West Berkshire voluntary sector review

first_img  13 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis West Berkshire voluntary sector review The Greenham Common Trust has published the results of a survey of voluntary sector organisations in West Berkshire. The Trust undertook the survey of 145 voluntary organisations in order to assist the efficient distribution of grants it awards. Over the last five years it has allocated £300,000 to local charities and good causes.The survey revealed that the organisations that responded employ the equivalent of 795 full time staff which makes the voluntary sector a major employer in West Berkshire with a total budget of around £10 million. Advertisement Howard Lake | 2 July 2002 | News The study examined the ownership and cost of transport, accommodation, specialist equipment and other assets. Areas where the voluntary sector could work together to improve efficiency were highlighted.Visit the Greenham Common Trust. About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

‘Bruising’ year for charity investments, survey finds

first_img‘Bruising’ year for charity investments, survey finds A third of charities (34%) questioned in a recent survey have seen a performance reduction in their investment portfolio’s value in the year to 31 March 2020.According to the 2020 Newton Charity Investment Survey, it has been a ‘bruising year’ for charity investments, with this the highest proportion to see a decline since the survey started in 2014.This year’s survey sample included 114 charities with over £6bn in investment assets. The average charity has mean assets under management of £54m, down from £137m in 2019 while median charity has assets under management of £8m.Median performance gain in investment portfolio values fell to 2%: down 3% on 2019. But, according to Newton Investment Management’s report, this could be a short-term shock, with 2020 not dissimilar to the year of the UK’s Brexit referendum (2016) in terms of charities’ investment performance.However, the economic uncertainty brought by the pandemic has also resulted in a lowering of expectations in terms of investment portfolios, with almost two thirds (63%) of the charities surveyed anticipating returns of below 6% on their investments over the next 3-5 years – up 12% on 2019’s figures. No charities in this year’s survey anticipate annual returns of greater than 12% in the next 3-5 years.There has also been a sharp increase in charities taking out only a very small proportion of their investment portfolio to spend: 27% stated that they take out less than 1% of their portfolio to spend each year, up from 17% in 2019.Overall, 30% said the pandemic had affected their future investment strategy, with the vast majority (88%) of those anticipating a drop in this income. Just over half of these are re-evaluating their reserves policy while 27% have seen changes to spending levels from their investment portfolios, with 18% increasing spending and 9% reducing it. Melanie May | 13 October 2020 | News AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Tagged with: investment Research / statisticscenter_img Pandemic’s impact on other activitiesAccording to the Newton Charity Investment Survey, only 6% of charities say the pandemic has had no effect on their activities. Over half of those surveyed (59%) have seen an impact on their fundraising activity with 81% of those affected seeing it decrease and 79% having had to cancel or postpone big fundraising activities.The impact on fundraising has been particularly pronounced among larger charities – 100% of those with assets over £101m have seen a decline in fundraising, compared to 51% of those with assets under £20m. In addition, 86% of the largest charities have had to cancel or postpone big events compared to 49% of the smallest. However larger charities were more effective at gaining government funds to support staffing costs at 57% versus 42% of those with assets under £20m.The survey results also reveal that 56% overall have had to lay off or furlough staff with 52% having to cease some operations.On a more positive note, the survey also shows a move towards more equal representation in terms of age, gender and race. Female representation on trustee boards has risen to 44% – up 7% on 2018’s previous high of 37%. The proportion of individuals on trustee boards that are black and minority ethnic is now at 12%.  431 total views,  2 views today Advertisement  432 total views,  3 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.last_img read more

Activists call for ‘Days of Rage against Trump and Capitalism’

