CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 1985
I quote one sentence from your editorial: "The Pentagon has a right--even a duty--to keep secrets that it believes are vital to performing its mission, but the press has the right to gather information of public interest and to publish it if it disagrees." A citizen reading this in the faraway years before nuclear bombs were built would have undoubtedly nodded his head in agreement. After all, danger from bombs back in those days was comparative kid stuff. But today, with nuclear bombs running rather loose in the world and further proliferation almost certain, do we not need and want more military secrets, secrets more safely kept, more spies on our side, more self-restraint by the press, less insistence on press freedom?
January 10, 1988 |
Citing press freedom, a court has ruled that the City of Alameda's zoning law restricting newsstand sale of the Spectator and other sexually explicit publications is unconstitutional. "The ordinance clearly is unconstitutional on its face with an abridgement of freedom of the press," said Alameda County Superior Court Judge Joseph Karesh on Friday. "If you do this to the Spectator, you can do it to other publications someone might not approve of."
May 20, 1989 |
April 15 -- Former Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang, a leading reformer, dies. Students at Beijing University put up posters praising him and indirectly criticizing his opponents who forced his resignation in early 1987 after student demonstrations in 1986-87. April 17 -- Thousands of students march in Beijing and Shanghai shouting, "Long live Hu Yaobang! Long live democracy! Long live freedom! Long live the rule of law!" April 18 -- About 2,000 students from Beijing head into Tian An Men Square by bicycle, continuing the protest sit-in at Great Hall of the People.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 1989
"Why," asked Vladimir Lenin, "should freedom of speech and freedom of press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticized? Ideas are more fatal things than guns. Why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government?" Why indeed?
June 4, 1989 |
There are few places outside of Beijing where the fate of the pro-democracy students at Tian An Men Square was monitored with more open concern than in a small newspaper office on Huai Hai Road in Shanghai. It is the home of the World Economic Herald, viewed by many as a pacesetter for press freedom in China. The weekly newspaper openly linked economic reform with greater political freedom and thus was at the center of a debate that turned into a major power struggle in China. When its editor was shunted aside by Communist authorities, that setback for press freedom became another issue in the current campaign by students and other intellectuals for liberalization.
November 16, 1987 |
The Supreme Court, in a case with important but uncertain impact on press freedom and insider trading enforcement on Wall Street, upheld the criminal convictions today of a former newspaper reporter and two others who profited from stocks he was writing about. By an 8-0 vote, the court upheld federal mail and wire fraud convictions against former Wall Street Journal reporter R. Foster Winans and two co-defendants.
November 29, 1998 |
For Indonesia's journalists, it's clear the revolution is unfinished. While reporting on antigovernment protests in Jakarta earlier this month, at least seven of them learned firsthand that their old foe, the military, has changed little. Although the journalists respectfully showed their IDs, the soldiers seized their cameras and beat them, witnesses said.
March 26, 1988 |
Peace negotiations have brought a vigorous breeze of press freedom to Nicaragua, giving radio stations and an opposition newspaper wide leeway to question, criticize and challenge the Marxist-oriented Sandinista government. The government has relaxed control of the media in keeping with a Central American peace agreement signed last August in Guatemala. A preliminary cease-fire pact signed Wednesday by the Sandinistas and Contras also calls for unrestricted freedom of information.
October 11, 1994 |
Press freedom is limited by drug lords in Colombia, who threaten journalists and last year murdered five reporters; by Islamic codes in Saudi Arabia, where it is illegal to manufacture, import, sell or use satellite dishes; and by government decree in the United Kingdom, where the coverage of selected subjects and people is forbidden. A ban in Northern Ireland on broadcasting direct interviews with 11 organizations was ended last month.
December 28, 2008 |
Yes, we reporters might get stuck covering the late shift or -- egad! -- a parade. When disaster strikes or a source calls back on deadline, the nights can be long. Newspaper layoffs and hard economic times can cast a pall over just about everything we do. But those concerns seem a piffle every time I read dispatches from around the world about journalists who, fighting for the story, also must fight for their lives.