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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2021

Miral Sabry AlAshry

The purpose of this study is to investigate Libyan journalists’ perspectives regarding the media laws Articles 37,132, 38 and 46, which address media freedom in the new…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate Libyan journalists’ perspectives regarding the media laws Articles 37,132, 38 and 46, which address media freedom in the new Libyan Constitution of 2017.

Design/methodology/approach

Focus group discussions were done with 35 Libyan journalists, 12 of them from the Constitution Committee, while 23 of them reported the update of the constitution in the Libyan Parliament.

Findings

The results of the study indicated that there were media laws articles that did not conform to the international laws and United Nations treaties, which the Libyan Parliament committee approved. Another finding from the journalists was the Constitution should provide and guarantee press freedom, while media laws articles approved to put a paragraph about “censorship” in the press and media as a tool to silence government opposition. In addition, journalists indicated future constitution should redraft Article 38 to conform with Article 19 of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” to support the “principles of freedom of expression and information” without control. Moreover, Article 46 needs to be changed and linked to the “provisions of international law on the right of information access” to improve the access and dissemination of information in the media.

Practical implications

Redrafting the constitution articles in the future can be summarised as follows: First, the Libyan Constitution should provide and guarantee press freedom without any censorship and include clear articles to protect journalists in conflict zones. Second, Articles 37,132 and 38, about “freedom of information and publication,” need to be redrafted to link with Article 19 of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” to support the principles of freedom of expression and information, and the use of this right must not be subject to prior control. Third, Article 46 needs to be changed and linked to the provisions of “International law on the Right of Access to Information” to improve access and dissemination of information in the media to protect confidentiality sources. The most important articles should be implemented (freedom of information and personal information act) because after the Arab Spring revolutions, there was a transitional period in societies and a change in the constitutions of Tunisia and Egypt. They developed legal articles about media freedom so that Libya resembles other Arab countries. From that point, the journalists recommended that all information should be protected from government interference to ensure transparency, combat corruption and protect independent journalists. These articles will open the way to add more development articles to media freedom rules in the Journalists’ Syndicate. Fourth, there are also various types of threats encountered by journalists in their work. In pursuit of their right and freedom of expression, they recommended that Libya must establish an independent self-regulatory media that are free from political and economic influence. Fifth, journalists need licenses for them to work through the syndicate. The new syndicate should play an active role to safeguard the rights of journalists, activists and media entities to carry out their work and end the self-censorship. Sixth, the constitution should also add articles to end the impunity and change the articles in the penal code. Overall, the journalists covering the conflict and war are encountering threats, violence and imprisonment. As a result, Libyan journalists must seek new legislation to defend independent journalism and freedom of expression in their deeply divided country. In addition, they need to have a strong central authority to defend journalists and journalism in wartime, where journalists are regularly threatened, abducted and sometimes killed. Also, the Libyan Journalists Syndicate should stress the importance of the media’s self-regulation to guarantee their rights to freedom of expression, grant their readers’ respect and minimise government’s interference. Finally, they need to develop new laws to grant media freedom from regulations and restrictions, as well as defend and promote democracy, the citizens’ right to be informed, as well as their right to discuss and disseminate information. There is also the need to implement articles in the constitution, articles about the protection of political speech, which would be specific enough to differentiate between what is legally permitted and what may be ethically offensive.

Originality/value

This study will help the new Libyan parliament after the legislative elections on 24 December 2021 to amend the media laws articles in the constitution.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Renata Blanc, Muhammad Azizul Islam, Dennis M. Patten and Manuel Castelo Branco

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether differences in media exposure regarding corporate corruption appear to influence companies’ anti-corruption…

2330

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether differences in media exposure regarding corporate corruption appear to influence companies’ anti-corruption disclosures. The authors also examine whether the level of press freedom in firms’ home countries affects disclosure and the impact of media exposure in different ways.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use Transparency International’s 2012 ratings of anti-corruption disclosure by the 105 largest multinational firms in the world, press freedom assessments from the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders, and media exposure measures based on a search using the Dow Jones Factiva database. The authors assess relations using regression analysis controlling for other firm-specific factors potentially impacting disclosure choices. Finally, the authors consider the potential effect of other country-level factors.

