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Tag Archives: freedom of expression

The Supreme Court announced plans to wade into the issue of whether you can go to jail for posting violent or threatening messages on social media sites — even when your intent to actually carry out those actions is unclear.

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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 documentary reveals an important insight: the countries where most of the attacks come from the government are the same ones where the state controls a relatively greater portion of the media, which fosters a climate of opinion that lacks criticism. For example, in Ecuador, since 2005, the government has created at least 17 state media outlets; in Venezuela, in May of this year, Globovisión network — the only one left with any critical voice — was sold to people close to the regime; and in Argentina, 80 percent of the media is controlled through government funding and advertising.

Latin American media policies are shaped by two historical facts. First, Latin American political systems started to open up in the late 1980s. Liberal democratic politics are thus a comparatively recent development (Smith, 2005). In the majority of countries, media systems had been controlled by corporate media groups with close ties to authoritarian regimes and dictatorships (Fox, 1989; Mastrini & Becerra, 2005). Most of the Communication Acts in the region were set in this context. Consequently, there were no national trajectories of public service broadcasting development. To illustrate the panorama of Latin American media policy, I propose the following international coordinates of observation (Gómez, 2012). At one pole, some countries accord a central role to market logic, whereby light handed regulation favors powerful economic agents, and public authorities hold a referee status. This policy framework has been implemented since the late 80s (Schiller, 1990) and forms part of a larger process called marketization (Murdock & Wasko, 2007). At the opposite pole are normative public policies which seek to reform national communication systems against the following principles: a) constitutionally entrenched rights of communication; b) legal support for the growth of third sector media (community and indigenous media, non-profit associations, etc.). Such support includes spectrum allowances and specific licensing arrangements; c) de-concentration of media ownership. Together these tendencies constitute a de-commodification of communication policies. In other words, the hegemony of the market logic over the media system is challenged by social and community actors. Of course, the different national processes of media reform in Latin America may incorporate a mixture of elements from the two poles. Identifying these poles of development help provide answers to the following questions: How should the freedom of expression be guaranteed? What or whom is restricting the freedom of expression?

La Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa tiene el honor de presentar la tercera edición 2013 del valioso libro “La Libertad de Expresión en la Jurisprudencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos”, del que son autores los abogados mexicanos Sergio García Ramírez y Alejandra Gonza, destacadas figuras internacio-nales en el ámbito de los Derechos Humanos y, en lo particular, sobre libertad de expresión.