first_imgDespite a brutal year of attacks on the working class, especially on the most oppressed, the spirit of rebellion cannot be crushed. One year after the inauguration of Donald Trump, militants will hit the streets to show the ruling class that we refuse to bow down to racism and fascist terror.Taking its cue from our comrades in Palestine, #J20Resist, a coalition of forces formed in the months leading up to the 2017 inauguration, is calling on activists across the U.S. to participate Jan. 15-20 in “Days of Rage against Trump and Capitalism” preceding the one-year anniversary.The coalition calls on all U.S. militants, wherever they are in the belly of the imperialist beast, to raise in their community the banner of a better world. Now more than ever, it’s important that we do so. Not only to strike fear in the hearts of the ruling class, but to show members of our class that they are not alone, that we are not defeated, and that, despite exhaustion, pain and sorrow, revolutionary optimism lives on.Despite virulent attacks, the last year has not been without its heroic moments from which we draw energy and inspiration.We saw hundreds of fellow activists arrested at the inauguration, made to stand in the cold for hours while they were kettled, assaulted by the Washington, D.C., cops and others, and then dragged through a year-long prosecution process while the state attempted to outlaw dissent.We’ve seen white supremacist terror in Charlottesville, Va., that ended the life of Heather Heyer and hospitalized dozens of other anti-racist activists. We’ve seen an escalation in raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who have ripped apart the immigrant community. We’ve seen police brutality continue unfettered, while the U.S. rattles its saber louder and louder at the oppressed of the world.And how does our class respond? After announcing a ban on immigration from seven countries, many with a majority Muslim population and all of them under attack by U.S. imperialism, thousands of people occupied airports around the country.Two days after the attack in Charlottesville, activists in Durham, N.C., took matters into their own hands and tore down a racist Confederate statue, sending waves of hope to all who had been demoralized in the wake of white supremacist terror. After a year of solidarity inside and outside the courts, the first six #J20 defendants were found not guilty of all charges.The struggle continues!These are just three notable moments. The vast, multinational working class continues to show, on a daily and weekly basis, that it will not back down to racism and repression. Activists are chaining themselves to ICE vans, taking the streets against police brutality and war, and breaking the silence on sexual assault.From Jan. 15-20, let us show the world that we are still here, united, fighting for justice. That we cannot be stopped. That we believe we will win.Appropriately, the Days of Rage will begin on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, where we will rally in true remembrance of a leader of the Black freedom struggle who stood in solidarity with striking workers, spoke out against the U.S. war in Vietnam and had his life cut short by the Trumpists of yesteryear.Many different issues will be raised during the Days of Rage, including union busting, racism, police terror, sexual assault, violence against trans people, U.S. imperialism and its unending war drive, and state repression of activists like the #J20 defendants.The week also corresponds with a court hearing Jan. 17 in Philadelphia for Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther and one of the world’s most famous political prisoners, who may finally, after more than 36 years of persistent struggle, be up for a retrial.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Media Ownership Monitor: Who owns the media in India?

