Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
For many legacy news organizations in Europe, digital disruption comes with new ideas but few answers
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Feb. 25, 2010, 1 p.m.

Iceland update: Media freedom bill advances

Iceland’s proposal to become a free speech haven has just passed its first discussion in parliament, unopposed. The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative instructs the government to draft and enact a collection of laws relating to press freedom, source protection, immunity for carriers such as ISPs, and provisions against libel tourism.

While local legislation cannot provide complete protection for journalistic organizations even if their servers are located in Iceland, local assets and records could be immune to foreign judgements. In any case, the initiative is intended to create the strongest combination of  journalism and whistleblower protection laws in the world. The proposal now moves to committee, after which there will be a second discussion and a final binding vote, according to Smári McCarthy of the Icelandic Digital Freedom Society, who was involved in drafting the initiative. That could happen as soon as a week from now, but more likely several weeks.

Member of Parliament and proposal sponsor Birgitta Jónsdóttir has promised that “all of my effort will be to get it out of committee.” The full text of the proposal is available here, and the machine translation into English is fairly readable.

Photo of Iceland by Trey Ratcliff used under a Creative Commons license.

POSTED     Feb. 25, 2010, 1 p.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
For many legacy news organizations in Europe, digital disruption comes with new ideas but few answers
A new Reuters Institute report reaffirms familiar trendlines in digital publishing: “People are using mobile more and more, but we are not yet getting the revenue out of it that we would like to get.”
The Times of London is shuttering its international paid weekly app
The $4-a-month app, which launched in January, was an attempt to reach readers outside the U.K. and find a new revenue stream outside The Times’ usual strict paywall.
Collaborate or die: A new initiative wants to make it easier for national and local outlets to work together
“Where you find resistance to collaboration is where you’re finding news enterprises hastening their own demise.”