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 argues the defence of free speech is more important than ever in Hungary and as part of an interconnected, globalising world in which the disillusioned are turning toward more closed societies.
Caroline Lees describes the work of the European Journalism Observatory, and what it is has observed.
Pınar Ensari and Funda Tekin explain the work of the Hrant Dink Foundation in countering hate speech in Turkey.
Noam Chomsky talks about Edward Snowden, laws regulating historical memory, no-platforming, internet echo chambers and the lack of diversity in the American media.
Maja Sojref and Sarah Glatte explore the growing public disillusionment with the mainstream press in Germany.
Helen Haft examines the case of a blogger prosecuted after an online argument and its implications for Russian free speech.
Timothy Garton Ash introduces his BBC broadcasts and online version of the Free Speech Debate principles.
Former investigative journalist Haiyan Wang describes the ways in which Chinese reporters push the boundaries of press freedom.
Looking at the long sweep of the AKP’s rule, Kerem Öktem shows how the window of free speech in Turkey has closed.
Monica Richter and Free Speech Debate colleagues examine RT’s coverage of the US protests in Ferguson and Baltimore – in four languages.
Purushottam Vikas engages with criticisms directed at a controversial petition regarding an Oxford India Society speaking event.
Maryhen Jiménez Morales explores how leftist political leaders in Latin America have limited free speech in their countries through populist discourse and political propaganda.
Declan Johnston explores whether regulatory requirements for Ireland’s broadcasters worked well in its referendum on same-sex marriage.
Vanya Bhargav explains the battle behind the Indian government’s ban on a BBC documentary about a notorious gang rape.
Demotix founder Turi Munthe discusses the role of citizen journalism and Demotix in today’s media environment.
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.
Katie Engelhart attends the public hearing of Google’s Advisory Council, set up in response to a European Court of Justice judgement.
John Lloyd explores the history and weakness of Western media coverage, and suggests one way it could be improved.
At the London School of Economics Students’s Union Freshers’ Fair members of the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Student Society were asked to cover up their T-shirts displaying a Jesus and Mo cartoon. This panel discussion discusses the freedom to offend and how to balance freedom of expression and civility.
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 British citizen blogged about a Tanzanian media magnate involved in throwing her and her husband off their Tanzanian farm. He sued for libel in a British court. Dominic Burbidge explains.
Max Harris explains why journalist Andrew Bolt was found in breach of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act for articles about “fair-skinned Aboriginal people”.
Robert Coalson looks at how Russian television depicts everything from the crisis in Ukraine to the war in Syria.
Samson Yuen and Kitty Ho argue that the stabbing of a former Hong Kong news editor is a symptom of a broader squeeze on the city’s freedoms.
John Donatich, the director of Yale University Press, explains and defends his decision not to include illustrations in Jytte Klausen’s book.
Former US Diplomat Ann Wright speaks to Kim Wilkinson on the need for whistleblowers and institutions like WikiLeaks, but stresses that in some instances secrecy is necessary, such as in peace-making negotiations.
Shi Yige examines different approaches to censorship in China, and argues that while internet controls might avail the leadership in the short term, they are unsustainable.
For one taxi company in the Russian town of Kostroma, the answer turned out to be yes. Sergey Fadeev explains.
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.
University of Oslo professor Tore Slaatta describes a pioneering project to evaluate freedom of expression in a whole country.
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.
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…
Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has been an outspoken defender of whistleblowers and alternative media sources.
Edward Snowden was not the first NSA official to sound the alarm. Thomas Drake, winner of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, makes his case to Free Speech Debate.
Legal philosopher Martha Nussbaum gave the 2013 Dahrendorf Lecture, exploring how to live with religious diversity.
Kerem Oktem, in Istanbul, reflects on the pernicious influence of the government and business interests on Turkish broadcasters.
India has its own fierce debate about media regulation. Arghya Sengupta discusses how the shadow of the 1970s “Emergency” hangs over proposed steps from failed self-regulation to statutory regulation.
Our user imos.org.uk argues with one of our draft principles challenging the idea that privacy is a condition for free speech.
Nigel Warburton spoke with Timothy Garton Ash for Index on Censorship’s Free Speech Bites about the Free Speech Debate Project and global free speech standards.
The forthcoming trial of Kenyan broadcaster Joshua Arap Sang poses vital questions about the connections between words and violence, argues Katherine Bruce-Lockhart.
Timothy Garton Ash delivers the Orwell Lecture at an unprecedented literary festival in Rangoon. He talks about three Orwells and three Burmas.
Kerem Oktem introduces our translation of a column by Hasan Cemal, which his newspaper, Milliyet, refused to print.