first_imgThe Media Ownership Monitor analysed 58 leading media outlets with the largest audience shares in India. The research revealed that the country’s print media market is highly concentrated. Four outlets – Dainik Jagran, Hindustan, Amar Ujala and Dainik Bhaskar – capture three out of four readers (76.45% of readership share) within the national Hindi language market. Huge markets controlled by a few News Initiated by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Media Ownership Monitor project is a global research and advocacy effort to promote transparency and media pluralism at an international level. In India, it was conducted together with Delhi based digital media company, DataLEADS. The project is financed by the German government. Country studies were so far published in Albania, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cambodia, Egypt, Ghana, Lebanon, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Peru, and the Philippines. IndiaAsia – Pacific Reports and statisticsMedia independenceEvents Freedom of expressionEconomic pressure RSF_en As opposed to ownership, market and audience data in the Television sector remain strictly hidden, as the industry association BARC refuses to disclose it publicly. This comes not only as a violation of best practice internationally, but also inhibits public accountability, research and meaningful regulation, particularly concentration control. India: RSF denounces “systemic repression” of Manipur’s media However, this vast amount of media outlets and the country’s cultural and ethnic richness does not automatically translate into a variety in supply. The Media Ownership Monitor indicates rather the opposite – a significant trend towards concentration and, ultimately, control of content and public opinion. Most of the leading media companies are owned by large conglomerates that are still controlled by the founding families and that invest in a vast array of industries other than media. Follow the news on India “India is one of the biggest media markets in the world. However, the concentration of ownership of media shows that a handful of people own and control Indian media. Our research captures ownership structures and reflects on media pluralism. This is an important initiative to strengthen media ownership transparency which is fundamental to media’s credibility and its relationship with audiences,” said Syed Nazakat, founder and CEO of DataLEADS. “This project serves as a useful data and resource base for future media research in the country.” to go further News Regardless of seeming diversity and plurality, the Indian market is not only comprised of highly concentrated media markets. Also, some of the leading outlets are controlled by individuals with political ties. As the MOM study shows, the majority of the media companies has business and political affiliations and the more into regional level one dives, the more straightforward and visible the links are. Odisha TV, for example, in the state of Odisha is owned by the Panda Family, Baijayant Jay Panda is the National Vice President and Spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He has been a four-time Member of Parliament of India from the state of Odisha. However, he has lost in the recent 2019 elections. News India’s ranking fell from 138 to 140 out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. With at least six journalists killed in connection with their work, India was among the deadliest countries in the world for journalists in 2018. Many others were the targets of murder attempts, physical attacks, and threats. Attacks against journalists by supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi increased in the run-up to general elections in the spring of 2019. Hate campaigns against journalists, including incitement to murder, are common on social networks and are fed by troll armies linked to the nationalist right. Audience data for India’s television market was not available as in India it is considered a corporate or industry secret, rather than a public resource. The relevant entity – BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) – declined to provide the data repeatedly. BARC publishes the weekly impressions for top 5 Television broadcasters in news genre across 10 language markets (Hindi, English, Marathi, Telugu, Bangla, Kannada, Oriya, Assamese, Malayalam, Tamil) on its website. However, they reserve all rights on the data and communicated to the MOM team that the data cannot be used in any form without their prior approval which the team failed to get. In the radio sector, India’s state-controlled broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) has a nationwide monopoly on radio news. AIR is the largest radio network in the world covering a wide spectrum of languages and social-economic groups. In India, private broadcasters who run FM radio stations have the license to provide music and entertainment content, but are barred from producing news. Indian Prime Minister Modi’s recent election victory occurred within a surprisingly tight media space, comprised of the State’s monopoly in radio news and highly concentrated regional newspaper markets that are controlled by a small number of powerful owners, some of whom have strong political affiliations. The production of media content and its distribution are becoming increasingly combined and, again, concentrated in the hands of a few. Even though India might appear as an ‘overly legislated’ country in many ways, media laws relating to concentration of ownership are fragmented, incoherent and largely ineffective – also because TV ratings remain intransparent and owned by the industry. As a result, regardless of India’s size, a small number of companies and conglomerates dominate the country’s media landscape. IndiaAsia – Pacific Reports and statisticsMedia independenceEvents Freedom of expressionEconomic pressure RSF demands release of detained Indian journalist Siddique Kappan, hospitalised with Covid-19 The MOM team collected the data for their research from publicly available sources such as IRS (Indian Readership Survey, 2017). The data and information on ownership structures and shareholders of media companies and related individual owners was obtained from the website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). In addition, the research team sent out information requests to all investigated media companies, by registered mail and email, but none except for The Print have responded so far. The research is also based on a number of Right to Information requests (RTI) submitted to different State’s governments to collect data about public funds and advertising allocated to media. Receive email alerts There is some good news – MOM was able to find owners of almost all media companies through an openly available database provided by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The only company that remains unknown in terms of ownership and shareholding is Scroll Media Incorporation, registered in the US State of Delaware.  Consequently, the shareholding structure of the company is not available. April 27, 2021 Find out more Some of the existing laws were adopted over a hundred years ago and continue regulating some aspects of media today, such as the Indian Telegraph Act of 1885, which laid the ground for a government monopoly over the broadcast sector. As a result and regardless of seeming diversity and plurality of supply, the Indian media landscape is comprised of highly concentrated market segments. Political leverage Similarly, regional language media markets are highly concentrated. Our findings show that, in each of those market segments, the respective top two newspapers concentrate more than half of readership shares or more. For example, out of five Tamil newspapers, the top two titles combine a readership share of two thirds. Similarly, the newspapers Eanadu and Sakshi manage to reach 71.13% of audiences in the Telugu language market. This trend has been observed and validated across all regional markets including Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, Kannada, Gujarati, Urdu, Marathi and Assamese. For more information visit the MOM website: http://www.mom-rsf.org Screenshot of india.mom-rsf.org/ Media Ownership Monitor: One means of political leverage can be exerted by rewarding or punishing media outlets through the allocation or non-allocation of advertising by the government, likethis happened recently in Jammu-and-Kashmir. This plays out at a national level, but even more critically at the State and local levels where many media outlets depend on it to survive and transparency is not guaranteed. No figures were available for government advertising on Television and the RTIs filed have yielded no results. In addition to public spending on advertising, also the political parties invest heavily and one of, if not the largest advertiser in the country is the ruling party BJP.Violence against journalists Help by sharing this information India’s size also relates to its media landscape. According to most recent data as of 31st March, 2018, there were over 118,239 publications registered with the Registrar of Newspapers, which include over 36,000 weekly magazines alone. There are over 550 FM radio stations in the country and, according to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, over 880 satellite TV channels, including over 380 which claim to be television channels broadcasting “news and current affairs”. The number of news websites operating in India is simply unfathomable. The high level of concentration comes as a result of considerable gaps in the regulatory framework to safeguard media pluralism and prevent media concentration. Neither specific means to measure nor thresholds to limit ownership concentration in print, television and the online sector are in place. The patches of regulation that exist do not seem to be properly implemented with the exception of the radio market where, however, India’s state-controlled broadcaster has a nationwide monopoly on radio news. Law in India does not regulate cross-media concentration either. March 3, 2021 Find out more In the state of Assam, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma owns the Television station NewsLive. She is the wife of Himanta Biswa Sarma, a powerful cabinet minister in the BJP government in Assam. These are just a few examples of convergence of politics and media. The resulting interdependence between media, business and politics presents a high risk to media freedom and pluralism in India.   Regulatory flaws Patches of transparency and secrecy  Although transparency seems mostly achievable with some effort, it’s still important to note that ownership structures of almost all major media houses are characterised by highly complicated cross-shareholdings designed to either hide beneficial owners or to circumvent certain laws – or both. For example, there are restrictions on the licences of distribution networks in place by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, wherein a cap of 20 per cent has been imposed on a broadcaster’s or cable network company’s stake in a DTH (direct to home) business and vice versa. However, these regulations are not effectively implemented, as the example of the Essel group illustrates. As the owner of Zee Media, it controls both broadcast media and distribution networks such as Dish TV and Siti cable through a web of companies. Dish TV is also merging with Videocon D2H, another distribution network and the case is currently pending at Delhi High Court. “The MOM results in India show that a large number of media outlets does not necessarily translate into a pluralistic media landscape. With our research we created a database for everyone so that citizens can understand who owns and ultimately controls the media”, said RSF International president Michael Rediske. In rural India, journalists face choice between covering pandemic and survival In the absence of overarching regulation on media, self-regulatory bodies like BARC, the only entity to measure television audience, caters exclusively to the interests of the industry that they represent. Although other self-regulatory bodies, such as News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) set the rules and effectively regulate the television market without a mandate to control market concentration can self-regulation be enough to maintain a healthy media market? Organisation May 29, 2019 – Updated on May 31, 2019 Media Ownership Monitor: Who owns the media in India? News These are some of the key findings of the Media Ownership Monitor (MOM), a research project carried out in India by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Delhi-based digital media company DataLEADS over the past six months and presented in Delhi today. The detailed results of the study are now available to the public on the MOM website india.mom-rsf.org in English and Hindi. It provides a vivid and interactive picture of the Indian media landscape by disclosing who owns and ultimately controls mass media. June 10, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

