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[DRAFT] Protecting Press Freedoms

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Hulldom
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[DRAFT] Protecting Press Freedoms

Postby Hulldom » Wed Jun 29, 2022 3:31 pm

The repeal necessitating this.

Would also like thoughts/guidance on category. Civil Rights would be fine, as would Furtherment of Democracy and I could end up submitting under that.

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Protecting Press Freedoms

Category: Civil Rights | Strength: Significant


The General Assembly,

Noting that [resolution=GAR#155]GAR#155: “Freedom of the Press”[/resolution] has been repealed,

Ascertaining that press freedoms are therefore not currently protected by the World Assembly,

Therefore determined to ensure that media in World Assembly member states continues to have robust protections which allow it to operate with little regulation, hereby declares:

  1. Journalists shall take care to respect national security and personal privacy in their reporting.
  2. Notwithstanding the enforcement of clause 1, member states shall not interfere with reporting by journalists.

Co-authored by: Wymondham


The General Assembly,

Noting that [resolution=GAR#155]GAR#155: “Freedom of the Press”[/resolution] has been repealed,

Ascertaining that press freedoms are therefore not currently protected by the World Assembly,

Therefore determined to ensure that media in World Assembly member states continues to have robust protections which allow it to operate with little regulation,

  1. All member nations will allow all news organisations to report, without let or hindrance, domestic and international news via any available media.
  2. Member nations encourage national broadcasters to partner with international media organisations to ensure the free flow of information that would otherwise be inaccessible to the public.
  3. Member nations may not prevent citizens from accessing any news organisation, whether they operate on a national or international level, except from implementing age restrictions to prevent individuals below the age of majority from accessing inappropriate content.
  4. The provisions enumerated in Clause 1 may be derogated from only where the news organisation intends to disclose information deemed absolutely vital to national security.
  5. Should a member state intend to make use of Clause 4, all possibilities of a voluntary agreement with the News Organisation in question to allow the broadcast to proceed in a manner that does not disclose information absolutely vital to national security, must first be exhausted.
  6. A Committee on Press Freedoms, which shall be a subsidiary body of the Compliance Commission, shall be established to oversee and enforce these provisions and adjudicate claims made under clause 4.
[/box]
Last edited by Hulldom on Tue Jul 12, 2022 10:26 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Bananaistan
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Postby Bananaistan » Wed Jun 29, 2022 4:02 pm

What are news organisations and how does this tie in with GAR#436? It seems to contradict section 2 which allows for restrictions of expression for far more reasons than just national security.
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The Orwell Society
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Postby The Orwell Society » Wed Jun 29, 2022 4:13 pm

IC:
"We are strongly opposed to this this draft. "Freedom of press" should be nonexistent, controlled by the state to admit pro-government news for the betterment of society. This is a threat to our national sovereignty and will not be tolerated!"
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OOC: Support in concept. Nicely written, but could use a little more buffing as per Bananastan and Tinhampton have said.
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Wayneactia
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Postby Wayneactia » Wed Jun 29, 2022 4:15 pm

The provisions enumerated in Clause 1 may be derogated from only where the news organisation intends to disclose information deemed absolutely vital to national security.

Seems incredibly unnecessary. If information is deemed "vital to national security", it is likely classified. As such, most reasonable nations go out of their way to deal with people who disclose classified information, no matter what the source of it was.
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Postby Tinhampton » Wed Jun 29, 2022 4:18 pm

Opposed on two grounds.

Article 3 would appear to allow member states to require news outlets to age-gate certain news stories. I have never seen any news outlet, ever, do this; "this story may upset certain readers due to XYZ" typically works just fine.

Article 6 is typical Hulldom deference to a WA committee for deciding purely domestic matters. I cannot support anything of the sort.
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Postby The Orwell Society » Wed Jun 29, 2022 5:08 pm

OOC: On a second note, I am fairly positive that this is under the wrong category. Education and Creativity: Free Press would loads more appropriate.
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Anne of Cleves in TNP
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Postby Anne of Cleves in TNP » Wed Jun 29, 2022 5:13 pm

OOC: Support in principle, could use some reworking in accordance with previous complaints.

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Postby Greater Rostoria » Wed Jun 29, 2022 5:18 pm

whoever came up with this deserves to be removed from the WA. The press is already soo totally free.
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Postby Fachumonn » Thu Jun 30, 2022 10:29 am

Greater Rostoria wrote:whoever came up with this deserves to be removed from the WA. The press is already soo totally free.

