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Challenges and opportunities for freedom of expression in the networked environment

Research: Phase Two

info: Submitted by Lisa Horner on Sat, 2008-08-09 14:11.

Original research from the current phase of the project (January 2008 - ).

Click on a title to read the paper online or to download a copy in pdf format.

Phase Two papers

For details of Phase Two work, see the current work section.

Communications in the Public Interest: A framework for policy reform in national networked environments
This series of independent research reports explore relationships between communications environments, freedom of expression and the public interest in Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya and Pakistan. The research was undertaken in 2008 by partner organisations in the Freedom of Expression Project. The aims of the research were:

  • to enable organisations to map aspects of the communications environment in countries in the global South, identify issues of concern and their priorities for advocacy
  • to test the Project’s analytical framework in a range of different contexts.

Values, Principles and Rights in Internet Governance
Max Senges and Lisa Horner. This paper examines whether policy frameworks based on values and principles might help to build an internet and wider communications environments that support human rights. It argues that grassroots trans-cultural dialogue about what people value the internet for, coupled with an emphasis on the values of equality, diversity and dignity that underpin the human rights framework, would be useful starting point for fostering progressive communications policy and practice.

Situating communications policy in the human rights framework
Morris Lipson. Examines whether the values that the Freedom of Expression Project believes should underlie communications policy making are rooted within the international human rights framework. Lipson highlights how the rights to free expression, culture and political participation underpin the proposed values and associated policy principles. However, depending on their interpretation, tensions exist between some of the values. Further work needs to be done to balance out these tensions so that that the values can have the maximum effect on policy making.

Mapping existing agreements and principles
Kate Wilkinson. The Project partners are developing a set of rights-based public interest principles to guide policy making in the networked communications environment. A number of other initiatives, completed or ongoing, are relevant to this work. This paper maps these initiatives according to the mechanisms they use to implement and enforce standards and the scope of the issues they address.

Phase Two Event Reports

National Conference for Media Reform, Minneapolis, June 2008.
The National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR), organised by Free Press, brought together US activists, media professionals and academics concerned with issues of media ownership, communications technology and democracy.

NCMR Pre-conference on International Media and Human Rights
This pre-conference, convened by Consumers Union, brought together experts and activists from around the world who work at the intersection between communications and rights. A number of FoE Project partners spoke at the event.