New Bill Could prevent Arab based satellite providers from broadcasting

first_imgNews United StatesAmericas Follow the news on United States Read RSF’s statement at the conference RSF_en Facebook’s Oversight Board is just a stopgap, regulation urgently needed, RSF says Help by sharing this information Read the HR 2278 News March 22, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 New Bill Could prevent Arab based satellite providers from broadcasting News to go further April 28, 2021 Find out more WhatsApp blocks accounts of at least seven Gaza Strip journalists Receive email alerts NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say June 7, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders is extremely concerned with H.R 2278, passed by the House of Representatives on December 8th, 2009. The press freedom organization voiced its concerns about the new piece of legislation in a press conference in Washington DC on March 22nd, 2010.Under the new bill, satellite providers that knowingly and willingly contract with entities identified as “global terrorist” would themselves be designated as “global terrorists”. The bill would also consider implementing punitive measures against satellite providers that transmit al-Aqsa TV, al-Manar TV, al-Rafidayn TV, or any other terrorist owned and operated station. “The text is too vague to be considered seriously by the U.S Senate”, the organization said. “Countries already frequently pressure satellite providers to take channels off the air for political reasons. As it stands, the bill would be a threat to freedom of expression. We believe it’s language needs to be reworked and better defined. The H.R 2278 contradicts American support for media freedom and could not be implemented in the Middle East as crafted today without causing great damage”.The H.R 2278 is based on “anti-American incitement to violence” but the definition of anti-American incitement is impossibly broad. According to the resolution, “the term ‘anti-American incitement to violence’ means the act of persuading, encouraging, instigating, advocating, pressuring, or threatening so as to cause another to commit a violent act against any person, agent, instrumentality, or official of, is affiliated with, or is serving as a representative of the United States.On March 18th, 2010, the US Treasury froze the assets of Gaza-based Islamic National Bank and Al-Aqsa Television, saying they were “controlled” by Hamas which Washington has classified as a terrorist group.“The decision shows that the basis of H.R 2278 has to be reconsidered. The US can already sanctions channels defined as ‘terrorist’ by the Pentagon. Reporters Without Borders urges Congress to reconsider the text an its real motives”, added the press freedom organization. United StatesAmericas June 3, 2021 Find out more Related documents HR 2278PDF – 51.81 KBRWB on HR 2278MSWORD – 190.5 KB News Organisation last_img read more

Website editor held for posting Al Qaeda video

first_img Organisation to go further Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa News June 8, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders condemns the arrest today of Ali Anouzla, editor of the Arabic-language news portal Lakome who was detained after posting a video message purporting to be from Al Qaeda’s North African wing on his site.“We call for the immediate release of Ali Anouzla who published the video for purely informative reasons,” the press freedom organization said. “It is intolerable that a journalist should be prosecuted for keeping the public informed and that computers should be seized from the Lakome editorial offices.“If proceedings are taken against him, we shall be paying close attention to ensure the investigation scrupulously adheres to the principles of independent inquiry in a case in which freedom of expression is clearly at stake.”In a statement issued by the Rabat prosecutor’s office, the crown attorney general said: “Following the publication by the online newspaper Lakome of a video attributed to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which includes an unequivocal and direct incitement to commit terrorist acts in the Kingdom of Morocco, the prosecutor general has given instructions to the criminal investigation police to arrest the head of the online newspaper for investigation.” The news portal’s offices were searched by the police who seized the central processors of its computer system and questioned the journalists who were present. Anouzla was taken into custody by the national brigade of the criminal investigation police in Casablanca, which is responsible for terrorist matters.His lawyer, Naima Guellaf, told Reporters Without Borders the prosecutor’s office would not allow her to contact her client by phone or to see him in person until this Friday. The management of the French version of Lakomeposted its condemnation of the arrest of its Arabic-language editor on the site and pointed out that the portal had only published a link to the video.It added that it was a propaganda video and was presented as such in an article published on the 14 September about AQIM, an organization that none of its websites support. It points out that the publication of AQIM videos is “common practice in the international media … The AQIM video was also posted, for example, by the news site Huffington Post (France), while other news organizations such as L’Express and LCI published a link enabling readers to view the video on YouTube”. The justice minister, Mustapha Ramid, said in a separate statement that the Moroccan government planned to issue proceedings in Spain against the newspaper El Pais for publishing the video on its website. The daily’s North African correspondent Ignacio Cembrero told Reporters Without Borders action could be taken against the paper could be prosecuted for publishing an “apologia for crime”.The video, entitled “Morocco, kingdom of corruption and despotism”, was published last week on several electronic media outlets before it was removed by YouTube for breaching its policy on violent content.Anouzla is well known for his columns critical of the government and his calls for greater press freedom. The Lakome site was the first to report on the “Danielgate” case, about the Spanish paedophile Daniel Galván who was pardoned by mistake by Morocco’s King Mohammed. It is not the first time he has been investigated by the justice authorities. A case has been pending against him since 17 June for publishing an article about a tribal brawl in a district of Fez, in which there were casualties. Although he immediately withdrew the report and published a denial, he was accused of deliberately publishing false information in breach of article 42 of the Moroccan press code. He was summoned and charged by the Fez police. His trial, originally scheduled for 26 July, was postponed until late September.Anouzla told Reporters Without Borders at the time that he was the victim of a campaign of harassment and judicial persecution. The erroneous story was first carried by the website Rasd, which published a subsequent report on 18 July explaining that the original story was made up to demonstrate that some journalists were less that scrupulous in checking the facts. Several sites, including Hibapress.com and scoop.ma, also picked up the fake story but have not so far been prosecuted.Anouzla, former editor and publisher of the daily Al-Jarida Al-Oula, was prosecuted in a Rabat court in 2009 over a report about the health of the king, quoting an unidentified medical source. He was convicted of publishing false information and “mendacious allegations and facts with the intention of causing harm”. NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Help by sharing this information RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance News Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa center_img Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists RSF_en News Receive email alerts September 19, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Website editor held for posting Al Qaeda video April 15, 2021 Find out more News Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara April 28, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