*bans a 17 time author from the WA*

OOC: Seriously:

Just because someone comes up with a WA proposal you don't like doesn't mean they should be banned in the slightest.


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Makko Oko
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Postby Makko Oko » Thu Jun 30, 2022 3:52 pm

"Against in concept. The state controls all media, both digital and physical, therefore meaning this resolution would cause illegitimacy within the government's legislative codes." - Makko Oko Minister Of Diplomatic Affairs Alora Hakjova

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Postby The Ice States » Thu Jun 30, 2022 4:01 pm

"While I concur with Makko Oko that the state should maintain full authority to suppress information that may encourage rebellion against the great divinely-favoured regime, my opposition is strengthened by how this attempts to compel us to let media publish credit card numbers, personal addresses, microchip numbers, biometric data, and telephone numbers."

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Postby Fachumonn » Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:50 am

I see this more as a furtherment of democracy than civil rights, but that's just my two cents for you.


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Imperium Anglorum
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:57 am

Fachumonn wrote:I see this more as a furtherment of democracy than civil rights, but that's just my two cents for you.

OOC. Furtherment of Democracy affects political freedoms. Political freedoms reflect the ability to actualise political will. See the categories descriptions:

Shall the WA require its members to grant more or less say in the operations of their government? Who makes the decisions? Whether or not you even get to vote on anything (or anyone) is a Political Freedoms issue. Total Political Freedoms represent something akin to pure democracies, where every single citizen has a direct vote in every single matter. Zero Political Freedoms means that the citizens (or subjects, or slaves) have no say in the operations of government whatsoever. Imposing regulation on campaign finances is a mild form of reducing Political Freedoms.

Press freedoms, to my understanding, are a civil right in the way that the game categorises the two rights.

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Postby The Orwell Society » Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:00 am

The Orwell Society wrote:OOC: On a second note, I am fairly positive that this is under the wrong category. Education and Creativity: Free Press would loads more appropriate.
Imperium Anglorum wrote:
Fachumonn wrote:I see this more as a furtherment of democracy than civil rights, but that's just my two cents for you.

OOC. Furtherment of Democracy affects political freedoms. Political freedoms reflect the ability to actualise political will. See the categories descriptions:

Shall the WA require its members to grant more or less say in the operations of their government? Who makes the decisions? Whether or not you even get to vote on anything (or anyone) is a Political Freedoms issue. Total Political Freedoms represent something akin to pure democracies, where every single citizen has a direct vote in every single matter. Zero Political Freedoms means that the citizens (or subjects, or slaves) have no say in the operations of government whatsoever. Imposing regulation on campaign finances is a mild form of reducing Political Freedoms.

Press freedoms, to my understanding, are a civil right in the way that the game categorises the two rights.

Just bumping up a previous suggestion
Last edited by The Orwell Society on Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
•  Ideology is either radical centrist or authoritarian social democrat. Which one, I may never know.
•  Ffteen year old guy living in the US.
•  Nerdy nerd
•  Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sildoria
•  Aspiring WA author
•  Semi-experienced gameplayer and cards trader

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Imperium Anglorum
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Postby Imperium Anglorum » Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:08 am

The Orwell Society wrote:
The Orwell Society wrote:OOC: On a second note, I am fairly positive that this is under the wrong category. Education and Creativity: Free Press would loads more appropriate.
Imperium Anglorum wrote:OOC. Furtherment of Democracy affects political freedoms. Political freedoms reflect the ability to actualise political will. See the categories descriptions:

Shall the WA require its members to grant more or less say in the operations of their government? Who makes the decisions? Whether or not you even get to vote on anything (or anyone) is a Political Freedoms issue. Total Political Freedoms represent something akin to pure democracies, where every single citizen has a direct vote in every single matter. Zero Political Freedoms means that the citizens (or subjects, or slaves) have no say in the operations of government whatsoever. Imposing regulation on campaign finances is a mild form of reducing Political Freedoms.

Press freedoms, to my understanding, are a civil right in the way that the game categorises the two rights.

I too can quote things and fail to provide any meaningful context with which to interpret it. Standards on Police Accountability [2020] GAS 2:

We therefore reject the best fit test as the governing test for the Category Rule and instead adopt an “any suitable category” test, which asks only if the category is reasonable. A selection is reasonable if there is a plausible argument that any of the resolution’s significant effects fit within the category. For the the purposes of this test, an effect is significant when it is not trivial or speculative. In adopting this test, we hope to free players from the formalism of the best fit test while also ensuring that the category chosen by the author at least partly reflects the text of the resolution.

