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UN expert warns of dangerous decline in media freedom – World – ReliefWeb

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Reporters getting killed while chasing a story. Online attacks against women journalists, including death and rape threats. Targeted electronic surveillance to intimidate and silence investigative journalism.

This is the dangerous reality for many journalists around the world as media freedom and safety have diminished in the digital age with a grave impact on human rights, democracy and development, a UN expert warned.

“The decline of media freedom and the rise in threats to the safety of journalists is a worldwide trend, most sharply evident in backsliding democracies and recalcitrant totalitarian States,” said Irene Khan, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. “The consequences for human rights, democracy, public participation and development are worrying.”

In a report to the Human Rights Council, Khan said digital technology has opened great opportunities for journalists and media freedom, including ground-breaking investigative reporting, cross-border collaboration, fact-checking with audiences, and access to treasure troves of data and sources.

However, Khan pointed out the digital age also poses serious challenges and threats. As examples, she cited online and offline attacks and killing of journalists with impunity; criminalisation and harassment of journalists; and the erosion of independence, freedom and the plurality of voices and opinions in state and corporate media, including digital companies.

“Silencing journalists by killing them is the most egregious form of censorship,” Khan said, urging the Council to consider measures to address impunity, including an international taskforce on the prevention, investigation and prosecution of attacks against journalists.

She cited a database site compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that reported that 455 journalists had been killed while doing their jobs between 2016–2021. In more than eight out of ten cases, the perpetrators have not been brought to justice.

Online attacks against women journalists

The report draws special attention to online attacks against women journalists, which are often vicious, coordinated and highly sexualized, and target women from religious and ethnic minorities or gender non-conforming people.

“Such violence inflicts very real psychological injury, chills public interest journalism, kills women’s careers and deprives society of important voices and perspectives,” the report says.

“A free, independent and diverse media fulfils society’s right to know, as well as journalists’ right to seek, receive and impart information.”
– IRENE KHAN, UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF OPINION AND EXPRESSION

The old practice of abusing laws – from libel laws to anti-terrorism legislation — to punish journalists and suppress media freedom has been revived by some States with a new ferocity, the report adds.

Khan cited the case of Philippine Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa, who has faced an onslaught of legal actions in the Philippines for her critical reporting of former president Rodrigo Duterte.

Erosion of independence and pluralism

Khan also pointed to the erosion of independence, pluralism and economic viability of media in the digital age.

In a number of countries, including in Central and Eastern Europe, there is a creeping trend towards State control over public media and in favouring privately-owned media that serves the political or economic interests of those in power.

Khan also said media viability is a matter of human rights, not just a question of economics. The collapse of the advertising-based news media business model in the digital age has led to staff cutbacks and closures of news outlet in many countries. While some national and international news providers and niche news producers are managing through subscriptions, paywalls, reader contributions and subsidies, many others could face a media extinction.

“In a world where disinformation increasingly masquerades as news and authoritarian and populist leaders attack journalists and media outlets to sow public distrust, critical independent journalism produced in the public interest is essential. Its absence or decline in many countries represents a major assault on media freedom,” the report warns.

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Media Release – August 18, 2022 – Guelph Police – Guelph Police Service

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Hundreds of calls lead to charges

A Cambridge male faces criminal harassment charges after placing hundreds of calls to members of a Guelph family, including at their place of work.

A Guelph female known to the subject had to change her phone number after receiving a large number of unwanted calls. He then began contacting a Guelph business where members of the female’s family work, filling the voicemail and causing the business several times to turn off its phones.

After a supervisor from the business contacted the male in an attempt to end the calls, the supervisor began receiving a large number of calls and texts from the male on his personal cellphone. On July 18, while Guelph Police Service officers were at the business taking a statement, the accused called approximately 25 times.

A 25-year-old Cambridge male is charged with two counts of criminal harassment. He will appear in a Guelph court October 7, 2022.

Elderly female loses $3,000 in gift card scam

The Guelph Police Service is investigating after an elderly female lost $3,000 in a gift card scam.

