DARE: Press Struggles with Amplifying Trump’s Pre-Midterms Claims
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President Trump’s false claim that the United States is the only country allowing birthright citizenship and his proposal to undo the Constitutional amendment providing for this crystalizes the continuing challenges for news organizations that report on presidential statements with immediacy. Vice News investigation shows how easy it is to pose as a U.S. senator to buy ads with “paid for by” disclosures on Facebook. Istanbul chief prosecutor confirms that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the Saudi consulate. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer
The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today
Press Struggles with Amplifying Trump’s Pre-Midterms Claims
Journalists are still struggling with how to treat a president who says many things that don’t check out after further research. The latest test for media outlets emerged yesterday when Trump falsely claimed that the United States “is the only country in the world” that has birthright citizenship—when in fact more than 30 countries have similar policies.
We Posed as 100 Senators to Run Ads on Facebook. Facebook Approved All of Them.
VICE News applied to buy fake ads on behalf of all 100 sitting U.S. senators, including ads “Paid for by” by Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer. Facebook’s approvals were bipartisan: All 100 sailed through the system, indicating that just about anyone can buy an ad identified as “Paid for by” by a major U.S. politician.
Restricting Books for Prisoners Harms Everyone, Even the Non-Incarcerated
“By banning donated books in Pennsylvania, the PA department of corrections risks increasing recidivism rates, weakening educational programs, and preventing the intellectual and creative works of incarcerated people. For the sake of punishing prisoners, DOC is punishing us all.”
Hundreds Form Human Chain to Move Their Local Bookstore
After a rent increase forced not-for-profit radical bookstore October Books to relocate, about 250 people formed a human chain from the old stockroom all the way along 54 doors of high street to the store’s new location, passing a total of 2,000 books by hand in just a few hours.
Turkish Prosecutor Says Khashoggi Was Strangled and Dismembered in Saudi Consulate *PEN Case List
Turkey’s public prosecutor said today that Jamal Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered upon arrival at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month as part of “advance plans” to kill the prominent Saudi journalist and dispose of his body.
Guatemala Lawmakers Propose Jail for Some Political Speech
Five lawmakers introduced legislation that would punish with prison time certain kinds of speech criticizing elected officials and candidates in Guatemala, prompting charges that it would violate constitutional measures guaranteeing freedom of expression.
Uzbek Bloggers Test—and Hit—the Limits of New-Found Freedom
The new government in Tashkent is willing to make concessions as it vows to ease restrictions that made Uzbeks wary of speaking freely for the past 25 years; however, the change has its limits, and the detention of bloggers indicates the government is still sensitive to challenges to its authority.
CHANNEL NEWS ASIA
Local Journalists’ Body Condemns Pellet Attack on Journalist Ajaz Dar in Shopian
Video journalist Ajaz Dar was injured in intense protests in Meminder village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district where armed forces had launched a search operation after a militant attack. He claims the forces directly targeted him and another journalist with pellets after they identified themselves as the press.
FREE PRESS KASHMIR
A Chapter Closes: Last Hong Kong Bookshop Selling Titles Banned in China Shuts
Human rights activists and publishers have raised grave concerns over the closure of the People’s Bookstore, a tiny shop in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay district, known to be the last source of literary contraband in the city, in the latest example of China’s tightening pressure over the city.
THE GUARDIAN *See PEN America’s 2016 report on the disappearance of five Hong Kong booksellers, and the pressures facing booksellers and publishers there, here.
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