Summer magazine launch: Trouble in paradise

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”100664″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]Celebrate the start of summer with cocktails and debate at Index on Censorship’s summer magazine launch. In the underground bar of Shoreditch’s quirkiest arts venue, The Book Club, we explore how holidaymakers’ utopian image of balmy beaches and crystal clear waters contrasts with the reality of freedoms under threat.

Join Vicky Baker, a BBC World news journalist and travel writer, in conversation with Meera Selva (former foreign correspondent reporting from Nairobi, Singapore and Berlin), Benji Lanyado (founder of the Picfair photo agency and travel writer for the New York Times) and Harriet Fitch Little (Dream Jobs series writer for the Financial Times’ travel section and former editor for local press in Lebanon and Cambodia), for a debate on whether journalists are not telling the whole story about some of the world’s favourite destinations. The event will be introduced by award-winning Index on Censorship magazine editor and former travel writer Rachael Jolley.

Index’s latest magazine Trouble in Paradise reports from Malta to Mexico, Pakistan to France and Hawaii to Sri Lanka. Also in the magazine, we interview Victoria Hislop and Ian Rankin.

There will be cocktails on arrival and possibly the odd palm tree.

With thanks to our sponsors Sage and venue partner The Book Club.

Please note, capacity is limited so please register to secure your ticket. We operate a waiting list, so please let us know if you no longer want to use your ticket.

If you have access requirements, please contact: [email protected].[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

When: Wednesday 4 July, 6.30-9pm
Where: The Book Club, Leonard Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 4RH (Directions)
Tickets: Free. Registration required via Eventbrite


Former editor races half marathon to raise money for Index fellowship


Vicky Baker - marathon Athens

Runners in Athens: James Fox, Miriam Betz Heinemann, Vicky Baker, Dave Depares and David Heinemann

Former Index on Censorship magazine deputy editor Vicky Baker has raised £646 for Index in a race in Athens, Greece, that included running by the world-famous Acropolis.

Baker took part in the 10k run because of her interest in Index’s fellowship programme and raised three times as much as her original goal.

“Running in Athens made the race kind of different. I need sights to keep motivated. We did it around the Acropolis, but not up to the Acropolis. It was really steep, but you could see it, and there’s a bit more going on that keeps you motivated”

“It was quite hilly, but I think I was kind of aware of that, so I used to run up to Epping Forest from where I live, which is quite a hill, so that was my training programme”

She is also concerned about the lack of awareness that media freedom often receives from the public: “People tend to take free speech for granted until it’s something that you’ve lost. There are more free speech issues in our lives than we realise. There are daily stories that do have an impact on free speech that matter very much and aren’t always labelled as ‘free speech.’”

She wanted to support Index because “it’s an organisation that you can very much become involved in. It’s not a big organisation where the money you raise just goes off into the coffers alongside thousands of other donations.”

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_row_inner equal_height=”yes”][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_custom_heading text=”Support the Index Fellowship” font_container=”tag:p|font_size:20|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes” link=”|||”][vc_column_text]

By donating to the Freedom of Expression Awards you help us support individuals and groups at the forefront of tackling censorship.

Find out more

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”89551″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_separator][vc_column_text]Baker, a journalist, added: “I have a long-standing relationship with Index because of what they do… I don’t think you ever fully leave. You certainly don’t go ‘oh well I’ve got a new job, I’m not interested in free speech anymore’.”

Baker ran with friends Dave Depares, James Fox and Index’s head of fellowship David Heinemann. They coordinated a Facebook and email campaign to raise funds for Index while Miriam Betz Heinemann ran for the refugee organisation START. The funds raised will be used to support Index’s fellowship programme.

“The fellowship was one of the things that left a big impression on me, having worked at Index. I’ve been really interested in following the stories of winners and nominees and what they do next. It’s a brilliant programme,” Baker said.

“It’s very personal because Index is such a small organisation. It enables them to form those relationships, rather than getting the people to fit into programmes that already exist, the programme kind of works around them and responds very much to what they need, and I think that’s what makes it very special,” she added.

The original fundraising goal was £200, and, at first, Baker worried that they had set the bar too high. After speaking with Index, she increased her goal: “We upped it and then people carried on sort of oblivious to what our total was, they were still supporting us.”