On Wednesday afternoon, a female in her 70s received a phone call from a male claiming to be a fraud investigator. The male claimed the victim’s credit card had been compromised and that purchases had been made at several businesses. He asked her to assist their investigation by buying gift cards from several locations and that her credit card would be reimbursed.

The victim bought six $500 gift cards from various businesses, later providing the PIN numbers to a male on the telephone.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Constable Keith Kolodziejczak at 519-824-1212, ext. 7452, email him at kkolodziejczak@guelphpolice.ca, leave a message for Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous tip at www.csgw.tips.

The Guelph Police Service would like to remind the public that no police officer or government official will ever instruct you to purchase and send gift cards or submit payment via Bitcoin. Please be very vigilant and cautious whenever you are speaking with someone you don’t know, especially online or over the phone. Please also seek advice from a family member, co-worker, trusted friend or the Guelph Police Service at 519-824-1212 before following through on instructions received from a person that you don’t know.

Police investigate theft from trailer

The Guelph Police Service is investigating a break and enter to a storage trailer.

On Wednesday morning, police were called to a business on Edinburgh Road North near Speedvale Avenue West. A male reported his son is in the process of moving to Guelph and had arranged to store some belongings in a trailer in the business’ parking lot.

On Wednesday morning the locks on the trailer were found to be broken and several items, including a vintage chrome bicycle, were missing.

The incident is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Constable Bakir Medencevic at 519-824-1212, ext. 7235, email him at bmedencevic@guelphpolice.ca, leave an anonymous message for Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous tip online at www.csgw.tips.

Total calls for service in the last 24 hours – 258

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Opinion | Turning Point USA shouldn't limit media access to DeSantis-Vance rally – The Washington Post

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Journalists across the United States find themselves increasingly shut out of political events they would have routinely, and easily, covered in previous election cycles.

Candidates have been trying to bypass mainstream media scrutiny for generations. Most politicians prefer to engage with ideologically friendly outlets, such as Fox News or MSNBC. But in recent election cycles, campaigns have generally scheduled fewer, yet more scripted, public events. More often than before, newsworthy gatherings are not announced ahead of time, and reporters find out they occurred only when pictures get posted to social media or a news release is sent out later. For traditional outlets, interviews with many candidates have become harder to secure. Some campaigns don’t even return calls or emails.

These trends don’t just hinder media coverage. They also insulate would-be leaders from tough questions and thorny issues. Mostly, they hurt voters by leaving them less informed.

Both parties deserve criticism on this front, but the worst offenders, by far, come from the GOP’s MAGA wing. Sarah Palin, a former governor and vice-presidential nominee, announced no public events in Alaska between a rally that former president Donald Trump headlined for her in Anchorage on July 9 and the special election that took place Tuesday. In Pennsylvania, gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano’s campaign has physically barred reporters from entering events. Other candidates, such as Georgia U.S. Senate hopeful Herschel Walker, have also been extremely unavailable.

The Florida GOP recently blocked many independent reporters, including from The Post, from covering the party’s Sunshine Summit — which was previously open to the media — while permitting outlets that were deemed sufficiently supportive. When journalists complained, the spokeswoman for Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted: “My message to them is to try crying about it.” Florida’s governor has pioneered new techniques in thwarting journalists from doing their jobs. He gave Fox News, for example, exclusive access to a bill-signing.

On Friday, Mr. DeSantis is to travel to Ohio to stump with Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance. The organizers of the event, a conservative nonprofit called Turning Point Action, are requiring that journalists applying for credentials agree to give organizers access to any footage they record and be willing to answer questions about how it will be used. Journalists who attend are restricted from recording speakers, staff and attendees who do not wish to be filmed and from going into certain areas of the event. They also are barred from recording anything displayed on projection screens.

To apply for a credential, reporters must agree to the terms that state: “Turning Point Action shall have the final say on all matters.” A spokesman for Turning Point Action says the group frequently waives “certain clauses for legitimate press outlets that are covering the event in good faith, as we’ve offered to do with Washington Post reporters for the very events in question.”

