tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV May 1, 2016 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT
♪ during in fear, the end of press freedom? that is the question we want to address today on quadriga. oral press freedom day is just around the corner. would you do your audience risk your lives to tell the truth? journalists and bloggers around the world are doing it on a daily basis. they are information hunters that they are often the hunted in war zones and other authoritarian societies and even in democracies.
china, turkey, or poland, pressure is rising on those who tell the facts. an alarming downward spiral. that is what we want to talk three guestsith who have been directly affected by declining press freedom. meera jamal is a freelance journalism from -- during list -- journalist from pakistan. and loses contact with reality on the ground. belongs to a bedoon family from kuwait. they are stateless. they fell through the cracks inn quaid became independent 1961. as a blogger, she says journalism under authoritarianism he comes the best tool for resistance. it is a pleasure to welcome andreas kluth. he is a german-american journalist or the economist.
every country gets the government it deserves and it also gets the press that it deserves. freedom of the press is the first signal of freedom generally. let me start out with you mr. ball and ask you to tell us a bit about your personal story. you found yourself unable to work in your own country, in pakistan. the situation in pakistan is quite different from here. the social pressure, religious pressure, clinical pressure -- as a journalist, if you look at things with a different perspective than the mass perspective, you find yourself in danger. ina woman, i was a person danger and as a person without belief and as a journalist, i was in danger. to bring things into the limelight, i was in danger. melinda: you had been doing some
wording on women and children and even on prostitutes. none of that was what got you into trouble. what got you into trouble was writing about a koran school. ms. jamal: i was getting e-mails and teails as u call tm on my won's ghts isss as well buthe koran schl, it was heing the il on th head is su ag was thatt seitive toc for mo pakistanis that you cannot question religion. if they are sending their children to a koran school, then they have the right to do so and you cannot question the method they use to teach there whether it is using the stick, whether it is abusing them in any way, they accept it. that is how it is. i tried to write about it and got myself into trouble. melinda: what kind of trouble? ms. jamal: threats.
i was encountered by people with knives who threatened to me personally. i was getting phone calls and i did notying if quit, i would get into trouble. melinda: mona kareem, also on your story. what were you reporting on kuwait?? -- in ms. kareem: i was not that controversial for authorities because the media is already well-controlled by the states and even the owners of the media they did not want to pass any criticism. my blogging, especially after twitter and facebook and the arab spring, all of that context brought visibility. i was using my blog and twitter to report on the protests of this stateless community that i
belong to carry that upset authorities. they did not want that news to come out. they did not want the news on arrests to come out. the reaction was some harassment and hate mail. i was not arrested but i was questioned for speaking up. melinda: the harassment was coming from home? official government -- the harassment was coming from whom? mentioned, as you interrogations, questions, phone calls. and on the other side, you get anonymous people on the internet sending you messages to scare you off. you never know if these people were sent by the government or voluntarily doing it. that youyou mentioned came from a group of people who were considered stateless.
you had no citizenship or passport. how did you get out of the country? ms. kareem: my community has no documentation going all the way to birth certificates or marriage certificates, access to education. would get a travel document that can be used one time to leave the country and that is what happened in my case. especially that i was a journalist. after you leave, you are not allowed to back. it is a way to exile you. they never allow you again. melinda: perhaps it is worth noting that our two guests were comparing their situation beforehand, neither of them can go back to their home country. have refugee travel documents rather than passports. andreas kluth, you talked about the fact that a country's press
is essentially also a signal of how much freedom it allows. would you say as a reporter for the economist that you come from countries, you're both german and american, in which press freedom is intact? ms. kareem: -- mr. kluth: i certainly feel lucky, i am german and american and my employer is british, i have three western countries that value freedom of the press. and i have never felt any pressure overtly there although i have passed my first twitter storm. that is an interesting thing to get into. i once covered from hong kong, mainland china, for the never felt ai major threat but it was an open secret that we were assigned translators and drivers and when we went to the mainland, we were followed and our phones were tapped.
