Free speech holds the powerful to account and is essential to ending apartheid’s legacy of division, argues Nooshin Erfani-Ghadimi.
Todd Landman explores the contradictions between the American Constitution and the freedoms it seeks to preserve.
Timothy Garton Ash, in a lecture at Boğaziçi University, entitled Free Speech Under Attack, explains why the media is essential for a functioning deliberative democracy. He argues that populism and the projection of dominant voices through the media is a significant threat to free speech in Turkey and around the globe.
Timothy Garton Ash, in a lecture at Central European University, entitled Free Speech and the Defence of an Open Society, argues that liberalism and liberal democracy, which has historically given voice to the powerless against the powerful, is under threat.
Udit Bhatia discusses a landmark ruling concerning the conduct of elections and its potential to stifle democratic debate.
Eric Heinze argues that the radicals and liberal grounds for free speech are not mutually exclusive.
Martin Poulter, Wikimedian in residence at Oxford University, considers the active encyclopedia’s first 15 years.
Sara Khorshid reports from a panel discussion that brought together former hate preachers, feminists and ordinary Arab youth to debate the limits of free speech in the new Middle East.
Kerem Öktem describes the dramatic deterioration of Turkey’s media landscape after the attempted coup of July 2016.
James Fishkin and Max Senges describe how an innovative democratic mechanism was used at the global Internet Governance Forum to revive Athenian democracy and draw up plans for extending internet access to the next billion users.
Udit Bhatia discusses the Indian government’s use of colonial-era laws against sedition and its failure to protect protestors taken into police custody.
Maja Sojref and Sarah Glatte explore the growing public disillusionment with the mainstream press in Germany.
Declan Johnston explores whether regulatory requirements for Ireland’s broadcasters worked well in its referendum on same-sex marriage.
Rebecca Wong describes the combined pressures of Chinese political power and the interests of media proprietors.
Martin Moore, of the Media Standards Trust, summarises an analysis of British press coverage of proposed new press regulation.
In 2014, the citizens of Hong Kong staged an unofficial civil referendum in protest against the Beijing authorities’ attempts to undermine its independence. As Rebecca Wong reports, the majority of the votes were cast via a voting app on mobile phones.
A leaked document in June 2014 from Egypt’s ministry of the interior invited tenders for cyber-surveillance technology to combat blasphemy, sarcasm and ‘lack of morality’ – the technology would likely come from the west. Max Gallien reports.
Internet Service Providers do not merely route data packets from end-to-end, but are heavily involved in monitoring their customers’ online activities. Ian Brown discusses the implications of Britain’s suggested “voluntary” opting out of “adult content”, with little parliamentary and court involvement.
Anthony Lester and Zoe McCallum discuss the need to balance national security and privacy in the age of internet surveillance.
Max Harris explains why journalist Andrew Bolt was found in breach of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act for articles about “fair-skinned Aboriginal people”.
Katherine Bruce-Lockhart looks at the media’s role in two Kenyan elections and argues that peace and critical media coverage should not be mutually exclusive.
Jonathan Heawood on ten reasons why independent self-regulation is good for free speech – and how his new initiative, IMPRESS, proposes to go about it.
Martin Moore, director of the Media Standards Trust, argues that the British press has denied the British public a proper debate on press regulation.
At the 2013 Irrawaddy Literary Festival, Burmese writers including Pascal Khoo Thwe and blogpoet Pandora talk about George Orwell in the country where he was once an imperial policeman.
Thomas Fingar, 2013 winner of the Sam Adams Awards for Integrity in Intelligence, argues that leaking classified information from within the intelligence services is unnecessary and dangerous.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington must be the beginning of the discussion of race, not the end. Bassam Gergi discusses why the depoliticisation of race in the US is problematic and only open debate can lead to progress.
Political theorist Rob Reich discusses what adaptations we need as freedom of speech and association move increasingly from the offline to the online world. Can the old principles still apply in new circumstances?
Famous Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner says he thinks Russia really has no concept of free speech. Oh, but there’s one place where you do have complete freedom of expression…
In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court made history by ruling that, to merit conviction, the violence advocated must be intended, likely and imminent. By Jeff Howard.
Timothy Garton Ash delivers the Orwell Lecture at an unprecedented literary festival in Rangoon. He talks about three Orwells and three Burmas.
