Thursday, August 19, 2010

Iceland Goal: 'Fantasy Island' for Journalists?

Coat of arms of IcelandImage via Wikipedia
Agence France Presse reports that Iceland's parliament in June unanimously approved the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative ("IMMI")[], a freedom of information bill that the European island nation envisions will create the world's strongest shield to protect journalists and whistleblowers.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is one of IMMI's biggest boosters. Iceland parliament member Birgitta Jonsdottir hopes the IMMI protection afforded investigative reporters and their confidential sources will turn Iceland into a "transparency haven" that will attract journalists to Iceland, much as countries that are tax havens draw wealthy citizens.  Jonsdottir, a self-proclaimed "anarchist" (though "TUOL" bets a krona she observes state holidays), said IMMI is a response in part to previous censorship in August 2009, when public broadcaster RUV was enjoined from airing a report on one of Iceland's largest banks that went bust a year later, helping to push the country to the brink of bankruptcy.

IMMI is expected to take effect in about a year and a half, as its enactment requires changing about 13 laws currently in force.  "TUOL" doubts that journalists will be lured to the North Atlantic Ocean kingdom, particularly if it will require them to learn how to spell Reykjavik, Raykjovic, Rakervic, never mind.
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