Posts tagged ‘democracy’

8 July 2011

Big Loss for Big Media

Another success for Free Press in the US – and for the individuals who took action to save public media!

We won!

Today, in a sweeping victory for communities across the country, a federal appeals court overturned the Federal Communications Commission’s attempt to weaken media ownership rules.

Had these rules gone into effect, it would have unleashed a new wave of media consolidation across the country.

In 2007, the FCC ignored letters and calls from millions of Americans and tried to rewrite its media ownership rules to let companies own both newspapers and TV or radio stations in the same town. This change would have opened the floodgates to new media mergers, leading to even more layoffs in newsrooms while thinning out diverse perspectives from local news.

We sued the FCC for ignoring the public outcry. Today, we won. The court tossed out the FCC’s flawed rules, but also upheld all other media consolidation restrictions and told the FCC it needed to do better to support and foster diverse voices in the media – all crucial decisions for our fight to build better media.

This isn’t just our victory – it’s your victory, too.

The court pointed to public comments from people like you as deciding factor in overturning the FCC’s attempt to change its rules. Today it’s clear: Your voice and actions make a huge difference.

This court decision should send a wake-up call to the FCC: It must listen to the public and stand up against media consolidation in all its forms.

But the fight doesn’t end here. Right now around the country, local stations are using loopholes and backroom deals to get around media ownership rules and consolidate their coverage of local news. This court case makes clear that the FCC needs to strengthen their rules and address this growing epidemic as well. Click here to tell the FCC to stop this covert media consolidation.

Today’s victory is a big moment for the movement to build better media. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Onward,

Craig Aaron
President & CEO
Free Press

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28 January 2011

Open access peer reviewed books

All of the IMISCOE-AUP Series’ peer-reviewed academic books are now available through the OAPEN Library, the first dedicated collection of freely available academic books in the Humanities and Social Sciences from across Europe. The goals of the OAPEN Library are:

  • to promote Open Access book publishing by building a branded collection of OA peer-reviewed titles;
  • to increase the visibility and retrievability of high-quality European research;
  • to set quality standards for OA books, based on transparent procedures for peer review and recommendations for OA licences.

More information on OAPEN and the Library is available at www.oapen.org (OAPEN Library).

LIST OF AVAILABLE TITLES

1. Innovative Concepts for Alternative Migration Policies : Ten Innovative Approaches to the Challenges of Migration in the 21st Century
Jandl, Michael

2. The Dynamics of International Migration and Settlement in Europe : A State of the Art
Penninx, Rinus; Berger, Maria & Kraal, Karen

3. The Local Dimension of Migration Policymaking
Caponio, Tiziana & Borkert, Maren

4. Diaspora and Transnationalism : Concepts, Theories and Methods
Bauböck, Rainer & Faist, Thomas

5. Migrants and Markets : Perspectives from Economics and the Other Social Sciences
Kolb, Holger & Egbert, Henrik

6. ‘My Name Is Not Natasha’ : How Albanian Women in France Use Trafficking to Overcome Social Exclusion (1998-2001)
Davies, John

7. Illegal Residence and Public Safety in the Netherlands
Leerkes, Arjen

8. The Position of the Turkish and Moroccan Second Generation in Amsterdam and Rotterdam : The TIES Study in the Netherlands
Crul, Maurice & Heering, Liesbeth

9. Modes of Migration Regulation and Control in Europe
Doomernik, Jeroen & Jandl, Michael

10. Breaking Down Anonymity : Digital Surveillance of Irregular Migrants in Germany and the Netherlands
Broeders, Dennis

11. Understanding Processes of Ethnic Concentration and Dispersal : South Asian Residential Preferences in Glasgow
McGarrigle, Jennifer Leigh

12. Migration and Irregular Work in Austria : A Case Study of the Structure and Dynamics of Irregular Foreign Employment in Europe at the Beginning of the 21st Century
Jandl, Michael; Hollomey, Christina; Gendera, Sandra; Stepien, Anna & Bilger, Veronika

13. The Family in Question : Immigrant and Ethnic Minorities in Multicultural Europe
Grillo, Ralph

14. Citizenship in the Arab World : Kin, Religion and Nation-State
Parolin, Gianluca P.

15. Identity Processes and Dynamics in Multi-Ethnic Europe
Westin, Charles; Bastos, José; Dahinden, Janine & Góis, Pedro

16. Immigrant Associations, Integration and Identity : Angolan, Brazilian and Eastern European Communities in Portugal
Sardinha, João

17. Statistics and Reality : Concepts and Measurements of Migration in Europe
Fassmann, Heinz; Reeger, Ursula & Sievers, Wiebke

