Global Report 28.10.05

France

Journalists have been threatened in Corsica while covering a dispute
over the privatisation of a ferry company. Two cameramen, working for
France 2 and France 3, and a photographer for news agency AFP, were
violently manhandled during demonstrations in the port of Bastia
against the privatisation of SNCM. Elsewhere, Jean-Marc Plantade,
financial editor of Le Parisien, received death threats by phone
against himself and his family after publishing an article headlined,
“Scandal at the SNCM”. In the article he exposed alleged embezzlement
of takings by some staff on board the company’s
ferries. www.rsf.org

Russia

Prominent Russian journalist Diana Kachalova has received the first
annual Paul Klebnikov Prize for Courage in Journalism. The prize
honours the memory of the recently murdered editor of Forbes Russia.
Diana Kachalova is the trail-blazing editor-in-chief of the weekly Moi
Rayon newspaper in St Petersburg. Moi Rayon is quite an unusual
endeavour for Russia: a grass-roots, independent and privately owned
newspaper that publishes editions in St Petersburg’s 11 administrative
districts. Accepting the award, Kachalova said: “Paul Klebnikov wanted
to awaken Russians from hopelessness and convince them that optimism
and action can change their world. We are doing this,” she said,
comparing her newspaper’s goals to those of
Klebnikov. www.mediachannel.org

USA

local newspaper for Bakersfield, California, has sacked a reporter
who faked a front-page story. Executive editor Mike Jenner said a
front-page story in the 16 October edition contained writing lifted
from other newspapers and fake interviews with people who do not exist.
The reporter, Nada Behziz, made up a story about Claudia Jones, a
Norris Middle School student with a smoking problem. But according to
staff at Norris Middle School, Jones did not exist. Nor did a surgeon
quoted in the article. Jenner said the paper has assigned a reporter to
investigate all of Behziz’s stories. www.kget.com

Notes in the hand of a federal prosecutor suggest the chief of staff
to vice president Dick Cheney first heard of the covert CIA officer
central to a leak investigation from Cheney himself, The New York Times
has reported. The newspaper said notes of a previously undisclosed June
12, 2003, conversation between Lewis Libby and Cheney appear to differ
from Libby’s grand jury testimony that he first heard of Valerie Plame
from journalists. The newspaper identified its sources in the story
initially only as lawyers who are involved in the case. Libby has
emerged at the centre of special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald’s criminal
investigation in recent weeks because of the Cheney aide’s
conversations about Plame with Times reporter Judith Miller. www.wbz1030.com

Iran

The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the oneyear
prison sentence given to Kurdish journalist and human rights activist
Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand by an Iranian court. The court declared
Kabudvand, managing editor of the bilingual Kurdish and Farsi Payam-e
Mardom-e Kordestan, guilty of “inciting the population to rebel against
the central state”, according to Italian news website Adnkronos
International (AKI) and CPJ sources. AKI reported that Kabudvand
published articles in his weekly newspaper about torture in Iranian
jails, and advocated a federal system of government for the Islamic
republic. Kabudvand has not yet been taken into custody and is
preparing to appeal. www.cpj.org

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