For all its talk of press freedom, the Burmese government has produced a surprise new bill containing oppressive provisions and undermining the press council it created. Ellen Wiles reports.
Peter Bradley describes a British initiative promoting free expression, public debate and active citizenship.
In the landmark case of New York Times v Sullivan, in 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that criticism of public officials must be protected, even if some of the claims were inaccurate. Jeff Howard explains.
Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi stresses the importance of free speech but emphasises the Buddhist idea of “right speech”.
If the territorial dispute over Kashmir is not addressed through open debate, it may become “another Afghanistan”, says the Indian supreme court lawyer.
In a panel John Lloyd, T.R. Andhyarujina, Harish Salve and Daya Thussu discussed whether self-regulation can continue to remain a viable way forward for the Indian media.
Indian journalist and writer Tarun Tejpal speaks about development and corruption in India, and the role of investigative journalism.
Dominic Burbidge discusses how Ushahidi’s transformative crowdsourcing techniques have alleviated crises in Kenya and beyond.
A top Google executive was arrested in Brazil when the company refused to remove YouTube videos that made accusations against a local mayoral candidate. Felipe Correa discusses the case.
Josie Appleton explains how a 2005 law that permits local councils to restrict the distribution of leaflets in public spaces is hurting free speech and community life in Britain.
If a decade of stalled attempts to enact Zambia’s Freedom of Information bill seems comical, there is underlying tragedy in how politicians have fallen short of their free speech rhetoric, writes Dominic Burbidge.
Brazil’s Supreme Court renewed a law that requires journalists to hold a university degree in journalism. A currently discussed Amendment to the Constitution could further restrict the country’s media writes Felipe Correa.
Author Evgeny Morozov highlights the dangers that sometimes emerge when governments and corporations harness the internet to serve their own objectives.
Scott A Hale explores the effect of language in seeking and imparting information on the broader web.
Amendments approved by the senate of the Netherlands limit the ability of internet service providers to block or slow down applications and services on the internet, writes Graham Reynolds.
Malachy Browne, news editor at Storyful, explains how the social media news agency validates news content sourced from the real-time web.
A grassroots organisation set up by journalists attempts to create positive change in Turkish media, writes Yonca Poyraz Doğan, a correspondent at Today’s Zaman.
A panel of experts joins FSD Director Timothy Garton Ash at London’s Frontline Club to discuss some of the world’s most pressing free speech issues.
“People in Africa don’t have the freedom to speak freely and hold governments accountable,” says Nqobile Sibisi of Highway Africa’s Future Journalists Programme.
The director of international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation talks about the ethics and motivations of hacktivism.
The former director of BBC Global News explains what Britain’s historic public service broadcaster means by ‘impartiality’ – and why it has not always achieved it.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed a law to punish readers of websites promoting terrorism and violence, writes Clementine de Montjoye.
Online censorship is futile as it can almost always be circumvented, says Moez Chakchouk, the head of the Tunisian Internet Agency.
In 2011, a group of young Egyptians organised public film screenings to expose military violence against civilians, writes Hebatalla Taha.
In 2010, the Hungarian prime minister passed a series of laws, giving excessive control over all private media to the government, writes Peter Bajomi-Lazar, a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford.
Germany’s draft ancillary copyright bill would force news aggregators such as Google News to pay German publishing houses when linking to news items produced by their newspapers, writes Maximilian Ruhenstroth-Bauer.
Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui was fired for publicly calling on President Felipe Calderón to clarify rumours that he suffered from alcoholism, writes Felipe Correa.
Last year, Anna Hazare, a 74-year-old Indian anti-graft campaigner, undertook a “fast-unto-death” as a way of pressuring the government to enact anti-corruption legislation. Should a hunger strike be protected as a form of free expression? Manav Bhushan and Katie Engelhart offer contrasting views.
Beyond Citizen Kane, a documentary on the 1989 Brazilian election, argues that broadcaster Rede Globo manipulated the montage in favour of one of the two remaining candidates, writes Felipe Correa.
For values to be considered universal, at least half the world should accept them, says Professor Yan Xuetong, director of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University.
For those of you who missed it first time round, here’s Timothy Garton Ash, director of Free Speech Debate, speaking to the Wikipedia co-founder, a day after the encyclopedia’s English pages were blacked out in protest against two anti-piracy bills in the US. They talk about SOPA and PIPA, the controversial Muhammad cartoons and Wikipedia’s decision to go dark.