for diverse, democratic and accountable media
Analysis by Media Reform Coalition and 38 Degrees suggests that Murdoch’s lobbying of government intensified ahead of the recent government consultation on the Leveson Inquiry and the announcement by Murdoch’s renewed bidto take over Sky. Between April 2015 and September 2016, senior News Corp executives met with government ministers or their special advisers on 22 separate occasions. 18 involved meetings or gatherings with either the Prime Minister, Chancellor or Culture Secretary, and, out of those, Rupert Murdoch was himself present on at least eight occasions.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called for felony charges against six US journalists arrested while covering protests against new President Donald Trump to be dropped. They are facing up to 10 years each in prison after being arrested covering unrest around Donald Trump´s inauguration on 20 January in Washington.Journalists Evan Engel (Vocativ), Alex Rubinstein (Russia Today America), documentary producer Jack Keller, live-streaming Matt Hopard, photojournalist Shay Horse and freelancer Aaron Cantú were arraigned on 21 January and charged with the most serious level of offense under Washington DC´s law against rioting, media reported. They await further hearings in February and March and face up to 10 years in prison as well as a $25,000 fine, if convicted.
The IFJ/EFJ, English Pen and other trade unions and press freedom organisations have called for the immediate release of leading investigative journalist Ahmet Sik, who was taken into custody in Istanbul on 29 December. Following his detention Ahmet Şık has now been charged. He is accused of making terrorist propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and the Gülen movement (FETÖ), which the government has blamed for the failed coup attempt in July 2016.
The fuss about fake news and post-truth politics reminds me of the fact that the country Donald Trump will soon begin to govern bears the name of a fraudulent explorer whose fake records of his adventures on the far side of the Atlantic were picked up by an early cartographer with an eye for a marketing opportunity. And so, Amerigo Vespucci's name went down in history, not because of his achievements, but because of the stories he invented about himself in order to please his patron, Lorenzo di Medici.
Post-truth politics has been with us for a long time.