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FCPA Blog Daily News

Entries in Press Freedom (11)


Are ‘news deserts’ the latest risk factor for corruption?

UNC Professor Penny AbernathyThe journalism school at the University of North Carolina has produced an extensive and brilliant report about the sad decline of the American newspaper industry.

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European Court of Human Rights affirms journalists’ rights of free expression

On Tuesday the European Court of Human Rights gave an important decision safeguarding the rights of journalists when investigating and reporting on the conduct of allegedly corrupt politicians and public officials. Somewhat strikingly, the case arose from bribery allegations made by and not about a pharmaceutical company.

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Clean air and dirty pols don't mix

Over the years, we've looked at the correlation between graft and war, debt problems, failed states, earthquake damage, the rule of law, press freedom, and air disasters. Now let's look at environmental stewardship.

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Iron Man no match for China censors

Last week, Iron Man 3 opened in China. It's a huge hit there as it is in the U.S.

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Press freedom and corruption

Image courtesy of the World Association of Newspapers and News PublishersToday is Press Freedom Day, when the world celebrates the virtues of a free press and remembers that in so many countries, press freedom is just a dream.

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Long prison terms for Vietnamese bloggers

After a six-hour trial Monday in Ho Chi Minh City, three bloggers who wrote about corruption in the government were sentenced to long prison terms for 'spreading propaganda against the state.'

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Trial of anti-graft bloggers opens in Vietnam

Three bloggers who reported about alleged corruption in Vietnam are on trial for spreading propaganda against the state. 

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Let Press Freedom Ring

Louis Brandeis was right. Sunlight, he said, is the best disinfectant.

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More Sunshine, But Still Partly Cloudy

We can't let Sunshine Week pass without a plug for more openness of a particular kind. We're talking about FCPA declinations.

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In Oman, Exposing Graft Is A Crime

Two newspaper journalists in Oman were sentenced Thursday to five months in prison for reporting alleged government corruption.

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The Press v. Corruption

In its landmark 2002 study, The right to tell: The role of mass media in economic development (here), the World Bank said a free press contributes to cleaner governments -- and to better education, improved public health, lower infant mortality rates, and higher incomes. "Secrecy is the bedrock of persistent corruption," it said, "which undermines confidence in democratic governments in so much of the world. As the expression goes, sunshine is the strongest antiseptic."

The correlation between press freedom and corruption is not perfect but apparent. Here, for example, are the best-ranked countries on Freedom House's 2008 Freedom of the Press World Ranking. In parentheses are the countries' rankings on the 2008 Corruption Perception Index:

Finland (6)
Iceland (7)
Denmark (1)
Norway (14)
Belgium (18)
Sweden (1)
Luxembourg (11)
Andorra (no CPI rank)
Netherlands (7)
New Zealand (1)
Here are the countries that are worst-ranked for press freedom and their CPI rankings:
Iran (144)
Equatorial Guinea (171)
Zimbabwe (166)
Belarus (151)
Uzbekistan (166)
Cuba (65)
Eritrea (126)
Libya (126)
Turkmenistan (166)
Burma (178)
North Korea (no CPI rank)
Of the 195 countries and territories in Freedom House's latest press-freedom survey, 72 were rated as free, 59 as partly free, and 64 as not free. In terms of population, the survey found that only 18 percent of the world’s people live in countries that enjoy a free press, while 40 percent have a partly free press and 42 percent have a not-free press.