That’s a start, but these highly unusual conditions have led to understandable outrage among Ohio television stations. Media organizations record these events for the benefit of voters, as well as for history. They should be allowed to do their jobs unencumbered.

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Communications and Media Specialist – Sault Ste. Marie News – SooToday

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Communications and Media Specialist
Full-Time Contract – 12 Months with opportunity for renewal based on available funding

Who you are? You are highly motivated in sharing your interest in the Health Field through digital communications technology. Acknowledging the Seven Grandfather Teaching in your work to build relationships through oral speaking. You have strong writing skills and enjoy facilitating. In addition, you have a positive outlook and able to proficiently utilize this through different media concepts.
Who we are? We are a leader in First Nation Health. Our foundation is Indigenous Health in Indigenous Hands. We provide accessible, quality, culturally safe and holistic health care that supports and enhances the wellness of individuals, families, and communities. We work with our 11 First Nation community partners in the provision of primary health care, traditional healing, mental wellness and addictions, home and community support services and health promotion services. We have recently been approved as an Ontario Health Team by the Ministry of Health. As the first Indigenous Ontario Health Team in the province, Maamwesying is looking forward to establishing our Transformation Team to assist us in developing and implementing the Maamwesying Ontario Health Team model.
The opportunity: As the new highly skilled Communications and Media Specialist you will be responsible for providing strategic advice and support in the development, implementation and evaluation of communication and marketing strategies and tactics supporting executive engagement communications and initiatives.

What you need to bring with you:
• Post-secondary degree in communications or a related field (e.g., marketing, journalism, media)
• Minimum of three years of experience leading communications activities as well as developing and implementing social media campaigns
• Experience with stakeholder engagement and coordinating input/feedback from stakeholders (in-person; website; surveys; etc.)
• Effective communicator, able to communicate effectively and concisely, both orally and in writing, including effective presentation skills
• Experience with Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop, InDesign and Premier Pro
• Experience of comfort in simple website building with simple tools such as Weebly, Wix, or Nicepagee
• Committed to expecting and respecting diversity with demonstrated ability to identify and respond to the needs of diverse communities
• Knowledge of, and interest in the health issues affecting Anishinaabe people. Ability to speak Ojibway is an asset
• Strong organizational, time management and planning skills
• Good understanding of Ontario’s healthcare system and healthcare administration (asset)
• Knowledge of Ontario’s Ontario Health Team model and local Ontario Health Team structure/plan (asset)
• English (verbal and written); Ojibway is an asset
• Valid Ontario driver’s license with access to own vehicle
• Highly motivated and able to work independently from home and to travel as required throughout the North Shore Tribal Council region

Why Work with Us?
• Competitive Salary based on experience
• Paid Extended Health Benefits
• HOOPP (Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan)
• Generous vacation package; with additional 7 Aboriginal statutory holidays
• Life-long learning is a priority, offering 10 Professional Development Days and $1200/Annual Budget
• Technology Amenities provided (i.e., laptop, electronic medical record system, cell phone)
• Company vehicle provided; all travel expenses covered
• Daytime hours of work 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
• Relocation Expenses are Negotiable
• High staff satisfaction rated work environment, priority on provider and client experience
• Access to Cultural and Traditional teachings of the Ojibwe People
• 2 weeks holiday for the 1st year
• 15 days of Personal Leave

What to expect? We encourage traditional practices of Indigenous People, and we burn our sacred medicines such as tobacco, sweet grass, sage and cedar. We reserve the right to hiring Indigenous people under section 14 of the Ontario Human Rights Code – Special Programs. Accommodations for the disabled will be available upon request. An offer of employment will be conditional upon an acceptable vulnerable sector records check.

Qualified individuals are invited to submit a cover letter along with a current resume, certificates, diplomas, along with three current work-related references to hr@nmninoeyaa.ca. Please ensure that “OHT Communications and Media Specialist” appears in the subject line or apply directly on www.Indeed.ca

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