Guidelines issued by the Australian government's Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet advise public servants on how to avoid personal notebook comments being disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.
After notifying "foreign Web sites that his newspaper colleagues had been instructed not to commemorate the then-pending 15th anniversary of China's 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy activists," Chinese journalist Shi Tao received a 10-year prison sentence. According to Reporters Without Borders, the court that sentenced Mr. Shi "relied partly on evidence provided by a Hong Kong subsidiary of Internet company Yahoo Inc." The government of President Hu Jintao has repeatedly targeted the media.
Katsuya Okada, the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan and the main rival to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, has hired PR firm Fleishman-Hillard to help buff his image ahead of the September 11 national election.
Nine months before Antony Loewenstein's book on the conflict in Israel and Palestine, Voices of Reason, has even been published, it's under attack.
A leading state-run newspaper in China has scrapped a controversial appraisal system in which reporters would get paid more if they pleased the Communist Party's central propaganda department. The plan prompted a rebellion by the paper's reporters, one of whom posted an open letter condemning it on the Internet.
Thanks to Molly Ivins for mentioning our work in her recent column about "strategic lawsuits against public participation" (SLAPPs), in which corporations file harassment lawsuits to silence their critics. Ivins cites the experience of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, which "has already spent $10 million defending itself against a lawsuit filed by Isuzu Motors Ltd.