18. Sri Lankan Housemaids in Lebanon : A Case of ‘Symbolic Violence’ and ‘Everyday Forms of Resistance’
Moukarbel, Nayla

19. Paradoxes of Social Capital : A Multi-Generational Study of Moroccans in London
Cherti, Myriam

20. Practising Citizenship and Heterogeneous Nationhood : Naturalisations in Swiss Municipalities
Helbling, Marc

21. Migration and Citizenship : Legal Status, Rights and Political Participation
Bauböck, Rainer

22. Illegal Migration and Gender in a Global and Historical Perspective
Schrover, Marlou; Leun, Joanne van der; Lucassen, Leo & Quispel, Chris

23. Getting by in Europe’s Urban Labour Markets : Senegambian Migrants’ Strategies for Survival, Documentation and Mobility
Nieuwenhuyze, Inge Van

24. L’Imaginaire du Complot : Discours d’extrême droite en France et aux Etats-Unis
Jamin, Jérôme

25. Citizenship Policies in the New Europe : Expanded and Updated Edition
Bauböck, Rainer; Perchinig, Bernhard & Sievers, Wiebke

26. International Migration in Europe : New Trends and New Methods of Analysis
Bonifazi, Corrado; Okólski, Marek; Schoorl, Jeannette & Simon, Patrick

27. Navigating Borders : Inside Perspectives on the Process of Human Smuggling into the Netherlands
Liempt, Ilse van

28. Globalisation, Migration and Socio-Economic Change in Contemporary Greece : Processes of Social Incorporation of Balkan Immigrants in Thessaloniki
Hatziprokopiou, Panos Arion

29. Citizenship Policies in the New Europe
Bauböck, Rainer; Perchinig, Bernhard & Sievers, Wiebke

30. Dynamic Entrepreneurship : First and Second-Generation Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Dutch Cities
Rusinovic, Katja

31. The Immigrant Organising Process : Turkish Organisations in Amsterdam and Berlin and Surinamese Organisations in Amsterdam, 1960-2000
Vermeulen, Floris

32. Narratives of Place, Culture and Identity : Second-Generation Greek-Americans Return ‘Home’
Christou, Anastasia

33. Acquisition and Loss of Nationality|Volume 1: Comparative Analyses : Policies and Trends in 15 European Countries
Bauböck, Rainer; Ersbøll, Eva; Groenendijk, Kees & Waldrauch, Harald

34. Secularism or Democracy? : Associational Governance of Religious Diversity
Bader, Veit

35. Paths of Integration : Migrants in Western Europe (1880-2004)
Lucassen, Leo; Feldman, David & Oltmer, Jochen

36. Acquisition and Loss of Nationality|Volume 2: Country Analyses : Policies and Trends in 15 European Countries
Bauböck, Rainer; Ersbøll, Eva; Groenendijk, Kees & Waldrauch, Harald

37. In debat over Nederland : Veranderingen in het discours over de multiculturele samenleving en nationale identiteit
Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid & Sleegers, Fleur

38. City in Sight : Dutch Dealings with Urban Change
Duyvendak, Jan Willem; Hendriks, Frank & Niekerk, Mies van

39. Doing Good or Doing Better : Development Policies in a Globalising World
Kremer, Monique; Lieshout, Peter van & Went, Robert

11 December 2010

Putin: Assange’s arrest a danger to democracy

Beautiful. Putin sees the arrest of the WikiLeaks boss as a threat to democracy.

Die Festnahme des WikiLeaks-Gründers Julian Assange zeugt laut dem russischen Regierungschef Wladimir Putin von Demokratie-Defiziten.

So kommentierte Putin die von der Enthüllungsplattform WikiLeaks veröffentlichten Geheimdepeschen von US-Diplomaten, in denen unter anderem die Lage der Demokratie in Russland kritisiert wird. (more)

…via florian bischof on twitter…

Update. The English verison via AP via The Hindu:

Putin: Assange arrest undemocratic

LONDON: While U.S. government and its allies have criticised WikiLeaks, some world leaders have questioned the arrest of its founder Julian Assange.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, questioning the reliability of leaked U.S. cables referring to his nation as undemocratic and corrupt, said the fact that Mr. Assange was in custody shows the West has its own problems with democracy.

“Why was Mr. Assange hidden in prison?” Mr. Putin asked at a news conference. “Is this democracy?”

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he was surprised by the lack of outcry against Mr. Assange’s arrest. “This WikiLeaks guy was arrested and I’m not seeing any protest for freedom of expression,” said Mr. da Silva in Brasilia. “There is nothing, nothing for freedom of expression and against the imprisonment of this guy who was doing better work than many of the Ambassadors.”