The question of how best to respond to the unauthorised dissemination of copyright-protected expression over the internet has long troubled copyright owners. But the proposed solution of a Copyright Alert could potentially erode free speech, writes Graham Reynolds.
Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian, argues that Britain needs both a free press and reform of its failed regulatory system. Since this will require both time and openness, a new independent press regulator should therefore be given a year’s trial run.
Libyan media are crippled by their Gaddafi legacy. Without new regulations and, above all, bravery to stand up to violent intimidation, freedom of speech remains a distant dream, writes Jerry Timmins.
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.
The relationship between writers and the state is complex, multifaceted and changing. At the Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 a panel of experts explores some of the issues faced by writers around the world.
In 2006 the Kenyan police violently raided the offices and printing press of the Standard Group media organisation. What was the government afraid of seeing reported? Dominic Burbidge explores a revealing case.
The Indian media is in danger of losing its moral compass to the pressures of the new capitalism. It may be a time for a boycott in order to stop the rot, argues Manav Bhushan.
The Chinese Communist Party aims to control privately owned media without appearing to do so. A strike at a local newspaper imperils that balance, writes Liu Jin.
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.
The award-winning Indian novelist and activist speaks to Manav Bhushan about the limits to free speech in India, including government censorship through the media and “goon squads”.
An Indian and a Pakistani student at Oxford reflect on how their countries covered the same story in their own ways. By Zahra Shah and Debanshu Mukherjee.
Aryeh Neier, human rights lawyer and president emeritus of the Open Society Foundations speaks about the future of free speech.
Jerry Timmins describes a new report on media in two post-conflict societies, and argues that countries like Britain should do more to support them.
At the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), authoritarian governments staked worrying claims. But the US-dominated model of non-governmental internet governance brings its own problems, writes Alison Powell. Beware of the Clinton Paradox.
In 2010 president Barack Obama signed a law banning videos that depict animal cruelty. Judith Bruhn explores whether this is a justified restriction to freedom of expression.
Filippino journalist Marites Vitug speaks about her experience being charged with libel for her investigative journalism, freedom of the press in the Philippines and the new cybercrime law.
In 2008 two convicted murderers asked for their names to be removed from Wikipedia and other online media outlets, in accordance with German law. Does the individual’s right to be forgotten take priority over the public’s right to know?
Dominic Burbidge discusses how Ushahidi’s transformative crowdsourcing techniques have alleviated crises in Kenya and beyond.
A new report shows only 12% of US election coverage on the abortion debate quotes women. Judith Bruhn explores why this under-representation of women’s voices is undermining women’s freedom of speech.
We regularly highlight comments that have made an impression on us. Today’s comes from user Martinned responding to Brian Pellot’s discussion piece on the Innocence of Muslims controversy.
FSD’s Katie Engelhart sat in on this Frontline Club debate to discuss controversy surrounding the YouTube video Innocence of Muslims.
Join us to debate the role internet platforms like YouTube should play in setting free speech agendas in your country, your language and across the world. Online editor Brian Pellot kicks off the discussion.
Social media and satellite television played a crucial role in the Arab uprisings, but Daoud Kuttab argues community radio must be embraced to effect positive change in the region.
The Hrant Dink Foundation has run the Media Watch on Hate Speech project since 2009 to counter racist and discriminatory discourse in Turkish press. Project coordinators Melisa Akan and Nuran Agan explain the initiative.
Manav Bhushan, an Indian member of the Free Speech Debate team, makes the case for blocking hate-filled websites in his country.
The Swedish Pirate Party’s outspoken MEP explains why the European Parliament overwhelmingly rejected the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in July and discusses WCIT, the internet’s next four-letter foe.
Romedia Foundation aims to disseminate an insider’s view of Romani issues, empower Romani activists and challenge stereotypes through new media.
Dominic Burbidge explores the corrupt links between political elites and mainstream media that suffocate genuine democratic debate in Africa.
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.
Former investigative journalist Haiyan Wang describes the ways in which Chinese reporters push the boundaries of press freedom. Interview by Judith Bruhn.
From the Black Power Salute to Kozakiewicz’s Gesture, the Olympics have long served as a platform for political demonstrations, writes Brian Pellot.
A new report from former UN director of communications Edward Mortimer says the BBC’s coverage of the Arab Spring uprisings was “reasonably impartial”.
The online retailer has been criticised for profiting from ebooks featuring terror and violence. No one should tell us what to read, says Jo Glanville.
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.
Free Speech Debate’s 10 draft principles benefit those in positions of privilege and power, writes Sebastian Huempfer.
“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.
