Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Well meaning but dangerous-how press freedom campaigns can undermine freedom

Western pressures for freedom of the press in the Middle East may be undermining journalism in the region.

That's the opinion of Lawrence Pintak and Yosri Fouda writing in the CJR who argue that

well-meaning Western journalism rights groups have been invoking “freedom of the press” to defend Arab and Iranian online activists who have been jailed or harassed by the authorities.

Just because you put words on paper—or a computer screen—does not make you a journalist. they argue adding that

For journalism rights groups to defend anyone with a keyboard or cell phone camera on the basis of press freedom dangerously muddies the waters.

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