Phone Calls in the Age of the Text Message, A New Speech Law in Libya, and More

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Why we are spending less time on the phone, a new Libyan law that makes it a crime to glorify the Gaddafi regime, and a Liberian journalist who dares to tell the stories that her community doesn't want told.

Comcast's Big Change

This week, Comcast, the largest provider of cable and internet in the country, started charging for broadband using a tiered data plan - much like wireless carriers currently do. This move is not likely to affect many people right now, but as The New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter tells Brooke, Comcast might be preparing its subscribers for the future of internet pricing.

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The Future of the Phone

The text message turns two decades old this year, and numerous studies have shown a sharp decline in actual phone use in favor of texting and email. Brooke talks to writer Tom Vanderbilt, who says the phone call’s day may be passing.


JD Samson and MEN - Life's Half Price

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A New (Troubling) Speech Law in Libya

With the first Libyan elections in 40 years just a month away, the shadow of the Gaddafi regime looms large. The National Transitional Council (which holds power in Libya until those elections) recently passed a law that criminalizes glorifying Gaddafi as well as offending the revolution. Bob speaks with Libya Herald editor Sami Zaptia about the implications of the law for speech in Libya.


Germany Publishes "Mein Kampf"

On January 1, 2016 one of the most infamous books of the 20th century, Mein Kampf, will go into the public domain and will be published in Germany for the first time in 70 years. German media professor Nikolaus Peifer explains to Bob how Germans are trying to manage and contextualize the book’s release in order to minimalize its impact.

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What's the Harm in Hate Speech?

One of the great maxims in defense of the 1st Amendment is the insistence by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes that we must defend 'even the thought we hate'. But law professor Jeremy Waldron asks, when it comes to the most egregious hate speech, why?  He explains to Brooke that words can and do hurt us and that there should be limitations on the most hateful expression.


Beastie Boys - Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament

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When Freedom of the Press is Not a Priority

Leaders in Ethiopia and Rwanda were once hailed as political reformers. But according to Mohamed Keita, of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Western priorities have led African democracies to narrow their free speech commitments. Mohamed speaks to Brooke about the frightening consequences when press freedoms drop off the agenda. 

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Reporting on Taboo Topics in Liberia

When Liberian journalist Mae Azango wrote an article about the taboo topic of female genital mutilation, she and her nine year-old daughter became the targets of multiple threats. Brooke talks to Mae about her reporting that forced the Liberian government to finally take a public position on the practice.

The Kronos Quartet - Tilliboyo

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