-- it was almost a subject to an use ourselves. melinda: you mentioned something else which is relevant. you briefly touched on self-censorship. it is important to keep in mind that government censorship, authoritarian regimes is the traditional threat that we are all looking out for but there are other forms very self censorship. an example from when i was in hong kong. the big controversy there was not just over hong kong government being part of china, but the hong kong government was not trying to censor any press. some of the press organs were who wanted tons ingratiate themselves with beijing. you can have private sector self-censorship. it is been an issue in britain with the murdoch press.
there are other elements. can sometimes come from other sources other than the government. melinda: let us take a closer look at that aspect -- the different forms repression can take. i want to take a look at the world press freedom map. world press freedom day is around the corner. putsters without borders out a map where we can see the press freedoms are under threat. what we see there is that more countries where press freedom is under threat then where press freedom is open. places in the world, press freedom is on retreat. reporters without borders says europe has the freest media. ,frica interestingly enough coming in second place surpassing the americas for the first time. ,astern europe, north africa
middle east, all find themselves towards the bottom of the rating. i would like to stay for a while in the middle east and the islamic world and look at some of the forms of suppression there. let me ask you, meera jamal, you talked about feeling threatened. many of these threats came from individuals but would you say in the end that the government was letting that happen also as a way to suppress you? ms. jamal: the biggest threat of being in pakistan was that i was an atheist. you cannot say that. if i say that in public, i will be murdered. there are many incidents of christians being hacked to death and burned. it is out of control. the state, the islamic law we have all shelters that. like if someone kills a person who has converted out of islam, they are justified to
do that because the state punishment is also death. melinda: the rise of sectarianism feeding the kinds of results that we see on the mawhen we ok at thmiddle east and africa? ms. kareem: yes, other regimes in the gulf for example have used the sectarian card to further prosecute activists and journalists. as you said, one way to persecute them is to allow and have threaten them no accountability to safeguard these voices. it is not only one method of suppression white jailing them and interrogating them but allowing others to do it and there were are governments that europe companies in and the u.s. to specifically do that -- to defang people and
deprived them of their legitimacy when talking. melinda: was religion an issue in your case? ms. kareem: no. most of my work has been about the stateless but also immigrants in the gulf and the obstacles that they face and persecution. melinda: essentially, you were the voice of a minority. an ethnic minority. andreas kluth, are we seeing the rise not only in these regions of the world, north africa and the middle east, but even here in eastern europe, something it is majoritarianism -- only the majority's voice that can and should be heard? mr. kluth: not the rise of it that it has always been one of the classic threats to freedom. james madison, one of the founding fathers of america, coined that word --
majoritarianism. he was thinking back to ancient athens which was pure democracy. he was trying to figure out how to create a free republic. the careful, it does not just mean democracy all of the time. gete vote on everything, we what is happening in some of these cases and the majority will oppress the minority. it is a mixture. that is why they created the republic. there is an internal dance between majoritarianism and a more balanced regime between democracy with checks and balances and a separate judiciary and free press so everyone can be free including free from each other and majorities. melinda: would you subscribe to he same view? how can someone in pakistan who wants to bring the minority perspective into the open -- how can they do it?
ms. jamal: recently, it is going to be made impossible because they are trying to pass ace diver crime bill which has been passed by the lower house of the parliament. due to that law, it ensures that anything against the government, the army, the religion, or a political personality, they will be imprisoned or find up to 10 million rupees. you just put a tape on their mouth and do you expect them to do journalism and it will not hired aecause they have team of i.t. experts and they will control everything that goes online, on air, on any line, telephone and anything. melinda: interesting that they use cyber methods to do it. they see the internet as a major threat. you said in your opening statement, blogging is a best
way to resist authoritarianism or majoritarianism. why is that? say the iraq war was the context when blogging came to the picture and was really powerful for many years. now, blogging is replaced by twitter on social media. i think people are leaving social media two channels that are more private where you can be less visible, less vulnerable to persecution. blogging is a great alternative to classical media however, it is also being threatened again. good enough that people are creative in trying to resist this oppression. melinda: let us take a closer look. in tunisiabloggers has become the face of their countries resistance. she gave young tunisians a voice. during the heady days of the arab spring, li na blogged about
-- lena blogged about what was happening in her country. the young activist refused to give into intimidation. as the, dw honored her best of blog awards. the north african country has become a glimmer of hope. bloggers the-- are front line? melinda: would you say bloggers have more freedom and impact than traditional journalists? mr. kluth: certainly not more. but what blogging and now microblogging and leading have -- tweeting is a certain kind of revolution that i have compared to gutenberg. this blogging and the micro tools in effect give each of us
