Stories from Quick Reads and Sweden
“European institutions should safeguard the right to free, independent and pluralistic information”. The quote, from the Media Initiative website, summarizes the main idea behind a pan-European campaign that aims at urging the European Commission to draft a Directive to protect Media Pluralism and Press Freedom.
The Media Initiative is running a European Citizens’ Initiative - a tool of participatory democracy “which allows civil society coalitions to collect online and offline one million signatures in at least 7 EU member states to present directly to the European Commission a proposal forming the base of an EU Directive, initiating a legislative process”. The petition is available in 15 languages and can be signed online:
Protecting media pluralism through partial harmonization of national rules on media ownership and transparency, conflicts of interest with political office and independence of media supervisory bodies.
A short video presents the campaign:
Rick Falkvinge, the founder of Pirate Party, reinterprets the wars of religion that devastated Western Europe in the XVI and XVII centuries in terms of the current struggle to control information through overbearing legislation related to copyright and freedom of expression:
The religious wars were never about religion as such. They were about who held the power of interpretation, about who controlled the knowledge and culture available to the masses. It was a war of gatekeepers of information.
Scandinavian ship SV Estella will attempt to sail to Gaza in an attempt to break the blockade on the Palestinian enclave. The ship sailed from Oslo on August 7, 2012, and is backed by mostly Swedish and Norwegian groups. Organizers hope that other ships will join them before they reach Gaza in October. for updates, follow the mission's Twitter account @ShiptoGazaSE.
Katerina Todorovska wrote [MKD] on the Macedonia in the European Union blog about EU's imperfect record on LGBT rights and its positive influence in relation to starting the debate and improving tolerance in the Western Balkans, as Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia strive to join this supranational structure.
Roba from Jordan published pictures from different demonstrations world wide against Israel's last attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, in Holland, Greece, Egypt, United Kingdom, Lebanon, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sweden, France, Turkey, India, Italy, Canada, Spain, Belgium, United States, Bulgaria and Austria.
A Swedish underwear brand launched a ridiculous Ad campaign entitled ‘Weapons of the Mass Seduction’ that pledges to drop 450 pairs of free underwear to the country voted the most in the poll on Oct 31 by an airdrop. North Korea, so far, was placed on top by garnering over 5,500 votes and news has generated many comments in South Korean online venues.
The blog de Casimira highlights some similarities [fr] between the timing of the charges and the ensuing judicial battles facing J. Assange and D. Strauss-Kahn. She also clarifies the peculiarities of the charge, ”sex by surprise” [fr], for which the founder of WikilLeaks is being sued. This charge, which applies when the person refuses to wear a condom, is allegedly specific to Sweden and is punishable by a fine.
Albatros of Litauen blog reports about [ger] Swedish celebrations of 20 years of independence for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and how Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, apologised to his Baltic colleagues for recognizing soviet annexation during World War II.
Gulara Azimzadeh's blog reports that seven journalists from Azerbaijan will visit Stockholm to see how the media covered the 2010 elections in Sweden. The journalists were selected after a competition held by the Azerbaijan Media Center as the country prepares for its own parliamentary vote this November and recounts the reaction from one of the fortunate winners.