Europe: Journalists Against Free Speech

Judith Bergman
Gatesstone Institute


  • Gone is all pretense that journalism is about reporting the facts. These are the aims of a political actor.
  • Being bought and paid for by the EU apparently counts as “press freedom” these days.
  • According to the guidelines, journalists should, among other things, “Provide an appropriate range of opinions, including those belonging to migrants and members of minorities, but… not… extremist perspectives just to ‘show the other side’…. Don’t allow extremists’ claims about acting ‘in the name of Islam’ to stand unchallenged…. where it is necessary and newsworthy to report hateful comments against Muslims, mediate the information.”

The European Federation of Journalists (EJF), “the largest organization of journalists in Europe, represents over 320,000 journalists in 71 journalists’ organizations across 43 countries,” according to its website. The EJF, a powerful player, also leads a Europe-wide campaign called “Media against Hate.”

The “Media against Hate” campaign aims to:

“counter hate speech[1] and discrimination in the media, both on and offline… media and journalists play a crucial role in informing…policy … regarding migration and refugees. As hate speech and stereotypes targeting migrants proliferate across Europe… #MediaAgainstHate campaign aims to: improve media coverage related to migration, refugees, religion and marginalised groups… counter hate speech, intolerance, racism and discrimination… improve implementation of legal frameworks regulating hate speech and freedom of speech…”

Gone is all pretense that journalism is about reporting the facts. These are the aims of a political actor.

A very large political actor is, in fact, involved in the “Media against Hate” campaign. The campaign is one of several media programs supported by the EU under its Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC). In the REC program for 2017, the EU Commission, the EU’s executive body, writes:

“DG Justice and Consumers [the EU Commission’s justice department] will address the worrying increase of hate crime and hate speech by allocating funding to actions aiming at preventing and combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance… including dedicated work in the area of countering online hate speech (implementation of the Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online)… DG Justice also funds civil society organisations combatting racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance”.

This political player, the EU, the biggest in Europe, works openly at influencing the “free press” with its own political agendas. One of these agendas is the issue of migration into Europe from Africa and the Middle East. In his September State of the Union address, the president of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, made it clear that whatever Europeans may think — polls repeatedly show that the majority of Europeans do not want any more migrants — the EU has no intention of putting a stop to migration. “Europe,” Juncker said, “contrary to what some say, is not a fortress and must never become one. Europe is and must remain the continent of solidarity where those fleeing persecution can find refuge”.

The European Union’s REC Program also recently financed the publication of a handbook with guidelines for journalists on how to write about migrants and migration. The guidelines form part of the RESPECT WORDS project — also EU-financed — which “aims to promote quality reporting on migrants and ethnic and religious minorities as an indispensable tool in the fight against hate”. The new guidelines are “aimed at strengthening quality media coverage of migrants and ethnic and religious minorities”. The handbook was launched on October 12 by the International Press Institute (IPI) — an association of media professionals” representing leading digital, print and broadcast news outlets in more than 120 countries. IPI boasts that it has been “defending press freedom since 1950”. (Being bought and paid for by the EU apparently counts as “press freedom” these days.) Seven other European media outlets and civil society groups based in Europe participated in the project and presented it at an event at the European Parliament in Brussels attended by MEPs and civil society experts. According to the press release, the guidelines are “supplementary to standards already in place at news outlets”.

The guidelines state that, “journalism cannot and should not ‘solve’ the problem of hate speech on its own” but that it can help to prevent its “normalisation”. However, “meeting this challenge requires the involvement of many actors, in particular the European Union, which must reinforce existing mechanisms and support new tools designed to combat hate speech…”

Why do journalists, who claim to fight for the freedom of the press, now appeal to the EU to help bring an end to freedom of speech in Europe?

According to the guidelines, journalists should, among other things:

“Provide an appropriate range of opinions, including those belonging to migrants and members of minorities, but… not… extremist perspectives just to ‘show the other side’… Avoid directly reproducing hate speech; when it is newsworthy to do so, mediate it by…challenging such speech, and exposing any false premises it relies on. Remember that sensitive information (eg race and ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, party affiliation or union affiliation, health and sexual information) should only be mentioned when it is necessary for the public’s understanding of the news”.

Continue reading “Europe: Journalists Against Free Speech”

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Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between

Ben Steverman
Bloomberg

The U.S. retirement age is rising, as the government pushes it higher and workers stay in careers longer.

