A Free Press
A couple of weeks ago, I had to copy edit a print advertisement for a hotel which was offering a free press
. Unfortunately the website of the Malya Hotel
in Bandung is in good English with no mention of undergarments. So there goes my hoped for continuity link.
By now, anybody who has an interest in the reporting of world events knows that blogging has entered the mainstream of journalism. They were at the Democratic Convention
and politicians of all sizes and stripes are sharing their innermost thoughts. Not that anyone cares, because, by and large
, they're not very good
The issue for most of us is not about the quality of writing or argument, but the fact that it is there to be read. Having the ability to select and reject is a democratic principle. So the news that Amazon will not sell House of Bush, House of Saud
by Claud Unger in the UK seems to be a curb on a citizen's right to know. So, fellow Brits, either visit your local bookshop or order it from Amazon USA
When libel laws, or the threat of the use of them, go against public interest and protect the so-called élite, then they must be challenged. Publish and be praised is my motto. I certainly don't agree with the dissemination of stories about semination and you won't get any in this blog. (Digression: I've always said that football is a man's game and that England needs a virile manager. Most Addicks want Sven to stay so that Alan Curbishley stays with Charlton for the next season at least.)
The right to satirise must also be safeguarded. British taxpayers must be pleased to know that their government is preparing for emergencies
and has produced a leaflet in umpteen languages including English, but not, unfortunately, bahasa, which can be downloaded here
. However, they got a bit pissed of with Thomas Scott's parody of it and made him take down his site. So he's put it here
instead. Good on yer, Thomas.
Such tactics remind me of Indonesia. You can't kill irritating mozzies with a sledgehammer, but governments certainly try. Here, there is the attempt to stifle the Tempo media group which suggested that a very rich tycoon was using thugs to clear land for his future profit. As regular readings of both Tempo
and the Jakarta Post
confirm, it's certainly happened before and continues throughout Indonesia. In this particular case, the International Federation of Journalists
has given very strong support.
Jakartass is lending his support too.
Disclaimer: Jakartass is a bankrupt schizophrenic with paranoid delusions. Besides, it wasn't me guv.