These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
World Press Freedom Index 2015: decline on all fronts
Reporters Without Borders
The Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index ranks the performance of 180 countries according to a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate. The 2015 World Press Freedom Index highlights the worldwide deterioration in freedom of information in 2014. Beset by wars, the growing threat from non-state operatives, violence during demonstrations and the economic crisis, media freedom is in retreat on all five continents.
Discontent with Politics Common in Many Emerging and Developing Nations
Pew Global Research Center
People in emerging and developing countries around the world are on balance unhappy with the way their political systems are working. A recent Pew Research Center survey finds that, across 31 emerging and developing nations, a median of 52% are dissatisfied with their political system, while 44% are satisfied. Discontent is particularly widespread in the Middle East and Latin America, where about six-in-ten say their system is not working well. The opposite is true, however, in Asia – a median of 60% are either very or somewhat satisfied with their political system.
Dictators Love the FCC’s Plan to Regulate the Internet
Wall Street Journal
On Thursday the Federal Communications Commission will stop accepting public comments on the divisive plan to regulate the Internet as a public utility before bringing the matter to vote on Feb. 26. The latest lunge at more Web regulation puts global Internet freedom and prosperity in jeopardy and fatally undermines decades of bipartisan consensus on America’s foreign policy for the Internet.
Five myths about governance and development
Overseas Development Institute
me areas of development policy, deep-rooted assumptions are extremely hard to dislodge. Like science-fiction androids or the many-headed Hydra, these are monsters that can sustain any number of mortal blows and still regenerate. Capable researchers armed with overwhelming evidence are no threat to them. The importance of good governance for development is one such assumption. Take last month’s enquiry report on parliamentary strengthening by the International Development Committee (IDC) of the UK parliament. It references the UN High Level Panel’s opinion that ‘good governance and effective institutions’ should be among the goals for ending global poverty by 2030. It would have done better to reference the evidence in 2012’s rigorously researched UN publication Is Good Governance Good for Development? Here are five governance myths about which the strong scientific consensus might – eventually – slay some monsters.
AU-UN Report Reveals Startling Illicit Financial Flows in Africa
National Law Review
A new, comprehensive report published by the African Union’s high-level panel on illicit financial flows and the United Nations economic commission for Africa (Uneca) concludes that Africa loses more than $50 billion every year to illicit financial outflows (IFFs). The report, entitled Illicit Financial Flows, represents the first African initiative of its kind, and is the product of a study that began in February 2012. It analyzes various fraudulent practices of governments and multinational companies that deprive African countries of tax payments, facilitate the undervaluing of African trade, and perpetuate profit-shifting schemes that collectively divert billions of dollars in essential capital from the world’s poorest continent every year.
Aid Workers or Journalists: Who should report the news?
Shrinking editorial budgets have resulted in journalists turning to aid agencies to cover news from the frontlines of crises. Is this a threat to editorial integrity or are aid agencies filling a growing gap in foreign reporting? Aid agencies have invested an unprecedented amount of money into communications and PR over the last decade. Media teams at aid agencies are now often bigger than those at foreign desks of news agencies. Save the Children UK has 16 members of media staff at its headquarters alone (not including field-based and roving communications staff). Meanwhile, mainstream media budgets for international reporting have been dropping steadily, with a few exceptions. The amount of foreign news on US television has fallen by half over the last 25 years, according to the Pew Research Center.
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