Or I could meaningfully explain my statement... The "best fit" test is dead and that for categories, the Secretariat uses a suitability test based on a "plausible argument" standard. There are two questions at hand. First is whether or not your implicit standard of "wrong category" on the warrant that a different category is "loads more appropriate" is dispositive. It isn't; that position was explicitly rejected two years ago. The second is whether civil rights could at all be a plausible category. I would say it is and am pretty confident that the Secretariat would so find.

Your counterpoint on category is not relevant as a procedural objection to Hulldom's proposal. Hulldom, as does every author, has discretion about which category to choose and needs only choose a plausible category. You can frame it as a suggestion that he might want to rebrand it as an education proposal, but don't pretend that he must do so.

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Hulldom
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Postby Hulldom » Fri Jul 01, 2022 10:28 am

I swear I’m going to work on this nebulously once the repeal is submitted. Was about to go do it and just had a “oh, you are not up for this right now” moment.

Anyways, IA is, as usual, right. I see a place for this in the categories I proposed. I agree that E&C/Free Press is probably the “best fit”, but that test is no longer in force, as even if it were, I’d be perfectly fine submitting this as a means of getting that test looked at.

TL;DR: It’s going to be Civil Rights/Significant or Furtherment of Democracy/Mild. Unless there is a consensus opinion nudging me to E&C/Free Press, I don’t intend to submit there when this does get submitted down the line.
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Postby Comfed » Fri Jul 01, 2022 12:34 pm

2. Member nations encourage national broadcasters to partner with international media organisations to ensure the free flow of information that would otherwise be inaccessible to the public.

Grammatically this clause makes no sense and seems to me to have no tangible effect.
Member nations may not prevent citizens from accessing any news organisation, whether they operate on a national or international level, except from implementing age restrictions to prevent individuals below the age of majority from accessing inappropriate content.

So what is "inappropriate content"? Hypothetically, a member state could get away with defining educative materials related to gender and sexual orientation to be "inappropriate content". I am not sure that you want to get into age-gating here because I don't think the issues with loopholes that it could create at the expense of press freedoms are worth dealing with.
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Postby Hulldom » Tue Jul 12, 2022 10:24 am

/bump for Draft 2. Yes, we decided to go minimalist. The epiphany of making it short and sweet (similar to 550) came to me the other day.
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Postby Bananaistan » Tue Jul 12, 2022 10:34 am

How is this an improvement on the existing law?
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Postby Hulldom » Tue Jul 12, 2022 10:57 am

Bananaistan wrote:How is this an improvement on the existing law?

It refused to beat around the bush and immediately gets to the heart of the matter. I can see a point, maybe, in adding (or rather re-adding) the anti-censorship protections, but I don’t also see why that couldn’t be done by something separate (and more comprehensive).
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Postby Tinhampton » Tue Jul 12, 2022 11:28 am

I can now support this draft. (I assume that the lack of any mention of journalists having to respect trade secrets and such of the like is to facilitate reporting such as the Uber Files.)
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Postby Hulldom » Fri Jul 15, 2022 5:10 pm

Bump. Some more feedback on this would be appreciated.
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Postby Attempted Socialism » Sun Jul 17, 2022 2:59 am

I have questions on the limits and applicability of clause 2. Let's go over a few scenarios:
- A journalist publishes some very salacious and knowingly untrue stories that are clearly defamatory against a civilian. The subject takes the journalist to court and the journalist is found guilty through a fair trial, jailed for 30 days, fined, and ordered to pay damages. Is this the member state (The member state's court) interfering with the reporting of a journalist by jailing and fining them? If it is, what if the same scenario had happened in civil court with only damages to the victim?
- A journalist embedded in some illicit organisation, say like a militia group in the US, paramilitary group in Columbia or a violent biker gang. They're legitimately trying to report on the activities without participating themselves. Police sweeps in, arrests everyone, and trial is set to start with some fairly damning evidence against the group and most individuals, but the evidence against the journalist are more circumspect and rely heavily on guilt by association. How far would a member state be allowed to prosecute the journalist?
- A so-called journalist vlogging/blogging ala the US tradition of far-right "citizen journalists" and associates with domestic terrorist groups. They "report on" (I.e. make up) conspiracy theories that make others target both civilians and members of the government. There are several ongoing civil suits against them for defamation, and then they're arrested when an affiliated militia assaults a government building. The blogger claims that they were just there as a journalist, reporting the event. There is plenty of evidence of them openly suggesting that "someone should do something" like what happened, but nothing on the day of the attack suggests the blogger personally committed acts of violence, only their usual refrain of "the government is corrupt, all true patriots should do something about it" that they spouted on their live-stream while the attack happened. Would clause 2 protect this self-claimed journalist in the same manner as the one in the scenario above?
- A constitutional (But certainly not liberal or democratic) king has come to power by overthrowing his cousins. The revolt was partly due to strict censorship, so now the new king promises more lax press laws. This in turn leads to a lot of journalists publishing critique of the new government for all its ailments and broken promises. The king, rather than walking back on his promise of a free press, together with his government and rich allies, buys up critical papers where they can, quietly inducing these papers to take a more conciliatory tone. This is done privately, and not with public money. Is this a member state interfering with the reporting of journalists, or private citizens making personal investments (The head of state and head of government simply acting in a private capacity)?