RSF condemns threats against BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg

first_img RSF_en September 27, 2017 RSF condemns threats against BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg May 19, 2017 Find out more News RSF urges politicians to respect press freedom in the UK general election campaign United KingdomEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists WomenViolenceFreedom of expressionInternet News UK general election: political party manifestos present a mixed bag for press freedom Help by sharing this information United KingdomEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists WomenViolenceFreedom of expressionInternet Organisation Since last year, Kuenssberg – the BBC’s first female political editor – has faced a torrent of online abuse and threats linked to her reporting on events such as the EU referendum and the Labour party leadership election. She has been accused of partiality in her coverage, and subjected to a petition circulated by Labour supporters calling for the BBC to dismiss her that gathered more than 35,000 signatures before being taken down.“Violence against journalists is unacceptable in any form, and the increase in online threats against female journalists around the world is nothing short of alarming. These latest reports of threats against Laura Kuenssberg must be taken very seriously. It is appalling that a respected journalist cannot safely cover a political party conference, and sends a worrying signal about the state of press freedom in the UK, which must urgently be addressed,” said RSF UK Bureau Director Rebecca Vincent.The threats against Kuenssberg take place in the context of a worrying trend of moves against press freedom in the UK, including a growing climate of hostility expressed by public officials towards the media. In May, RSF called on all political parties to respect press freedom in their campaigning for the 8th June General Election, including the Labour party, which had barred journalists’ access to campaign events.The UK is currently ranked 40th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.Press contact: Rebecca Vincent at [email protected] or +44 (0)7583 137751 June 22, 2017 Find out more to go further Reporters Without Borders – known internationally as Reporters sans frontières (RSF) – condemns reports of threats against BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg. Reports have emerged that Kuenssberg has been assigned bodyguards to protect her whilst covering the Labour party conference currently taking place in Brighton. News News Receive email alerts Follow the news on United Kingdom As new parliament opens, RSF calls on the UK government to reverse negative press freedom trends May 11, 2017 Find out morelast_img read more

