Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Yemen SMS news ban attacked by journalists

Today I see the first example of a Government blocking new technology for the delivery of news via SMS, I wonder how long it will be before they block the recording of it by Citizen Journalists?

Yesterday I put up a piece form the BBC about how Blair saw the media as a feral beast and said that "The arrival of web based news and blogs and 24 hour television news channels meant reports were driven by impact"
Also in May I did an article on how the UK Government and mobile phone suppliers met to look at how to shut down cameras and video on mobile phones "The Government , Your Mobile Phone and it's Criminal Tendency"

Government bans news sent to mobile phones by SMS message

Reporters Without Borders today condemned new media censorship in Yemen, where access to at least two websites has been blocked since the start of the year, in one case for three months, and the information ministry is now censoring the distribution of news to mobile phones by SMS message.

“It is disturbing that the Yemeni government is attacking new technology in this way,” the press freedom organisation said. “It never showed any open-mindedness towards the opposition media and these new arenas of expression offered a fresh opportunity for the media. The authorities have again demonstrated their determination to control news and information that is critical of them.”

The al-Shora website, which regularly posted opposition articles, was closed on 24 February. It was finally allowed to reopen on 23 May. The socialist website aleshteraki was similarly closed for a week, from 16 to 23 May. The government was worried by the fact that they were controlled by opposition parties. It was also concerned about their coverage of the fighting with the al-Houthi rebels in Saada province.

The information and telecommunications ministry has now banned several mobile phone news distribution services, including those proposed by the companies Nass mobile and Bela Qoyod mobile, on the grounds that they were not subject to sufficient control. The ministry nonetheless said that the authorities could offer such services.

SMS messages expressing criticism of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government had circulated in the weeks prior to the ban. The opposition parties denied being behind them. On 7 June, the government announce the start of a debate about a new press law, one concerning new media in particular.


Also more on

Colour managed web browser for windows

Apple have now produced their Saffarri browser for windows users.
This broweser reads the Colour profile ebeded in the images so it displays it correctley

More info here:

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Media 'like feral beast' - Blair

Media 'like feral beast' - Blair
Tony Blair
Tony Blair leaves office at the end of June
Tony Blair has said the media can operate like "a feral beast" and its relationship with politicians is "damaged" and in need of repair.

The prime minister said relations had always been fraught, but now threatened politicians' "capacity to take the right decisions for the country".

The arrival of web-based news and blogs and 24-hour television news channels meant reports were "driven by impact".

Mr Blair also said newspaper and TV regulatory systems needed to change.

In these modes it is like a feral beast, just tearing people and reputations to bits
Tony Blair

In full: Blair's media speech

In a speech to the Reuters news agency on public life, he said the media world was becoming more fragmented, with the main BBC and ITN bulletins now getting half the audiences they had previously and newspapers fighting for their share of a "shrinking market".

He said fierce competition for stories meant that the modern media now hunted "in a pack."

"In these modes it is like a feral beast, just tearing people and reputations to bits, but no-one dares miss out," he said.

'Unravelling standards'

The result was that the media was increasingly "and to a dangerous degree" driven by "impact" which was, in turn, "unravelling standards, driving them down," he said.

Mr Blair, who will step down as prime minister on 27 June, admitted that New Labour's own attempts to "court" and "assuage" the media in the early days of his government may have contributed to the problem.

He said he had tried to have a dialogue with the media, through measures like on-the-record lobby briefings, monthly press conferences and the Freedom of Information Act.

But, he said: "None of it to any avail, not because these things aren't right, but because they don't deal with the central issue - which is how politics is reported."

He said people in public life, from politics to business, sport, the military and charities, found that "a vast aspect" of their job now was coping with the media, "it's sheer scale, weight and constant hyperactivity. At points it literally overwhelms".

And he said there was increasingly commentary on the news, which could prove "incredibly frustrating".

"There will often be as much interpretation of what a politician is saying, as there is coverage of them actually saying it," he said.

He said the relationship between public life and the media was in need of repair.

He added: "The damage saps the country's confidence and self-belief, it undermines its assessment of itself, its institutions and above all, it reduces our capacity to take the right decisions, in the right spirit for our future."

Mr Blair concluded his speech by saying he had made it "after much hesitation" and he expected it to be "rubbished", but it "needed to be said - so I've said it".


