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Previous | Next :: A Tale of Two Authors : Imposed Silence : Death Eaters at Harry Potter Launch | December 1, 2011, 9:06 pm

A Tale of Two Authors : Imposed Silence : Death Eaters at Harry Potter Launch
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JK Rowling was giving evidence at the Leveson Enquiry into press behavior earlier this week. She does not like having her photograph in the newspaper unless she is at a massive publicity bash in Leicester Square. Then she allows it of course. The publicity has helped make her the richest woman in the world. So obviously she does not mind it if it is directly selling the books and films. Then I guess she likes to get the free advertising. To be fair to her she says she is interested in not having her children in the paper. I understand that a photograph of one her children did once appear in OK Magazine, which she is upset about. Of course her children should have the same rights and protection as any other children.

Nadine Gordimer also spoke out this week. She spoke out against new gagging laws on the South African Press that Jacob Zuma and his apparently corrupt government now needs to keep the press from finding out and printing what they are up to. Nadine Gordimer is a multi award winning writer and knows all about state interference with publishing and the free flow of information. Under apartheid she had three books she had written banned and a book of poetry she had edited was also banned. She was a brave campaigner for democratic freedoms and press freedom. She knows the two go hand in hand. Having fought the Police State of Apartheid and then saw the dawn of the new era of democracy and press freedom ushered in under Mandela, sadly she now sees the rise of Zimbabwe style erosion of freedoms under Zuma. Press freedom is on the way out in South Africa and sadly it is of course an essential ingredient of democracy.

I have to say I think we might all be a little complacent about press freedom here in Britain. By the time writers and spin doctors are calling for state regulation of 'The Press' they should perhaps first take a look at what is happening in South Africa.


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