Start Your Engines: Ohio Foreclosure Fast-Tracking Bill Takes Effect

first_imgSubscribe  Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago foreclosure fast-tracking 2016-10-04 Kendall Baer The fast track foreclosure bill which would reduce foreclosure timelines from two to three years down to as low as six months, took effect last Wednesday, after passing in the Ohio State Legislature in late May.It took almost three years and many rewrites and amendments before finally being rolled into a larger bill, HB 390 (Sales tax-exempt sale of natural gas by municipal gas company), before it passed in the Ohio State Senate.As the problems caused by vacant and abandoned properties have gained national attention in the last couple of years, Ohio lawmakers fought to pass this legislation, which should now greatly reduce the amount of time a property remains vacant.Reducing the foreclosure timeline should cut down on problems presented by vacant properties such as the spreading of blight, lowering of property values, vandalism, squatters, and violent crime that these properties often attract.The idea for the bill was first proposed by Columbus City Attorney Rick Pfeiffer three years ago, and Ohio HB 223 was introduced to the Ohio Senate in June 2013 by Ohio Rep. Cheryl Grossman, a Republican, and Ohio State Rep. Michael Curtin, a Democrat.The bill passed unanimously in the Ohio House in April 2014, but in December 2014 an amended version of the bill failed to make it out of the Ohio State Senate Finance Committee. A new version of the bill, Ohio HB 134, was then introduced in early 2015 by the same two joint sponsors, Grossman and Curtin. That bill passed by a vote of 88-0 in the Ohio House of Representatives in November 2015, and took another six months to pass in the Senate. Now, five months later, this bill has become effective throughout the state of Ohio.Five Star Institute President and CEO Ed Delgado said of the Ohio fast track foreclosure legislation, “The crisis of vacant and abandoned properties is one of national proportion. By reducing the time that vacant properties remain unoccupied, fast-tracking the foreclosure process will ultimately reduce the risk of community blight and thwart the potential for crime and other undesirable conditions which are the natural byproduct of a failure to act. The implementation of this bill should serve as an important step toward the introduction of a solution for communities nationwide.”A potentially workable solution is being proposed by the National Mortgage Servicing Association (NMSA).  Now in its seventh year, the organization is leading the dialog on a number of important issues that affect the mortgage industry and has been advocating for a national standard for determining property abandonment to be set forth by HUD and FHFA, which will in turn be adopted into state foreclosure laws.While fast track foreclosure laws have not yet become a national standard, Ohio’s move is seen by many in the industry as a positive development in the effort to curb the impact that vacant and abandoned properties have on communities.Click here to view Ohio HB 390 in its entirety. The section on foreclosures begins on page 70.Editor’s note: The Five Star Institute is the parent company of DS News and DSNews.com. Kendall Baer is a Baylor University graduate with a degree in news editorial journalism and a minor in marketing. She is fluent in both English and Italian, and studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Apart from her work as a journalist, she has also managed professional associations such as Association of Corporate Counsel, Commercial Real Estate Women, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Project Management Institute for Association Management Consultants in Houston, Texas. Born and raised in Texas, Baer now works as the online editor for DS News. Share Save Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago October 4, 2016 1,585 Views About Author: Kendall Baer Home / Daily Dose / Start Your Engines: Ohio Foreclosure Fast-Tracking Bill Takes Effect Previous: ClosingCorp Launches New Closing Costs Calculator Next: What Issues are Lurking Behind Rising Home Prices? Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Start Your Engines: Ohio Foreclosure Fast-Tracking Bill Takes Effect The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily in Daily Dose, Featured, News Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles Tagged with: foreclosure fast-tracking The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days agolast_img read more

Pre-Trial Prejudice: Time To Identify The Evil In India?

