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In the last three years the climate for online free expression in Turkey has gone from relatively bad to awful. Mirroring the more general human rights situation that has progressively deteriorated, online free expression has become a key battleground. In this context, it should come as little surprise that the “usual suspects” – the “Dictators Little Helpers” as some have called them – have begun delivering increasingly advanced software and hardware to the Turkish government (Kehl & Morgus, 2014).At this point, it seems credible to assume that not only mass censorship and filtering but wide scale mass surveillance is taking place. Responsibility for such a failure cannot be laid at the feet of the Turkish government alone. If anything, the spiral into violence in Turkey also represents a failure of its key partners and neighbours. For example, the politics of Turkey’s EU accession made it impossible to “lock in” any progress made in the area of human rights. Instead repressive measures against free expression and other political rights have dominated Turkish politics since 2011, with successively more repressive measures since May 2011 heavily influencing Turkish politics. These authoritarian methods are reminiscent of other countries in the region but also of other authoritarian states such as Russia. Frustratingly, many of the countries affected by the Arab uprisings have praised the Turkish model and attempted to emulate it in some way or another. It should be emphasized however that the “Turkish model” in which even moderate political reform was considered possible no longer exists and that post-revolutionary countries would do better to look elsewhere for guidance.

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When the Open Society Foundations studied the integration experiences of Muslim and Somali communities in Western Europe, the research found that the majority in an economically deprived community could also be marginalized and victims of inequality—in different ways, perhaps, but with many of the same results. So in 2012, Open Society initiated a project to better understand and offer a platform to marginalized majority communities in six northwest European cities—Aarhus, Amsterdam, Berlin, Lyon, Manchester, and Stockholm. This research provides an insight into the daily experiences of white working class communities across Europe. While the majority ethnic populations in the six cities that this research focuses on were white, many of the factors that marginalize working class communities, such as a lack of decent jobs, poor health, or disadvantages in the education system, impact on people of any ethnic background. Different communities across Europe that we spoke to felt they are being blamed for their own marginalization. Blame has been shifted to individuals as wider social and economic factors are often downplayed. This is certainly true of media portrayals in the UK, and it also applies in the Netherlands—where the “antisocial television” genre focuses on poor Dutch families with behavioral or social problems—and Germany. This creates powerful stereotypes that can reinforce a community’s sense of exclusion. (via Understanding Europe’s White Working Class Communities | Open Society Foundations (OSF))

Broadcast media throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union stand to suffer when the transition to digital broadcasting takes place in 2015. Although digital broadcasting promises new channels, the way several governments are implementing the switch may result in fewer broadcasters able to reach audiences, and therefore create a more restricted news environment. These findings were published in IREX’s 2014 Media Sustainability Index (MSI) for Europe & Eurasia. See www.irex.org/msi for the full text of the report.

The European Media Systems Survey (EMSS) is an academic study that measures differences between national media environments in how they cover politics and public affairs. The data are collected via an online survey of several hundred specialists of media and politics in the individual countries covered. The study specifically focuses on media attributes for which no other cross-nationally comparable indicators are available. The complete study report is a very large file that can be downloaded from here and includes a methodological report, visual displays of key results, and a technical appendix. In order to shorten downloading time, these components can also be downloaded separately via links provided on this website.

This e-book provides valuable insights into the European Court of Human Rights’ case-law on freedom of expression and media and journalistic freedoms. It summarises over 200 judgments or decisions by the Court and provides hyperlinks to the full text of each of the summarised judgments or decisions (via HUDOC, the Court’s online case-law database). This e-book promises to become a digital vade mecum on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights for lawyers, judges, law- and policy-makers, civil society actors, journalists and other media actors, academics, students, and indeed everyone with an interest in its subject matter. It can be read in various ways: for initial orientation in the steadily growing Article 10 case-law; for refreshing one’s knowledge of that case-law; for quick reference and checking, as well as for substantive research.