I like the short-and-sweet approach, but what I am getting at here are some of the issues that leaves you with. Who or what is protected? From what? Narrowly read, none of these scenarios interfered with the report itself, which they either published or could presumably publish without censorship. In my second scenario this would prevent a government from withholding tapes and drafts the journalist had taken and written, but otherwise these journalists would be punished, not punished, or bought out after the fact. But this would open your resolution up to not really protecting journalists, as the promise of punishment has a fairly chilling effect. Imagine a member state that has no ex-ante censorship, but a 10 year prison sentence for maligning the government in media. You can say anything you want, but at a stiff penalty.
On the other hand, imagine a very expansive reading, where fining journalists for knowingly writing very defamatory things is made illegal, and where anyone with a plausible claim to be a journalist can do crimes as long as it's part of their reporting. Under the most expansive reading, one could ask what really counts as interference in a report, like this scenario:
- A government official is questioned by reporters about some shady-looking official dealings. At least one camera is sending the interview live. The official is getting agitated at the questions, interrupts the journalists repeatedly, and contradicts them with facts and figures from memory. In exasperation the official ends up throwing some random papers at the camera, blocking the live feed but without damage, and walks off. Has the official interfered with a report? Has the member state, on whose behalf the official acts?
I don't think you intend for either the very narrow or the very expansive reading to allowed, but that means you have to qualify your clauses, which means abandoning the short-and-sweet approach.


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Postby West Barack and East Obama » Sun Jul 17, 2022 3:05 am

Dr Justin Obama, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs: On second thought, we sincerely thank the Hulldomian delegation. By submitting a repeal with a subpar replacement, nations such as myself have the freedom to curtail journalism. Bravo!
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Postby Morover » Sun Jul 17, 2022 5:23 pm

A plump man in dark red garb, with a small World Assembly logo on his left lapel, whose face is absolutely drenched in sweat, enters the room and grabs one of the pamphlets left by the door with the proposal content on it and begins reading it over. He has a large, grey messenger bag slinged across his shoulder, and it appears to be slightly too stuffed.

"On the current draft, I am opposed on several accounts. My first reason, and this is the most significant, is that clause one does not make any exceptions for non-member states. As written, any journalist presiding within a member state must respect the national security of all nations, regardless of their membership in the World Assembly. Hell, I'm even partially opposed to protecting other member states from foreign journalists publishing sensitive national security information, regardless of their World Assembly membership, but at least I can understand why the World Assembly would desire to put such a policy in place."

The man pauses, obviously not done with his sentiment, but glances back down at the sheet with the contents of the proposal on it. After about two seconds, a drop of sweat falls from his face and stains the paper. After another three, another drop. Though the room is bustling with activity, it seemingly draws the attention of otherwise uninterested ambassadors. Drip. Drip. Drip. Finally, after twelve seconds that felt far closer to a hundred, the man taps the sheet and looks back up to finish his sentiment.

"My other point of opposition stems from a concern on how clause two would interact with state-sponsored or controlled media. By my cursory review of the bill as-is, it would allow for these sorts of media institutions to continue, but it would so severely hinder their ability to effectively regulate and organize their journalists, essentially bringing the industry to their knees."

Preparing to relinquish the speaker-ship, the man makes a final remark: "So long as either of these issues remain in place, my nation cannot lend you our support. I appreciate what you're doing, here, but it still needs some work."
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