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Leading news website needs new funding
August 4, 2009Reporters Without Borders, an organisation that defends press freedom worldwide, supports the appeal for help being made by The Nut Graph (http://thenutgraph.com/), an independent Malaysian news website launched in August 2008 that is strapped for cash because its original investors have decided they cannot continue funding it.
"The Nut Graph is one of the few news websites in Malaysia that is objective and impartial and checks its facts," Reporters Without Borders said. "Committed to responsible journalism ever since its creation, it has become an indispensible source of information that can explain Malaysian politics. We are very worried by its possible disappearance, which would seriously weaken media diversity in Malaysia."
Nowadays widely used by university academics and researchers, the site launched a fund-raising appeal on 1 August after its original investors said in May that they would not be able to continue funding it beyond next March (http://www.thenutgraph.com/the-nut-graph-needs-your-support).
In particular, Reporters Without Borders supports the requests for help that it has addressed to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Global Fund for Women, the Asia Foundation, Free Voice, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Open Society Institute. Its closure would put several dozen journalists out of work.
Online free expression is a fraught and complex issue in Malaysia, where the authorities tend to regard the Internet as an opposition medium. The Internal Security Act, which allows the authorities to detain people for up to two years without trial, has been used to arrest two leading bloggers, Raja Petra "RPK" Kamaruddin and P. Uthayakumar.
Held from 12 September to 7 November last year, RPK still faces defamation and sedition charges in connection with articles posted on his Malaysia Today (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/) blog
For more information contact:
Reporters without Borders
Phone: 33 1 44 83 84 84
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