Findings

The results indicate that media exposure, using either an existence or an extensiveness measure, is positively related to differences in sample companies’ anti-corruption disclosures. The authors also find that disclosure is more (less) extensive where home country press freedom is less (more) restricted and that reduced press freedom appears to reduce the impact of media exposure on the disclosure. The authors further document that press freedom levels explain more difference in anti-corruption disclosures than other country-level factors potentially influencing the practice.

Research limitations/implications

Because the investigation is limited to very large international firms for a single year, the degree to which the findings apply to other companies and time periods cannot be assessed. Further, the authors cannot determine how the findings would hold using an alternative disclosure rating scheme. Finally, the authors do not assess whether differences in the source of media exposure impact the findings.

Social implications

The findings suggest that, to the extent that improved anti-corruption disclosure reflects greater corporate attention to corruption issues, the media may be a powerful player in addressing this social ill. Unfortunately, the results also indicate that media efforts may not be sufficient to bring about change in locations where the freedom of the press is limited. Further, the results suggest that disclosure appears to be a function of exposure to social and political exposures, and the authors therefore question whether it will actually lead to improved corruption performance.

Originality/value

The study is the first to consider the impacts of media exposure and press freedom on corporate social disclosures.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 February 2022

Miral Sabry AlAashry

The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which Arab Governments limited freedom of expression and access to information for journalists while they…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which Arab Governments limited freedom of expression and access to information for journalists while they reported on COVID-19-related issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Focus group discussions were conducted with 20 journalists from Egypt, Jordan, Libya and Tunisia.

Findings

The results of the study indicated that journalists in these countries experience violence in many forms as follows: torture, imprisonment, closure of their websites and censorship of content. In the four countries investigated, the results revealed that there is severe censorship (self-censoring and the governments) of the content presented to the public, an element that is inconsistent with the Arab Constitution, as well as international law, thus violating human rights laws. In addition, governments publish COVID-19 misinformation and at the same time, do little to support an independent media environment.

Practical implications

Arab societies are in dire need of freedom of expression and the right to access information to give journalists an opportunity to cover the news during the pandemic.

Originality/value

This study is important because it investigates the political changes that occurred after the Arab Spring revolutions in three countries, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya and the freedom of expression and rights is still restricted. In the same way, Jordan is a royal government that is trying to achieve democracy under a dictatorial regime. This study attempts to suggest practical solutions for journalists through various stakeholders by highlighting the importance of access to information and freedom of expression, particularly during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. These freedoms are critical for journalists to provide health officials with information, improve the efficacy of public health interventions through feedback and prevent the spread of misinformation.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 April 2021

Anthony Löwstedt

Purpose – It may be time to reformulate the rejection of censorship. Freedom is not the only opposite of, strategic resource against, or antidote to, censorship…

Abstract

Purpose – It may be time to reformulate the rejection of censorship. Freedom is not the only opposite of, strategic resource against, or antidote to, censorship. Methodology/Approach – This chapter argues against censorship with a Kantian-normative approach (the deontological position of the categorical imperative), using conceptual analysis, constructivism, and international legal scholarship, from the standpoint of a humanity-wide duty to safeguard and promote cultural diversity and biodiversity. Increasingly visible weaknesses of the argument against censorship from the utilitarian standpoint of freedom, a negative argument, can be avoided in this way. Findings – Especially the neoliberal approach to freedom has no provisions against corporate and only little against copyright censorship, which are both becoming increasingly acute. Diversity, on the other hand, both biological and cultural, is argued to be instrumentally good, and intrinsically good, but the latter only if balanced by equality of basic rights. Originality/Value – The resulting moral and legal imperatives are to support, safeguard, and promote diversity, and thus to minimize both censorship in culture and selection/elimination in nature, but only to minimize them, simply because they cannot themselves be eliminated. It is impossible to eliminate elimination. This becomes clear when one considers self- and soft censorship. At least in the wide sense, censorship is inevitable – but sustainable development is impossible without strict minimization of censorship.