But lifespans aren’t necessarily extending to offer equal time on the beach. Data released last week suggest Americans’ health is declining and millions of middle-age workers face the prospect of shorter, and less active, retirements than their parents enjoyed. Continue reading “Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between”

The Men Taking Classes to Unlearn Toxic Masculinity

Olivia Campbell
The Cut

For some time, Stephen Hicks had felt like something was off. “My relationship ended, then a lot of things started collapsing in front of me,” Hicks says. He began attending therapy, which made him realize that he needed to make a bigger change: “I wasn’t doing really terrible things, but I also wasn’t being the most ideal Stephen I could be,” he says. “The bar is really lowered for cisgender guys.”

So earlier this year, Hicks signed up for the pilot Rethink Masculinity class, a partnership between the Washington, D.C., Rape Crisis Center, Collective Action for Safe Spaces, and ReThink, an organization that works to prevent sexual assault. Continue reading “The Men Taking Classes to Unlearn Toxic Masculinity”

YOU’RE TERMINATED Vladimir Putin warns of future sci-fi super-human soldiers more ‘destructive than nuclear bombs’ who feel no fear or pain

Mark Hodge UK Sun VLADIMIR Putin has claimed genetically-modified super soldiers “worse than a nuclear bomb” could soon become a reality. The strongman Russian President spoke to a crowd of students about the prospect of an army of trained killers incapable of feeling “pain or fear” much like the characters in 1992 action movie Universal Soldier. He revealed that scientists are close to breaking the … Continue reading YOU’RE TERMINATED Vladimir Putin warns of future sci-fi super-human soldiers more ‘destructive than nuclear bombs’ who feel no fear or pain

‘Civilize the market’ for common good, care of creation, pope says

Cindy Wooden CRUX Pope Francis said on Friday that in societies where profit is allowed to be the only concern, “democracy tends to become a plutocracy, where inequality and the exploitation of the planet grows.” The pontiff said political action “must be placed truly at the service of the human person, the common good and respect for nature.” Greater inequality and a more rapid destruction … Continue reading ‘Civilize the market’ for common good, care of creation, pope says

G7, tech giants agree on plan to block jihadist content online

AFP

Ischia (Italy) (AFP) – G7 countries and tech giants including Google, Facebook and Twitter on Friday agreed to work together to block the dissemination of Islamist extremism over the internet.

“These are the first steps towards a great alliance in the name of freedom,” Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti said after a two-day meeting with his Group of Seven counterparts, stressing the role of the internet in extremist “recruitment, training and radicalisation.”

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the goal was to ensure pro-jihadist content “is taken down within two hours of it going online.”

“Our enemies are moving at the speed of a tweet and we need to counter them just as quickly,” acting US Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said. Continue reading “G7, tech giants agree on plan to block jihadist content online”

Pope: Market, State, Society Should Cooperate

Zenit

Address to Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

Pope Francis said there is “a need of great current relevance, such as that of developing new models of cooperation between the market, the State and civil society, in relation to the challenges of our time.”

His comments came October 20, 2017, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, where he received the participants in the meeting organized by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

The Holy Father focused on two key points:

  • The endemic and systemic increase of inequality and the exploitation of the planet, which is greater than the increase in income and wealth.
  • The other cause of exclusion is work that is not worthy of the human person.

Continue reading “Pope: Market, State, Society Should Cooperate”

DHS Chief: Tech Firms Must Act Quicker To Remove Extremist Propaganda

Activist Post

The acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke has called on Silicon Valley to remove extremist content, Reuters reported.

The United States and Britain are set to push social media firms to deal with the problem at a G7 meeting of interior ministers this week, Duke told reporters in London where she had been meeting British Home Secretary (interior minister), Amber Rudd.

“There has been a shift and for us somewhat with the Charlottesville incident,” she said. “There are a lot of social pressures and they want do business so they really have to balance between keeping their user agreements and giving law enforcement what they need.” Continue reading “DHS Chief: Tech Firms Must Act Quicker To Remove Extremist Propaganda”

Cities are getting paid to turn street lights into spying SmartNodes

Mass Private I [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnAh4dJfa4I%5B/embedyt%5D The future of privacy in big cities is bleak, cities are now getting paid to convert street lights into spying SmartNodes. What are SmartNodes? SmartNodes will soon replace street lights, because they are equipped with cameras, microphones, speakers etc., all-in-one light pole. The city of Los Angeles, Calfornia is working with Phillips Lighting and ENE-HUB to turn 110,000 street lights into a one-of-a-kind citywide SmartNode surveillance … Continue reading Cities are getting paid to turn street lights into spying SmartNodes

China to build giant facial recognition database to identify any citizen within seconds

Project aims to achieve an accuracy rate of 90 per cent but faces formidable technological hurdles and concerns about security South China Morning Post The goal is for the system to able to match someone’s face to their ID photo with about 90 per cent accuracy. The project, launched by the Ministry of Public Security in 2015, is under development in conjunction with a security … Continue reading China to build giant facial recognition database to identify any citizen within seconds