U.N.’s top human rights official Navi Pillay raised the alarm over officials’ and corporations’ moves to cut off WikiLeaks’ funding and starve it of server space — something she described as a “potentially violating WikiLeaks’ right to freedom of expression”.

The Obama administration has put intense pressure on U.S.-based companies to cut any ties to WikiLeaks, and many have done so, including MasterCard Inc., Visa Inc., Amazon.com, PayPal Inc. and EveryDNS. In the Netherlands, a 16-year-old boy suspected of being involved in digital attacks by Wikileaks supporters was arrested. — AP

11 October 2009

The Yeltsin Scandal

Who’s ruining Russian democracy? Stephen F. Cohen has long been arguing that Gorbachev was the real democrat and it all went to anti-democratic hell with Yeltsin, long before Putin turned up, or Medvedev followed.

A recent interesting media analysis by William Dunkerley, media business analyst and consultant, points to a similar argument. The media scandal, says Dunkerley is “the Western press’ inexplicably lenient treatment of the Yeltsin presidency, especially in comparison to his successors”. Some extracts:

[The Yeltsin Scandal begins with a drunken Boris Yeltsin hailing a cab in his underwear across from the White House in Washington. But that’s just the beginning. This story includes murder, unthinkable acts of military aggression, and journalistic malfeasance. At its heart, it’s really a story about the media and how they have bungled the coverage of Yeltsin and his successors. You’ll never look at media reportage of Russia in the same way!]

Over the years, Yeltsin has been characterized variously as a hero who brought down communism, as the foremost proponent of Russia’s transformation to democracy and a market economy, and as a stalwart of Russia’s free press.

Beyond that popular imagery, however, there was a less attractive side. Yeltsin presided over a looting of state assets that created a circle of newly-minted tycoons that helped to protect Yeltsin. In addition, acting against the constitution, Yeltsin dismissed the duly elected parliament. And when the members refused to go, he brought in tanks to shell the parliament building in a confrontation that ultimately claimed approximately 150 lives. Somehow he was able to win reelection in a contest where he held roughly a 5 percent approval rating going into the election season. Ultimately, Yeltsin led the country into a financial collapse near the end of his presidency.

A Closer Look at Yeltsin

As a case-in-point, I examined the New York Times coverage of Yeltsin’s shelling of the parliament in 1993. That was one of Yeltsin’s most egregious acts. The Times ran a story entitled “SHOWDOWN IN MOSCOW: Tactics; Yeltsin Attack Strategy: Bursts Followed by Lulls.” Here are some excerpts illustrating how the Times covered the story:

“The assault on the Russian Parliament building today was a textbook example of the decisive application of military power…

“And as the daylong assault went on, it was clear that Mr. Yeltsin’s commanders had decided on gradualism…

“The Russian troops were looking for Bolshoi Devyatinsky lane … where the defiant lawmakers had maintained their headquarters…

“With the outcome of the battle never in doubt, the clear preference of the military was to scare the anti-Yeltsin demonstrators into surrendering and to limit casualties…

“The only question was the number of lives that would be lost. And that was largely left up to the rebels as they were alternately bombarded with shells and appeals to surrender.”

Just note how soft this coverage is. I’m not taking sides on whether Yeltsin’s actions were appropriate or not. But, the Yeltsin side is characterized as valiant and measured. The other side is characterized as defiant and to blame for its own fate. The story has a factual basis. The president really did launch a tank assault on the parliament. However, the circumstances clearly seem to be spun in a way that tempers that stark reality.

18 September 2008

Real Battle in Seattle

Well over 40,000 activists (40,000 is the lowest estimate) from movements across the world converged in Seattle nearly ten years ago to fight the World Trade Organisation. Now a battle is ensuing over how to represent –and mediatize– this moment in history. The realbattleinseattle.org website is contesting the major film “Battle in Seattle” that will be distributed across the US this autumn. It is calling for social movements to reclaim their histories, stories and futures.

[“Battle in Seattle”] is a docu-drama—a fictional story based on real events—that features extensive archival footage. It may shape what most people in the US and around the world think happened for decades to come—unless we speak up. We call for social movements to take action: to reclaim our history, our stories, and our future.

The story of popular resistance to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle in 1999 is a story of how people power can change the world. It is a dangerous example for the global elite, and a powerful one for movements.

For eight years, the US corporate media, global elites, and their police have been twisting and marginalizing the truth, in order to invent their own story of Seattle 1999 and the stories of social movements’ resistance and victories. These lies and revisions of history have been used in an attempt to criminalize and repress our protests, movements, and mobilizations.

