Human Rights, or the Illusion Thereof

The UN is pushing for the arrest on war crimes charges of General Wiranto, Indonesia's former military leader and a strong candidate in July's presidential elections. Wiranto has "hired American campaign advisers and published an English translation of his memoirs" to "burnish his image internationally." Major U.S.


A Hard Spin: War Crimes Suspect to President

Indonesia will hold its first-ever direct presidential elections in July 2004. Noting that Indonesia is "a thriving democracy where public opinion matters," a partner in the Jakarta-based PR firm Maverick writes in today's Jakarta Post that "the more forward-thinking" candidates "have already appointed their image gurus." Not every candidate will clean up well, though.


Attack on Academic Freedom

With little fanfare and almost no media coverage, Congress recently passed House Resolution 3077, which threatens academic freedom by imposing rules on what professors can and can't teach. HR 3077 focuses in particular on "area studies" (university programs that study international culture and politics in specific regions of the world).


Freedom of the Press in Iraq

"Freedom of the press is beginning to smell a little rotten in the new Iraq," reports Robert Fisk, listing some of the fatwas that U.S. Proconsul Paul Bremer has issued against Al Jazeera and other Arab media. "Things are no better in the American-run television and radio stations in Baghdad. The 357 journalists working from the Bremer palace grounds have twice gone on strike for more pay and have complained of censorship.


Bush Shifts War Justification To Democracy

Addressing the National Endowment for Democracy, George W. Bush said that "the United States must commit itself to a decades-long transformation of the Middle East and termed the U.S. occupation of Iraq a turning point in the future of worldwide democracy," the Washington Post reports. "Bush's speech was the latest effort by the administration to stop the slipping support for the U.S. occupation of Iraq at home and abroad.


Media Reform Conference Begins Friday in Madison

Some 1,500 journalists, political reformers and citizens at large are convening in our home town of Madison, Wisconsin, November 7th - 9th for the National Conference on Media Reform. The conference begins Friday with a 2pm panel on 'Media and Propaganda During Wartime' featuring professor Nancy Snow, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and our own John Stauber, co-author of Weapons of Mass Deception.


Buying Your Way Into Airline "Radio News"

"The caller to Joanne Doroshow's office last month described
himself as working for Sky Radio Network, a company that
produces programming for Forbes Radio, one of the audio
channels available to passengers on American Airlines. As the executive director of the Center for Justice and
Democracy, a nonprofit organization that casts itself as a
champion of consumer rights, Ms. Doroshow was asked if she
would be interviewed for a talk show examining the issue of
tort reform. When Ms. Doroshow agreed, she said, the caller


Killing the Messenger in Guatemala

Journalists in Guatemala have recently been attacked, one fatally, by mobs supporting former dictator Rios Montt who is campaigning to become the country's president. '"The press is the only functioning institution in this country. That is why they either have to control it or scare it,'" said Mario Antonio Sandoval, vice president of the daily Prensa Libre and president of the 6-month-old cable channel Guatevision.



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