Tony Blair has obviously been looking at NowPublic! But it is interesting to see if Crowd sourced Journalism and Citizen Journalism gets dragged into the firing line, Being independent Governments have less control over how and when we can publish news

Monday, 11 June 2007

Jailed Chinese journalist sues Yahoo!

A Chinese journalist who was jailed for leaking state secrets is demanding compensation from Yahoo! after the internet portal provided information that led to his arrest.

Shi Tao, a 39-year-old former Contemporary Business News reporter, in 2004 re-distributed by Yahoo! Mail an official Communist Party dictate that requested journalists refrain from reporting June 4 protests by dissidents commemorating the 1989 Tianamen Square clashes.

Following a Chinese government request, Yahoo! handed over Tao's identity, after which he was detained and later imprisoned for 10 years.

Shi Tao was awarded the Golden Pen press freedom commendation, last week at the World Editors Forum in Cape Town, for his actions.

At a news conference in Hong Kong yesterday, Mao's mother, Gao Qinsheng, announced he had joined a lawsuit, started by the World Organisation for Human Rights USA, seeking damages from Yahoo!.


Read more

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Quick Tip

Ok so it is nearly summer and I get a phone call for a very urgent rush job late in the evening. You know rush like mad to get there on time, all traffic against you and you think that every one is conspiring to stop you from being on time.
Then you end up waiting, and waiting, and waiting some more…by now you are getting cold as the night still is not warm; there is a cold breeze moving in that creeps through your summer coat, there is too much stuff in my pockets so no room for my hands in there and I wait some more…

The person who I need to take the portraits of, now turns up and I find my hands and fingers are cold and a quite numb, but not enough to function on the controls, but if it had been longer that might have been a different story. During winter I have a pair of gloves that live in my camera bag, but they do take up quite a bit of room

I also have the problem in that I still have not found the ideal glove that allows me to keep my hands warm, give me a good grip and allow me to use all the controls on the camera in a hurry,

All my camera bags and chestvest now all boast a lightweight, space saving, waterproof, gripy and very functional pairs of gloves in them and they cost very little.

Latex gloves like the surgeons use can be brought at chemists and are ideal, but I brought mine from a tattoo artist and they are textured surface and black. Your hands get a little sweaty inside but they keep the wind off give warmth allow you to use the controls on your camera and provide good grip as for very cold weather ill have to wait for winter but could be warn under/over a thin thermal pair.

I got 10 pairs for a quid (£1.00 sterling) simple Black Latex gloves

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Reporter arrested on orders ofGuiliani Press Secretary

Aaron Dykes & Alex Jones / Jones Report | June 5, 2007

Manchester, NH - Freelance reporter Matt Lepacek, reporting for, was arrested for asking a question to one of Giuliani's staff members in a press conference. The press secretary identified the New York based reporter as having previously asked Giuliani about his prior knowledge of WTC building collapses and ordered New Hampshire state police to arrest him.

Jason Bermas, reporting for America: Freedom to Fascism, confirmed Lepacek had official CNN press credentials for the Republican debate. However, his camera was seized by staff members who shut off the camera, according to Luke Rudkowski, also a freelance Infowars reporter on the scene. He said police physically assaulted both reporters after Rudkowski objected that they were official members of the press and that nothing illegal had taken place. Police reportedly damaged the Infowars-owned camera in the process.

Reporters were questioning Giuliani staff members on a variety of issues, including his apparent ignorance of the 9/11 Commission Report, according to Bermas. The staff members accused the reporters of Ron Paul partisanship, which press denied. It was at this point that Lepacek, who was streaming a live report, asked a staff member about Giuliani's statement to Peter Jennings that he was told beforehand that the WTC buildings would collapse.

Giuliani's press secretary then called over New Hampshire state police, fingering Lepacek


Saturday, 2 June 2007

New Trespass Law Enacted

Entering Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and the prime minister's country
house Chequers as a trespasser has become a criminal act.

Police could not previously make an arrest if that person agreed to be
escorted off the site.

But under law which comes into force on 1 June, residences of the Queen have
been added to a list of areas where trespassers can be arrested.

Offenders can be jailed for up to 12 months or fined.

The legal changes follow several high-profile incidents where Royal sites
were breached by protesters.

The law could have consequences for press photographers who are legitimately covering news stories and I expect to see a further "additions" to the list of places where trespass is a criminal  act, as protesters occupy places that the authorities don't want them.

Source BBC

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