Details

Media and Law: Between Free Speech and Censorship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-729-9

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 April 2021

Lucia Bellucci

Purpose – This chapter aims to show how media law strongly contributed to shape in Hungary what has been pictured as a U-turn. This illiberal trend was subsequently…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter aims to show how media law strongly contributed to shape in Hungary what has been pictured as a U-turn. This illiberal trend was subsequently strengthened during the Covid-19 pandemic. Methodology/Approach – It considers that law also constitutes and not only orders political and social relationships. Law, including media law, has been in Hungary one of the main factors of change or rather of political-social construction. This chapter therefore moves from the study of positive law and analyzes Hungarian media laws within the theoretical framework of illiberal democracy, drawing from contributions to political science and socio-legal studies. Findings – This chapter demonstrated that media laws have outlined in Hungary a centralized regulatory system with broad powers, which lacks political independence, therefore encouraging self-censorship and limiting freedom of expression and pluralism. These laws contributed to shape the illiberal U-turn occurred in the country before the pandemic, but the coronavirus offered the occasion to reinforce government powers, giving the leeway to rule with no or minimum scrutiny for an indefinite period and further limiting dissent. The analysis enabled to argue that neither the media regulation established during the past decade nor the laws adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic are compatible with a modern democracy. Originality/Value – Based on existing literature, little research has been conducted on the appearance and endurance of non-democratic regimes, and supposedly even less within the context of the coronavirus pandemic which started only a few months ago, compared to the contributions available on democratization processes and democratic consolidation.

Details

Media and Law: Between Free Speech and Censorship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-729-9

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 2 December 2019

Frank Fitzpatrick

Abstract

Details

Understanding Intercultural Interaction: An Analysis of Key Concepts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-397-0

Expert briefing
Publication date: 5 May 2015

The outlook for media freedoms in South-east Asia.

Book part
Publication date: 8 December 2021

Dmitry Strovsky and Ron Schleifer

This chapter examines the evolution of the authoritarian political tradition in Russia from its inception to the present, and its influence on the development of Russian…

Abstract

This chapter examines the evolution of the authoritarian political tradition in Russia from its inception to the present, and its influence on the development of Russian mass media. The authoritarian tradition became most pivotal for daily life in Russia, as it ensured that the media fully ascribed to specific political agendas. The cohesion has consistently affected Russian media coverage and continues to shape it today. The authors investigate how precisely this occurs, focusing on several political events, specifically the current situation in Ukraine. Through studying certain empirical materials concerning the political evolution in Russia, the authors answer the question of whether in the future Russian media will be likely to continue serving as an instrument of political propaganda rather than as a source of non-biased information.

Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Abeer Al-Najjar

The MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region is in a critical moment in its information and news ecology, exhibiting signs of pretruth and posttruth syndromes. Between…

Abstract

The MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region is in a critical moment in its information and news ecology, exhibiting signs of pretruth and posttruth syndromes. Between the “pretruth” and “posttruth” there is a gap that circumvented “truth.” The state of information in the MENA region brings back the dystopian Orwellian notion of the “Ministry of Truth.” A poetic term in anticipation of this moment of the crisis of truth. Sharing the latter with the rest of the world, the pretruth moment is engraved in the region's history of precarious political and religious authoritarian control and manipulation of information and news and low press freedom. In the region, truth is told, hidden, distorted, and manufactured by a blend of humans and bots, where both artificial intelligence and social humans are involved in this process of multipolarized disinformation operations with multifarious sponsors, actors, and beneficiaries that have distinct and often clashing agendas and interests. To understand the ecology of truth, facts, news, and information in the Middle East, studies ought to be situated within the ecosystem of information and media technologies in the globalized national and transnational societies of the region and consider both the role of the regionally oriented neoauthoritarian regimes and that of interested rising and established global powers. Central to this ecosystem is the dynamic interaction among three actors: communication technologies (the focus here is on the Internet); media, public, and activists' use of these technologies to mobilize, inform, and present alternative narratives, and to resist or confirm state narratives; and the authoritarian political regimes and their containment strategies for legacy media (particularly television) and the Internet.

Details

Media, Technology and Education in a Post-Truth Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-907-8

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Journalism, Economic Uncertainty and Political Irregularity in the Digital and Data Era
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-559-9

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