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A Vision of Iceland as a Haven for Journalists
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, February 22, 2010
Posted: March 25th, 2010

Iceland, where the journalists run free. Iceland is considering a new vision: to become a haven for journalists and publishers by offering some of the most aggressive protections for free speech and investigative journalism in the world. The proposal, the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, combines in a single piece of legislation provisions from around the world: whistle-blower laws and rules about Internet providers from the United States; source protection laws from Belgium; freedom of information laws from Estonia and Scotland, among others; and New York States law to counteract libel tourism, the practice of suing in courts, like Britains, where journalists have the hardest time prevailing. We would become the inverse of a tax haven, said Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of Parliament and a sponsor of the initiative. They are trying to make everything opaque. We are trying to make it transparent. For many observers, this legislation represents a direct reversal of recent Icelandic history. Secret dealings by a few banks in Iceland, combined with a lack of regulation and oversight, led to calamitous debts that were nine times the gross domestic product. In response, Iceland would institutionalize the most aggressive sunshine laws possible.

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