Baker raised three times her original fundraising goal through the support of friends, family and co-workers. “Some of my colleagues [from BBC] very kindly sponsored me too, and I think that was the aspect that appealed to them was the work that Index does protecting journalists… although we’re based in the London newsroom most of the time, obviously we’re dealing with people out in the field in much more dangerous situations,” Baker said.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_basic_grid post_type=”post” max_items=”4″ element_width=”6″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1501762788354-aaf003fc-23de-5″ taxonomies=”7902″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

29 Sep: How to protect the freedom to read in your library – webinar

Banned Books (Photo by Aimée Hamilton)

Banned Books (Photo by Aimée Hamilton / Index on Censorship)

What do you do when someone finds a book in your library offensive and wants to take it off your shelves? How do you remain sensitive to the needs of all while avoiding banning a title? How can you bring attention to the issue of book banning in an effective way?

As part of Banned Books Week (27 September – 3 October), Sage Publications and Index on Censorship are collaborating for a one-hour webinar about protecting and promoting the freedom to read.

When: Tuesday September 29, 5pm UK (9am PST, 10am MST, 11am CST, 12pm EST)
Where: Online
Tickets: Free, but registration is required

Part I: How to use open communication to prevent book challenges

Kate Lechtenberg, teacher librarian at Iowa’s Ankeny Community School District, finds that conversations between librarians, teachers, students, and parents are a key way to creating a culture that understands and supports intellectual freedom. “The freedom to read is nothing without the freedom to discuss the ideas we find in books.”

Part II: How to handle a book challenge after it happens

Kristin Pekoll, assistant director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, will share her unique experiences facing several book challenges (and a potential book burning!) when she served as a young adult librarian. How did she address the needs of upset parents and community members while maintaining unrestricted access to information and keeping important books on her shelves?

Part III: How to bring attention to the issue of banned books

Why would a supporter of free speech and open learning purposely ban a book? Scott DiMarco, director of the North Hall Library at Mansfield University, reveals how he once banned a book to shed light on library censorship and what else he is doing to support the freedom to read on his Pennsylvania campus.

Following the three presentations, there will be a Q&A moderated by Vicky Baker, deputy editor of Index on Censorship magazine.

Lawyers representing journalists face arrest says NGO

Index speaks at IAPC meet

Index speaks at the IAPC meet 2014, Vienna

There has been an 18% rise in violence towards journalists compared to the same period last year, International Media Support, an organisation that works in many of the world’s biggest danger zones, told an international journalism conference.

News from Egypt  – as three journalists from Al-Jazeera are sentenced to seven years in prison –  demonstrates the huge threats that journalists can face. The subject was covered in detail at this year’s International Association of Press Clubs annual conference in Vienna, which Index on Censorship attended this month.

“Some countries we just can’t work in,” said John Barker from Media Legal Defence Initiative, who help represent journalists facing legal charges for reporting and presented on their work. “Every time we work in Vietnam, for example, the lawyers are arrested. In many places, we can’t transfer money to them.” Nonetheless, they are currently working on 102 cases in 39 countries.

Other topics for discussion included:

  • The increasing number of freelancers working in danger zones – and with little training
  • How to protect fixers, translators and local journalists
  • Possible methods for funding legal representation (Crowdfunding worked as a recent experiment in Ethiopia, said MLDI)

The event was hosted by Austria’s PresseClub Concordia – said to be the oldest press club in the world (founded in 1859 – reformed in 1946, after having its assets seized by Nazis). It was attended by press clubs from around the world, including Poland, Belarus, Syria, the Czech Republic, the US, India, Ukraine, Mongolia, Germany, and Switzerland. Other NGOs – alongside Index, International Media Support and Media Legal Defence Initiative – included the International Press Institute and RISC (Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues).

Index was invited to present on the work the organisation is doing around the world, which included sharing the stories of our Freedom of Expression Awards winners and nominees, and news of our current work, including a crowdsourcing project to map media freedom violations across the EU. Plus we also shared stories from our quarterly magazine – including a report on violent threats to journalists in Tanzania and how news stories are getting out of Syria via citizen reports.

Index also hosted round-table discussion on censorship, which provoked an impassioned debate. One of the most interesting topics covered was on contracts that some journalists are being made to sign on what they can and can’t write. We heard of cases in Mongolia and Germany. We also discussed self-censorship and censorship by complying to advertisers’ will. One attendee from the Berlin Press Club said: “There is no censorship in Germany, but journalists feel like they have scissors in their heads. You have to self-censor before you write.” This is an area that we are researching, so please get in touch if you have experiences and examples.

The meeting also visited a new exhibition on censorship during WW1 and ended with the Concordia Press Club’s annual ball, which is a key fundraiser for the club and attended by over 2,000 guests. See photos from the event below.

Index at Iapc 2







This article was posted on June 24, 2014 at