Ukrainian cultural journals have become the target of “raiders” – shady groups working on behalf of powerful interests who use bogus property claims to close down businesses, says Mykola Riabchuk.
Since the beginning of the Arab uprising, more than 70,000 videos have been uploaded to Al-Jazeera’s portal Sharek.
At an event in Oxford in 2011, three Indian scholars called on OUP India to re-publish an essay which had been denounced by Hindu extremists. Less than two weeks later, the publisher reversed its earlier decision not to re-publish.
This latest episode looks at the ethics of hacktivism, crowdsourcing in war zones and the right of Christians in the UK to wear the cross at work.
The public nature of the Leveson Inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal has been exemplary, writes Timothy Garton Ash.
Medical science frequently favours commercial interests over free speech, writes Deborah Cohen of the BMJ.
Amy O’Donnell explains how she’s using text messages to help African radio stations engage their listeners on important political issues.
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.
China may provide censorship tools to autocratic regimes in Africa, but western companies still dominate this market, writes Iginio Gagliardone, a post-doctoral fellow at Oxford University.
Join Free Speech Debate and ARTICLE 19 in London on Thursday 3 May for a panel discussion on the impact of ACTA on global free expression
Killer Anders Behring Breivik’s testimony should be broadcast live to deter extremism, argues Anne Ardem, executive editor at Norwegian state broadcaster NRK.
The secretive approach adopted by parties in negotiating the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement constrained the ability of the public to challenge limits on free expression, writes Graham Reynolds.
Historian Halil Berktay discusses the denial by the Turkish state that the mass murders of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in 1915 constituted a genocide.
In the first past of this debate, research fellow Kerem Öktem argues that an individual’s understanding of free speech is shaped by their personal history and geography.
Leading free speech expert Eric Barendt defends a British parliamentary report on privacy against criticisms by campaigning journalist John Kampfner.
From communism to Kurdish separatism, the Turkish state has used a series of pretexts to deny freedom of expression to its citizens, says journalist Hasan Cemal.
In 2011, a group of young Egyptians organised public film screenings to expose military violence against civilians, writes Hebatalla Taha.
The former head of Al Jazeera denies allegations that the network was in any way partisan under his watch, a criticism frequently levelled at the broadcaster, which is funded by the emir of Qatar.
In March 2012, self-proclaimed jihadist Mohammed Merah strapped a camera to his chest before killing seven people in France. Al-Jazeera TV channel opted not to show the footage, writes Jeff Howard.
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.
State control of media in China has certain benefits, including high quality television programmes, says Orville Schell of the Asia Society.
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.
The director general of the BBC explains why it aired Jerry Springer: The Opera, and talks about different responses to Christianity and Islam.
The professor of political science says that while new technologies offer opportunities, they also lead to political and social polarisation.
The professor of history at the American University in Cairo talks to FSD about the Egyptian military.
Media in the Middle East do not report gay issues in the same way as they would other news. By Brian Pellot.
The Turkish government has proposed a bill that will suspend all media offences committed before December 2011. But will the draft law actually improve press freedom, asks Funda Ustek.
Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad was found dead after publishing an article on the links between al-Qaida and Pakistan’s military, writes Ayyaz Mallick.
A documentary depicting the Turkish Republic’s founder, Kemal Atatürk, as a “drunken debaucher” was seen as an attack on “Turkishness”, write Irem Kok and Funda Ustek.
The author of the Master Switch says that while the right to be forgotten is a good idea in theory, the reality is that it may hamper entrepreneurship in Europe.
Lord Justice Leveson’s proposal for a celebrity privacy register that would allow famous individuals to opt out of the media limelight has divided magazine editors, writes Sebastian Huempfer.
In March 2011, two prominent investigative journalists were arrested in Turkey because of their alleged ties to a terrorist organisation. Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener faced 15 years’ imprisonment if they were convicted, write Funda Ustek and Irem Kok.
On July 23, 2011, two high-speed trains traveling on the Yongtaiwen railway line collided near the eastern coastal city of Wenzhou killing 40 people and injuring 191. A week later, all traces of the train accident had disappeared from newspaper and television programmes, writes Amy Qin.
For some, Valentine’s Day means chocolate and roses. For a group of Indian writers it has become an opportunity to reclaim freedom of expression in India.
Germany has a statutory right of reply in the media. Maximilian Ruhenstroth-Bauer explains a path to defending your reputation without going to court.
In 2010, Wikileaks released its first tranche of classified US state department cables. If Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing website, qualifies as a journalist then he would be protected under the first amendment, writes Katie Engelhart.
Professor Eric Barendt of University College London discusses the delicate balance between free speech and privacy.