Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Press freedom group honours yahoo China whistle-blower in Kyiv

The World Association of Newspapers recently honoured the jailed Chinese reporter who blew the whistle on yahoo operations in China by awarding him its annual press freedom award.

Certainly Kyiv was a good choice for WAN's 2006 conference. If only such a prestigious global organisation would spell the name of its host city properly...

Ukraine just recently joined this group so perhaps, with time, it will.

The Associated Press, the Middle East Publishers Association, the Editors and Publishers Association of Mauritius and the Association of Independent Regional Publishers of Ukraine have joined the World Association of Newspapers, which groups 76 publishers associations and 18,000 newspapers world-wide.

Not suprisingly, Ukraine is a shining light in the FSU regarding press freedom. Ukraine has been so with any kind of freedom for centuries. Let's hope that, for once, that light doesn't get snuffed out.

The region covering the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe is one of stark contrasts when it comes to the state of press freedom. Countries such as Ukraine and those in Eastern Europe have shown steady progress in the fifteen years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Press freedom in Belarus and the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan has declined considerably in recent years, and the past few months have proved no different. Russia is characterized by a complex and often contradictory media environment.

No comments: