Fleishman-Hillard Hired By Japanese Opposition Leader

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.


Chinese Reporters Fight Pay to Praise Plan

Chinese moneyA 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.


SLAPPing Speech

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.


Spreading Democracy, for Shah

"The Bush administration is expanding efforts to influence Iran's internal politics," including increasing aid to exile groups and airing "longer broadcasts criticizing the Iranian government" on Voice of America satellite TV programs. Under secretary of state for political affairs R.


From Britain, with Love - and Focus Groups

The Iranian presidential campaign of Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf, "a conservative former revolutionary guard air force commander whose candidacy has the blessing of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei," is patterned after that of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, reports the Guardian.



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