Journalism Current Affairs - 2020

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UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize 2019

The 2019 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize has been awarded to Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. The jury has recognised their exceptional courage in reporting on alleged human rights violations in the Myanmar’s state of Rakhine.

Both Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had worked hard to pursue a career in journalism that was impossible in the junta era. Their documentary on the taboo topic regarding crimes committed against Rohingyas landed them behind the bars. The Press Freedom Prize 2019 pays a tribute to their courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression.

UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize

The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize recognises outstanding contributions to the defence or promotion of press freedom especially in the face of danger. The prize which carries a reward of $25,000 Prize is funded by the Guillermo Cano Isaza Foundation (Colombia), the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation (Finland), and The Namibia Media Trust.

The Prize is named after Guillermo Cano Isaza, the Colombian journalist who was assassinated in front of the offices of his newspaper El Espectador in Bogotá, Colombia, on 17 December 1986.

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EU Parliament Passes Copyright Reforms Law

The European Parliament (EU) has passed the controversial EU copyrights law. The law is expected to give a fillip to the traditional media which was losing the game against the online platforms like Google, Twitter and Facebook. This copyright law is expected to aid the traditional media to gain some additional revenue.

Why the law had become controversial?

  • Article 11: The article is dubbed as “link tax”. It mandates Internet giants like Facebook and Google to pay news organisations to use their headlines on their platforms.
  • Article 13: The article is dubbed as “upload filter”. It mandates online platforms like Facebook and YouTube to restrict users from sharing unlicensed copyrighted material. The article also makes the online platforms liable for copyright violations.

Those backing the law argue that if properly implemented by member states the law would go a long way in safeguard quality journalism by combating misinformation and fake news. Those opposing the law fear that the law would lead to clamp down on the open internet and online censorship.

Experts say that even though the two decade copyright law is improved it may lead to uncertainties and may hurt Europe’s creative and digital economies. The digital platforms are looking at the details of the law. So any conclusive arguments about the possible impacts would be too early at this stage.

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