Following on from Nieman’s story that Iceland could become an off-shore, libel-proof journalistic enclave, the editor of WikiLeaks has written a fascinating post on the Guardian’s Organ Grinder blog:
I’m excited about what is happening in Iceland, which has started to see the world in a new way after its mini-revolution a year ago. Over the past two months I have been part of a team in Iceland advising parliamentarians on a cross-party proposal to turn it into an international “journalism haven” – a jurisdiction designed to attract organisations into publishing online from Iceland, by adopting the strongest press and source protection laws from around the world….
Because of the economic meltdown in the banking sector, which, per capita, was the largest of any western country, Icelanders believe that fundamental change is needed in order to prevent such events from taking place again. Those changes include not just better regulation of banks, but better media oversight of dirty deals between banks and politicians…
Not surprisingly, the foreign press has developed an interest in the proposal. All over the world, the freedom to write about powerful groups is being smothered. Iceland could be the antidote to secrecy havens, rather it may become an island where openness is protected – a journalism haven. Sleet Street 2.0.
[Read the full piece here]
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This is the first video I have ever directed, on the Wilton’s Music Hall in Tower Hamlets – a truly incredible place with a past punctuated with significant historical events. It was here that Champagne Charlie grew to fame, where the London Dockers congregated during the Docker’s Strike, and where East End rebels sought refuge during the Battle of Cable Street. And it’s still going – wait until the end of the film for recent footage of a Magic Numbers gig there.
Huge thanks to Felix Clay for shooting the whole thing, and to Christian Bennett for cutting it.
Here are some things I’ve been up to recently:
For the New York Times:
• A Check In, Check Out review of the Kensington Hotel [Pictured above]
• A Goal Blog piece on UEFA allowing politics to influence the Euro 2012 draw
• Another Goal Blog piece on signature moves in football
For the Guardian:
• A news piece on the National Trust taking Google Street View off-road
• A round-up of Latin dance holidays
• A tip on the glorious Blackpool Tower Ballroom for a Valentine’s special
• A map of Venetian Bacari
• Maps for a selection of road trips in Europe and the British Isles
• A map for Le Cool editor Chloe McCloskey’s alternative guide to Seattle
[This interview first appeared on NileGuide]
1. Most underrated destination
Albania and Sarajevo . Although that’s a bit of a trick answer, because they are barely ever rated, let alone underrated. The Balkans are my favourite part of Europe. The recent, tragic history of the region somehow makes it all the more intoxicating – a bit like what the rest of eastern Europe might have felt like after the Wall fell. Sarajevo got me with its ethnic mix; a Muslim city dotted with minarets in mainland Europe, where a strong Jewish and Orthodox community have coexisted happily for years. Albania [pictured above] is the most hospitable country I have ever visited – I’ve never been invited into people’s homes so many times.