a printing press. there is a multitude of voices they used to be in audible that are now audible. i said every society gets the press we deserve. we are part of this conversation. if we log cake holdings, we deserve the press we get. that is the atmosphere we create. if we try to inform ourselves, try to think and analyze, that is the press we get. in a very direct way, it has broadened audiences and made them part of the conversation. generally, it is a good thing. melinda: to what degree does up broadening, the multiplier effect, to what degree does that serve to protect the journalist? this young blogger had been given airtime by dw and in that we made more visible. i know that you had won and award from the u.s. state department. and yet, it did not help in the
end. ms. jamal: what did not help was me coming away from the situation i was in. here are not interested in the problems of the people of pakistan. the laymen's problems. a woman who struggles every day to get out of her house and educate your children or how poverty affects people or the rate of education is so low in our country. these things, i feel that they don't get much more exposure that they need to do. these were the subjects that i was offering and it seems there is no market for it. melinda: you have less material to work with now that you are in exile. young back to the fact that had received public, official recognition from the u.s. state department while you were still in pakistan, and yet it did not protect you. ms. jamal: the problem is i cannot write in pakistan
anymore. once you apply for an asylum, it has a state of fact and the media are -- is afraid to print my work because that might get them in trouble. this is kind of the mentality that goes by. here, i should find my niche here or just forget about it. i'm no meera jamal says it she regrets the fact she cannot go back and regrets she is based here. would you say the same thing? or do you also feel cut off from your material? offkareem: i do feel cut but at some point i had to decide that this is the context of someone else. it is their struggle. the best possible thing for me to do is to see that i have a
privilege and item the backup for them. as an mentioned, when arrests happen, people from inside might be watching out for these details but i can do that. in the case of friends being tortured and imprisoned. whenever i can, i fill in but certainly, it becomes the work now for someone else to pick up and keep him. living inou are both the west. i would like to take a brief look at the press in the west. here also it is under attack from populous politicians who often accuse the press of line. >> charges were brought against leaking secrets from
the secret service. the charges were dropped but journalists fear they could be put under surveillance. many members of the right wing pegida movement view journalists as little more than liars and purveyors of propaganda. at demonstrations, reporters have been insulted and physically attacked. and plurality in the press is also under threat as economic pressure rises. more and more media outlets are now gathered in fewer hands. at the same time, newsrooms are being streamlined and downsized. freedom of the press in germany in danger? hownda: what do you think? would you answer that question? we have seen attacks on journalists here at the rallies of pegida movement. we also have seen the chancellor that an investigation can go -- a comediandia who has been accused of
insulting the president of turkey. is that freedom? mr. kluth: there is no threat to the press freedom in germany. we have shifted, made a quantum leap -- it is a matter of proportion. this is part of the eternal debate over whether the press is doing its job well, whether it has the trust of the population. this is self-correcting. what you see though is interesting. in germany, i as an outsider, working for a british magazine, coming here from america do feel that the press corps and the politicians are in a cozy relationship with each other than in america where it is much more adversarial and people like it that way especially after some scandals that happened in the run-up to the second gulf war in the press. that has not happened in germany. some of these conspiracy theories that you see it now in --ups like pegida movement
they are similar to conspiracy theories we have had for many years in america for instance in the demographic that was the tea party. essentially, it comes down to themainstream media or media ism politically correct and self censors. there are studies in germany that journalists over represent andain centerleft parties underrepresented others. they are not a mirror of society. there is a group think. this is self-correcting. otherspress landscape, will come forward and fill the gaps. that is already happening. but i do think at the moment there is a genuine case to be made, it is not the one they are making in pegida movement, but i could make a genuine case that lubbyn journalism is too c
and does not serve the population well. melinda: the washington post simply bought the whole government line in the run-up to the gulf war. you are now both based in and you in the u.s., what is your sense of the press situation in those countries? compared to where we,, it is totally rosy. theresk that we had back is different then what journalists have here. melinda: what do they have here? ms. jamal: in terms of being attacked by a mob, like in the
pegida movement rally -- the other agencies can report you missing. no trace. ms. kareem: i think when it comes to u.s. media, it is very much polarizing. there is nothing special about mainstream media in the u.s. trying to beple creative with whatever they offer. for me, as a refugee there, it is not helping me correct the course or bring anyone into the conversation. becoming even more personal. does not get threatened personally. very much tok you all of you for being here with us today and thank you to all of you for tuning in. see you soon.
narrator: this is a production of china central television america. mike: we've all heard the dire warning, we only have one planet, and it's in peril, but what can we do today to impact the environment we pass on to the next generation? this week, conversations with environmental activists who are taking on the fight for our planet's future from the seafloor to the world's highest summit, and every terrain in between. i'm mike walter coming to you from the heart of new york city's vibrant times square. let's take it "full frame."