first_imgColumnsPre-Trial Prejudice: Time To Identify The Evil In India? Yashdeep Chahal27 July 2020 11:46 PMShare This – xOn November 4, 1948, the Constituent Assembly of India, while discussing the proposed form of administration in the draft Constitution, witnessed the introduction of the phrase – “constitutional morality”. Babasaheb Ambedkar introduced the phrase and called it a non-natural sentiment, something that has to be cultivated in the Indian society, a society that he referred to…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginOn November 4, 1948, the Constituent Assembly of India, while discussing the proposed form of administration in the draft Constitution, witnessed the introduction of the phrase – “constitutional morality”. Babasaheb Ambedkar introduced the phrase and called it a non-natural sentiment, something that has to be cultivated in the Indian society, a society that he referred to as “essentially undemocratic”. By calling it a non-natural sentiment of society, Babasaheb drew a line of conflict between constitutional morality and societal morality. The line still exists. The undemocratic nature of the society is often reflected in the legal machinery and assumes its worst shape in the field of criminal law. Theoretically, it is understood that the right to fair trial is amongst the most fundamental tenets of a criminal justice system. In practice, however, this fairness often becomes a victim of societal realities, the realities which are born out of the prevailing standards of morality and which reflect in various elements of a criminal proceeding, as we shall see. A criminal proceeding is constituted by both trial as well as the pre-trial stage. Though on a comprehensive view, they constitute a cohesive unit, for the ulterior effect of improprieties committed during the pre-trial stage also falls upon the fairness of the trial. Strictly speaking, a trial is staged inside a courtroom. However, what eventually gets staged inside the courtroom is, directly or indirectly, controlled by events outside the courtroom. The testimony of witnesses, securing appearances, personal examination of accused under Section 313 Cr.P.C., fairness of prosecutors, police discipline during investigation, successful production of evidence, role of bar, media reporting of proceedings etc. are certain facets of a criminal trial that are controlled by pre-trial developments outside the courtroom. Precisely thus, pre-trial events with potential to cause prejudice cannot be treated casually. Their probable impact upon the fairness of a trial needs to be examined. We have shunned any such examination thus far. Pre-trial prejudice The expression “pre-trial prejudice” is a borrowed one. Borrowed from Rideau v. Louisiana, this expression is largely used to refer to jury prejudice in criminal trials. The jury system involves few members of the community in the adjudication of guilt or innocence of the accused and since these members come from the community (and are not professional judges), they come with certain social prejudices. When such social prejudices adulterate their decision making ability, it becomes a case of pre-trial prejudice. The inclusion of the phrase “pre-trial” before the word “prejudice” indicates that such prejudice emanates from their social and community experiences before they were called upon to be a part of the criminal trial. By virtue of Indian Jury Act, 1826, the jury system was introduced in India and was continued (arguably) till the enactment of 1973 Code. The country witnessed a living demonstration of jury prejudice during the famous Nanavati trial, wherein the jury recommended acquittal by 8-1. Judge R.B. Mehta, Sessions Judge, while submitting the case for review to the High Court, had famously remarked “I feel our whole law is on trial”. However, the jury system, as it turned out, was not the only cause of pre-trial prejudice. It was one of the many possible causes and though we abolished the jury system, the other causes continued to reign. Today, the criminal justice system in India is facing the threat of informational prejudice. Illustratively, there is no law in India to protect the identity of the accused. Right from the stage of information of crime, a wave of media reportage runs parallel with the stages of investigation and enquiry. The ensuing discourse outside the courtroom soon starts adversely affecting the proceedings inside. Let’s explore further. Prejudice in practice In order to understand this phenomenon, one must understand the elements that join together to build a criminal proceeding. In reaching upto a decision, a judge ought to be assisted by professional lawyers, fair prosecutors, untainted witnesses and disciplined investigating officers. The professionalism of a judicial officer would be of little value if she is not adequately assisted in the process. The pursuit of justice is a collective task. Let me illustrate. An accused charged with sedition for giving a speech which is circulated, twisted and talked about extensively on the internet is more likely to end up with a charge-sheet and not with a closure report. An accused arrested on the charge of a widely reported heinous rape is more likely to be subjected to custodial violence after arrest, not only by the police but also by other inmates. The Hyderabad encounter of 4 “suspects” of gang rape was a textbook example of how extreme pre-trial prejudice could result from excessive discourse in the community. The 4 suspects, with their pictures, names and details of family members revealed, are prejudiced for life. Did the police wait for conducting their identification before publishing their information? No. The police felt the need to satisfy the society with immediate action. Furthermore, what are the chances for a medical officer, himself outraged at a widely reported rape, to truly report custodial violence injuries on the body of the accused, arrested in relation to the said offence and brought to him for inspection? Let’s see some more illustrations. A witness living in a regressive community is less likely to fearlessly testify in the court against an incident of honour killing if it has been a subject of heavy discussion in the community. We live in a society where bar associations pass resolutions to refrain the lawyers from defending those accused with popular crimes. Such bar associations feel one with the local sentiment to punish. Would it, then, be an exaggeration to say that such accused are less likely to be defended by a legal practitioner of their choice in the court? The emphasis comes from Article 22, a fundamental right guaranteed to all by the Constitution. I wonder, Aren’t these instances of pre-trial prejudice? Aren’t they more likely to result from excessive information? Wouldn’t they go on to revolt against the fairness of trial (assuming the stage of trial comes)? The cause The illustrations discussed above would reveal that there is no uniform phenomenon of prejudice. Some plausible explanation, however, does exist. It begins with excessive information at a premature stage. When heinous crimes in a largely uninformed society are met with extraordinary media coverage without protecting the identity of the accused, the whole community starts sharing the trauma of victims and starts believing that nothing less than the harshest of punishment would be acceptable as the outcome of the criminal proceeding. What acts as a final nail in the coffin of fairness is the absence of basic legal knowledge, more importantly of the presumption of innocence, both in the media and citizens. The impact is unimaginable and unexplored. I feel compelled to borrow words from Judge Matsch, who, in U.S. v. Mc Veigh, expressed that “the entire state had become a unified community, sharing the emotional trauma of those who had become directly victimized”. What gets collapsed under this collective zeal to punish is the impartiality and free will of those who play a role at various stages – police, witnesses, doctors, experts, lawyers, prosecutors etc. They feel the need to pass societal expectations with flying colours and end up becoming the weak links in a trial. Local sentiment prevails over constitutional sentiment. Understandably, the causes are continuously evolving. In fact, it is this complexity of causes that has allowed these glaring improprieties to escape the clutches of law. We consider them a part of the “chalta hai” doctrine. Pre-trial prejudice is not targeted against the accused only. Victims also face the music every now and then. Let’s venture into the monotony of Bollywood and recall the story of gangrape of a poor village girl by a few rich men of the community. The incident is followed by abduction of witnesses, suppression of evidence and denial of legal assistance. The local media reports it as a suicide and creates enough sentiment for the witnesses and police to toe the ‘right’ line. The question here is – Are the trial courts open to such victims on the same terms as they are to others? An even bigger question is – Are our trial courts equipped enough to remedy this pre-trial fiasco? In Sheppard v. Maxwell (1966), it was observed that “Given the pervasiveness of modern communications and the difficulty of effacing prejudicial publicity from the minds of the jurors, the trial courts must take strong measures to ensure that the balance is never weighed against the accused”. I propose to replace the word “jurors” with other constituents of a trial – police, witnesses, media etc. – and call upon an urgent need for the trial courts to effectively control what precedes the stage of trial. Lest, the trial itself will become a sham because the balance of power is increasingly being weighed against the accused in our system. What does law offer? The remedy against most of the evil scenarios illustrated above lies in higher courts in India- either through writs under the Constitution or appeals under the criminal procedure. Whereas the former is largely inaccessible to the majority, the latter comes at such an advanced stage that the vindication of what is lost before the trial becomes impossible. The criminal procedure and law of evidence in India lack preventive tools against such prejudice. They provide for remedial measures and put a heavy burden upon the accused to prove “failure of justice” before providing any remedy in appellate courts. More challenges emerge when we understand our jurisprudential approach towards the concept of “prejudice”. For instance, in Mohd. Hussain vs. The State (Govt. of NCT) Delhi, the Court observed, “…. ‘Prejudice’ is incapable of being interpreted in its generic sense and applied to criminal jurisprudence. The plea of prejudice has to be in relation to investigation or trial and not matters falling beyond their scope.” It is high time that we recognize the possibility of prejudice even beyond the traditional stages of investigation or trial. The limited meaning of “investigation”, as we adopt, has the effect of excluding a myriad set of circumstances having the potential to prejudice the case. It is time that law circumscribes such circumstances within its reach. The call of the hour is to empower the trial courts, to enable them to independently examine the question of pre-trial prejudice during the trial- irrespective of its cause – and rule upon procedural improprieties. For the strong foundation of a trial, a trial court must be able to effectively counter such out-of-court prejudices. Leaving such questions for appellate forums leads to loss of spontaneity, continuity and above all, loss of faith in the system of criminal justice. Because not every prejudice is capable of being traced, identified and cabined in a category after it has played its role and damaged the trial. Its effect can not always be proved as a failure of justice at the appellate stage. It is also high time that a provision akin to Section 228A of IPC is crafted for the accused for protection of identity. An accused is entitled to “informational privacy” and fair trial under Article 21, even if it demands some curbs in the competing right to press. The balance, in my opinion, tilts towards the former. The ever evolving causes that lead to prejudice need to be trapped before the law itself becomes a subject of trial.Views are personal only. Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