The movie will be released on the eighth anniversary of the 1999 Seattle anti-WTO uprising and shutdown. It was written by a well-meaning actor-director, but is unlikely to reflect the motives, experience, or thinking of the movements behind the shutdown of the WTO. The potential is high and the possibilities are infinite to interrupt this narrative and claim the history that we helped create.

It’s time that we in the social movements tell our own stories, reclaim our own histories, and publicly fight damaging myths of our movements past and present. We must intervene in the public understanding of what happened, what is happening, and what it all means. Stories are how we understand the world and thus shape the future—they are part of our fight against corporate power, empire, war, and social and environmental injustice and for the alternatives that will make a better world.

The real story of Seattle 1999 is of tens of thousands of people rising up, taking direct action, and changing history; standing up to corporations and governments and winning; joining with movements around the world in our common struggle against the WTO.

12 September 2008

Palin: War on Russia

The USA will go to war with Russia if necessary, Sarah Palin said in an interview with ABC yesterday. Commenting on Georgia, she said that Russia did after all ‘invade another country. Unprovoked.’

Not even the most vocal anti-Russian, pro-Georgian commentators in the US have gone this far. This kind of comment ignores the multiple provocations (from both sides) over the past months and years. When they want to shift the blame for the conflict to the Russian administration, US commentators generally have two strategies to deal with the independent evidence that both sides were preparing for war as a contingency and that Georgian forces were the first to begin massive heavy artillery bombing of South Ossetia at approx. midnight on 7-8 August:

Strategy 1: Georgia walked into Russian trap.

Strategy 2: Russian reaction was excessive.

So, what does Palin’s remark illustrate?

1. It provides more ammunition to those criticising her lack of foreign policy expertise.

2. It provides support for ‘the CNN effect’. Not uncontroversial, the CNN effect suggests that mainstream news media have a significant effect on foreign policy. Its critics say (a) it exaggerates the power of the media to affect policy, (b) meanings are not transmitted in such a linear fashion (media -> audience -> policy), and/or (c) surely policy makers have better sources of information (academic specialists, specialist advisers).

Palin’s remarks show that she, at least, is more influenced by US news media than by experts on Russian, Georgian or Caucasus politics.

On the CNN effect:

Steven Livingston (pdf), Piers Robinson (article) (book). Fred H. Cate (‘The so-called “CNN effect” is not as clear-cut as many people think’).

5 September 2008

RNC and BBC World

BBC World reporting on the Republican National Convention. About 8pm Berlin time.

Good long piece: television news tackling new trends in journalism by inviting two bloggers into the studio. One Democrat blogger and one Republican (balance is still key in the journalistic epistemology). So far, so good. Interesting though, that despite the length and breadth of the comments (go Sarah Palin), there was not a word — no question, no blogger comment – on the protests accompanying the RNC, nor was there any mention of the journalists, bloggers, videomakers, etc. arrested during the convention. Wonder if The Daily Show mentioned those?

4 September 2008

Democracy in America

A double move. On the one hand, the country widely lauded for protecting free speech and democracy is arresting and manhandling journalists, bloggers and videomakers — at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minessota. On the other hand, that same country has one of the most active, well-developed and co-ordinated network of activists ready to stand up and do something about it. Even if the mainstream media are largely ignoring the issue.

Within 24 hours, over 35,000 people signed freepress.net’s letter

to demand that press intimidation cease immediately and that all charges against the media workers be dropped.

They’re now looking to reach 50,000 signatures.

2 September 2008

Amy Goodman arrested

Amy Goodman – host of Democracy Now! – and other journalists and photographers were arrested in St. Paul yesterday, as they were covering protests at the (US) Republican National Convention. (Update: seems Goodman and Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have been released)
FreePress has a form you can fill in to ‘demand that press intimidation cease immediately and that all charges be dropped’. Your message will be delivered from the freepress website to:

  • St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
  • Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner
  • St. Paul City Attorney John Choi
  • Host Committee of the Republican National Convention

Freepress.net suggests this text:

Dear [Decision Maker],

I strongly condemn the arrests and harassment of journalists covering the Republican National Convention. We call upon St. Paul officials to free all detained journalists and drop all charges against them. These include arrests made during police raids in the days prior to the convention and, on Sept 1, of Associated Press photographer Matt Rourke, Democracy Now! anchor Amy Goodman and her two colleagues Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar.

Independent journalists have been targeted, pepper-sprayed and held at gunpoint during these raids. We call on the mayor and local authorities to rein in these aggressive and violent tactics.

Arresting and detaining journalists for doing their jobs is a gross violation of free speech and freedom of the press. Journalists must be free to do their jobs without intimidation.