Iceland Welcomes Whistleblowers

March 13, 2010 • Media and Politics, Press Freedom • by

Proposal calls for protection of journalists and sources in Iceland.

After bearing the brunt of a devastating financial scandal, Iceland considers a legislative makeover aimed at protecting journalists and whistleblowers. The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI) seeks to strengthen freedom of expression through the adoption of various legal modifications designed to protect communication between sources and journalists.  Eliminating the practice of “libel tourism” – i.e. shopping for locations to pursue libel actions where jurisdiction is thought to be most beneficial – is another of the proposal’s goals.

Plans to bolster the nation’s image gained speed last December with the help of Julian Assange and Daniel Schmitt, Wikileaks.org leaders interested in helping Iceland become a guardian of journalistic freedom. Wikileaks, a (temporarily disabled) nonprofit Web site, publishes leaked material and acquired UK infamy last year after posting the names and addresses of people allegedly belonging to the British National Party. In just three years, Wikileaks collected nearly 1.2 million restricted documents, mostly pertaining to government and corporate misconduct.  All content published on the site is anonymous, and sources are guarded fiercely.

Read more about IMMI at Poynter.

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