Local racial justice protests continue into their second week, Mayor Myrick speaks out

first_img Your Public Safety news is made possible with support from: Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice.Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] More by Anna Lamb “I want to say to some of those who have called me out for being physically slow to join these protests that I’m sorry and that I’m shell shocked…I’m human,” he said. “My father has been arrested countless times, (based on) his height and build, when I see George Floyd being murdered by that police officer it looks like my father. I feel like I’m watching my family being killed by that police officer.”Clemons thanked the Mayor for speaking and asked the crowd to continue to educate themselves and take action moving forward.“I was not informed on all the things the mayor brought to my attention. However, I am happy and proud that I learned something new today. I’m pretty sure a lot of you weren’t aware of all of the things that he said. But now you guys are informed –– the question is now what are you going to do?” asked Clemons. “Are you going to take action or are you coming down here to make some noise?”One of the people who plans to take action is community member Aundre Seals who delivered an impactful speech the week prior outlining the last 400 years of black oppression in America. Seals reiterated his point about the long history of racial injustice in the U.S. “From 1619 to now, it has been slavery, chattel, segregation, mass incarceration.”Seals went on to announce that he wants to run for local office.“We do not have enough queer black and brown people on our common council, we do not have enough of them in our local government. I’m committed to finding out why and how I can be on common council and be in local government and how I can f*cking work with you. I want to work for you,” he said.Other speakers included Catherine Thrasher-Carroll and her daughter Maddie who both spoke about racism in the Ithaca City School District, Travis Brooks from GIAC, local performer Rochelle Matthews and several others.Speeches lasted for about three hours before the crowd took to the streets for a brief march around downtown.Sunday’s event is set to be a recurring one every Sunday for the immediate future at 2 p.m. at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the Ithaca Commons. center_img Anna Lamb ITHACA, N.Y. –– Even larger crowds gathered this weekend to listen to community members speak on the racial injustice in policing in Ithaca and what can be done to address it moving forward as protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers enter their second week.32-year-old Ithaca native Jordan Clemons who spoke last Sunday, took on the role of unofficial emcee bringing speakers up and leading the crowd in chants of “no justice, no peace.”“Like I said last protest, I’m shifting my life to this cause,” he said. Clemons has been a basketball coach in Ithaca for several years. He said he wanted to make Sunday’s event about hearing from voices that haven’t been heard during the last week of protests. “We can’t get anywhere if we don’t start listening to one another,” Clemons said.One of those voices that was yet to be heard was Mayor Svante Myrick who spoke for the first time publicly on Sunday. Myrick spoke about what he’s done in the past to shrink the police budget, and what he plans on doing in the future to achieve justice –– for instance holding police accountable by supporting the repeal of law 50a.50a prevents the public from being able to access police officers’ disciplinary records. A bill to repeal 50a is expected to be voted on by state lawmakers this week.“We can do internal investigations and carry out discipline but you will never know about it,” Myrick said. “What you can do now is call your state legislator.”Myrick also asked for forgiveness and understanding from the public for not speaking out sooner. Tagged: george floyd, ipd, ithaca, Mayor Svante Myrick, Protests last_img read more