Dan Gillmor, the veteran media executive, writes in The Guardian's Comment is Free blog that the Bradley Manning acquittal on aiding the enemy for divulging documents to WikiLeaks is far from full reassurance for journalism. Even though Manning wasn't convicted of a charge that might have sent a full shudder into the business of collecting classified content from sources, Gillmor says the Obama Administration has been unrelenting in its efforts to wage war on those who leak and those who report them, he says. Moreover, media have been tepid in their reporting on this. He writes: "The public needs to awaken to the threat to its own freedoms from the Obama crackdown on leaks and, by extension, journalism and free speech itself."
The editor of a Saudi Arabian website has been sentenced to seven years in jail and 600 lashes for hosting a liberal online forum that discussed the role of religion. He violated Saudi law by propagating liberal values and calling into question Islamic ones. Raif Badawi originally faced charges of apostasy, which carry the death penalty, but they were dropped. Reuters says the country is amid a struggle between King Abdullah who wants legal reform and conservatives who are resisting its implementation.
The Daily Mail is speculating that the BBC's clout and breadth might be curtailed as the government reviews media plurality laws. It says the BBC's powerful website (a significant competitor to the market-leading Daily Mail's) might be reined in. BBC creates about one-quarter of the news broadcast on TV but commandeers nearly three-quarters of viewing.