UN has successfully gotten a lot more attention to Turkey's attacks of press freedom. I guess that makes it a successful World Press Freedom Day... even if it also involved exposing the UN's own weak backbone on the very topic it claims to be celebrating.


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 11:01am

    "You're only allowed to call out NON-members!"

    A UNAOC official then asked us to delete the reference to Turkey — which, along with Spain, had proposed the creation of UNAOC in 2005 — and the official later insisted that NLP not share any of the video clips.

    I guess the NLP missed the fine-print that only counties not involved in the event were allowed to be called out for threatening press freedom. Once you're in the club then it's open season on the press and not a word will be, or is allowed to be apparently, said about it.

    Because freedom of the press is important enough to set aside a day to celebrate it and decry attacks against it... but not as important as protecting the fragile feelings and ego of the disgusting little tin-pot dictator that currently runs Turkey.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 May 2018 @ 11:27am

    New Hate Speech Law Outlaws Criticism of the Israeli Occupation

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/south-carolinas-new-hate-speech-law/241331/

    > COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA — The state of South Carolina will become the first state in the nation to legislate a definition of anti-Semitism that considers certain criticisms of the Israeli government to be hate speech. The language, which was inserted into the state’s recently passed $8 billion budget, offers a much more vague definition of anti-Semitism that some suggest specifically targets the presence of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, movement on state college campuses. The law requires that all state institutions, including state universities, apply the revised definition when deciding whether an act violates anti-discrimination policies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jordan, 3 May 2018 @ 12:30pm

      Re: New Hate Speech Law Outlaws Criticism of the Israeli Occupation

      That's obviously unconstitutional I look forward to them trying to enforce it

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re: New Hate Speech Law Outlaws Criticism of the Israeli Occupation

        The language, which was inserted into the state’s recently passed $8 billion budget,

        And I'm sure it was just completely coincidental that they slipped it into a budget bill, rather than trying to pass it on it's own.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 3 May 2018 @ 11:25pm

      Re: New Hate Speech Law Outlaws Criticism of the Israeli Occupation

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 4 May 2018 @ 2:57am

      Re: legislate a definition of anti-Semitism

      Arabs are Semites too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Hugo, 4 May 2018 @ 8:13am

        Re: legislate a definition of anti-Semitism

        You are muddying the parted red sea waters.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        The Wanderer (profile), 4 May 2018 @ 1:35pm

        Re: Re: legislate a definition of anti-Semitism

        Please stop being obtuse.

        The term "anti-Semitism" is established, convenient shorthand for "bias against people of Jewish descent". (Which is distinct from "bias against Jews", in at least two ways.)

        It's true that the literal meaning of the term would be broader than that, and that having a term which covers just the actual intended meaning would be preferable.

        But we don't appear to have one.

        If you want people to stop using "anti-Semitism" in the established sense, start by proposing an equally-concise, equally-convenient replacement term which would be understood to mean what they're using it to mean.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 4 May 2018 @ 3:13pm

          Re: Arabs are Semites too

          What do Judaism’s own traditions say about the descendants of the sons of Noah?

          According to Wikipedia, the term “antisemitism” was popularized by the Nazis as more “scientific-sounding” than “Jew-hater”.

          So are you going to let the opinions of a bunch of Jew-hater losers take precedence over thousands of years of Judaic tradition?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ederson Melo, 3 May 2018 @ 4:04pm

    About UN

    UN is just a sign of the past.
    A sign of the human hipocrisy, a sign of homosssexuality and spending money for bullshit.
    Press are always lying everywhere, and they just want to 'defend their pals'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 May 2018 @ 1:45am

    Submit Sideways

    "...the UNAOC told NLP that it was 'indefinitely postponing' their presentation unless references to the suppression of press freedoms in Turkey were removed."

    Agree and stand for the entire presentation interval reciting, "the UNAOC" has suppressed our original presentation, citing Turkey and Spain as the reason for the suppression.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 May 2018 @ 7:30am

    Erdogan Announcement:

    Today an article was suppressed criticizing Turkey in an unfair way.

    Tomorrow we'll get that filthy little hobbitses and get our precious back won't we my love?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 May 2018 @ 11:50am

      Re:

      Objection! I know comparing Gollum with Erdogan is popular, but it is highly unfair for Gollum to be compared to the disgusting, power-hungry wanna-be dictator currently ruling Turkey.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Hugo, 4 May 2018 @ 8:24am

    Fri Speech

    So, the UN suppresses the speech of a group trying to highlight suppression of journalism (speech) on the day that the UN is celebrating free (journalism) speech.

    Tick.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MR MUSTASHE, 4 May 2018 @ 9:40am

    STUPID BLOGS

    Seriously?
    .
    And Michael Masnick celebrates World Press Freedom Day by allowing illiterate Human Digital Rights violating Techdirt Comment Loggers the "freedom" to "flag" fellow comments that these jerks don't like! So much for Michael Masnick's understanding of, and respect for, the U.S. 1st Amendment... let alone, the purpose behind World Press Freedom Day! What a hypocrite!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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