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Weekly Wire:the Global Forum

Roxanne Bauer's picture
These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
 

World Press Freedom Index 2014
Reporters Without Borders
The 2014 World Press Freedom Index spotlights the negative impact of conflicts on freedom of information and its protagonists. The ranking of some countries has also been affected by a tendency to interpret national security needs in an overly broad and abusive manner to the detriment of the right to inform and be informed. This trend constitutes a growing threat worldwide and is even endangering freedom of information in countries regarded as democracies. Finland tops the index for the fourth year running, closely followed by Netherlands and Norway, like last year. At the other end of the index, the last three positions are again held by Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea, three countries where freedom of information is non-existent. READ MORE

Throwing the transparency baby out with the development bathwater
Global Integrity
In recent weeks, a number of leading voices within the international development movement – including the billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates as well as development economist Chris Blattman and tech-for-development expert Charles Kenny - have come out arguing that corruption and governance efforts in developing countries should be de-prioritized relative to other challenges in health, education, or infrastructure. Their basic argument is that while yes, corruption is ugly, it’s simply another tax in an economic sense and while annoying and inefficient, can be tolerated while we work to improve service delivery to the poor. The reality is more complicated and the policy implications precisely the opposite: corruption’s “long tail” in fact undermines the very same development objectives that Gates, Blattman, and Kenny are advocating for. READ MORE

Want to Build a Movement? Learn from AIDS Activists
Jim Kim, LinkedIn
Building social movements. I often hear about the need to create social movements to tackle a number of entrenched global challenges such as ending extreme poverty, promoting greater income equality, and combatting climate change. History is full of social movements that have succeeded and failed. The lessons from one ongoing movement that I know well – the fight against AIDS – should be examined closely by those looking to build movements today. READ MORE

Wikipedia vs. the Small Screen
New York Times
The Internet behemoths Google and Facebook have proved they can still attract users and advertisers as their traffic shifts from desktops to mobile devices. But at Wikipedia, the giant online encyclopedia, the transition to a mobile world raises a different existential question: Will people continue to create articles and edit its nine million existing ones on the small screen of a smartphone or tablet? READ MORE

UN: don't overlook access to information in goal on governance
The Guardian
Last week, 195 civil society groups from around the world came together to call on the UN to make access to information and media freedom central to the post-2015 development agenda. Signatories included organisations from 77 countries on five continents, working in fields as diverse as poverty, health, religion, the environment, indigenous rights and free expression. Their statement, issued by the right to information group Article 19 and the Global Forum for Media Development, coincided with the 8th open working group on the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The group, made up of representatives of 30 UN member states, gathered in New York to hear from a range of civil society organisations on issues that include biodiversity, equality, conflict prevention and governance. READ MORE

A photographic history of freedom
BBC
The BBC's freedom season asks what the word means in the modern world. From getting out of jail to freedom of expression, here are 10 images of key moments, starting with Nelson Mandela on the 24th anniversary of his release. READ MORE

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Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomite