Two new bills have been passed in South Sudan to provide information rights and press oversight. One bill confers a right for citizens to have access to information, while another creates an independent mechanism to deal with press complaints. While there is skepticism the legislation will take hold, the measures introduce two key principles in the legal landscape for a country beset by press intimidation and violence. Journalists applaud the moves, but Reuters reports they are not initially convinced they will be effective.
A study today from the Pew Research Center indicates American public esteem for journalists is declining, particularly among women. Only 28 per cent of those surveyed said journalists contribute a lot to society's well-being, down from 38 per cent in 2009. Among women, 29 per cent held journalists in high esteem, down from 47 per cent four years ago. Among men, the number held at roughly the same level, 28 per cent, down two points from four years ago. Poynter notes that at the other end of the spectrum, roughly one-quarter held journalists in low esteem.
The advent of native advertising/sponsored content has annoyed many journalists, but AdWeek reports the U.S. Federal Trade Commission may weigh in to ensure a distinction is evident between advertising and editorial content. The FTC has intervened in the past when commercial content appeared confusing to consumers. It has meant infomercials and certain newspaper content has had to bear clear labels. AdWeek speculates that, if the industry doesn't adopt a strong self-regulatory approach, the FTC may enter the picture.