Publicidad Oficial (Official Publicity)

Soft censorship or indirect government censorship, includes a variety of actions intended to influence media—short of closures, imprisonments, direct censorship of specific content, or physical attacks on journalists or media facilities.

Publicidad Oficial focuses on financial aspects of official soft censorship in Mexico. In this country, the allocation of Government advertising is the more common tool to exert soft censorship and is an integral part of the country’s complicated media landscape. Absent precise and clear rules, it is a means to influence or even a tool to blackmail media owners and journalists.

Federal and local governments use official advertising to shape media outlets’ editorial line and push partisan agendas. Opaque and arbitrary allocation of official advertising constrains pluralism and a diversity of voices by selectively funding media outlets that support officials and their policies.

Read their latest report here: Buying Compliance:Governmental Advertising and Soft Censorship in Mexico

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Twitter: @PubliOficial@fundarMexico

XNet

Xnet is formed by a group of activists that, since 2008 work in fields related to:

  • online democracy (participation mechanisms and citizen control of power and institutions);
  • advocacy of a neutral and free Internet;
  • free circulation of culture, knowledge and information and the defense of citizen journalism for the right to know, to inform and be informed;
  • the development of technical, communication and legal strategies for the fight against corruption  and;
  • techno-politics understood as the practice of networking and taking action for empowerment, justice and social transformation.
  • Anti-corruption legal and communication strategies

xnet

XNet does not perceive political parties and public prosecutors as allies, but as a part of the problem. For anyone paying attention, it is obvious that the only victories in the fight against systemic corruption come from citizens, or thanks to citizens. Corruption is a moral, legal and political problem, but it is also a technical problem and as such, it can be pragmatically tackled in an efficient and technical manner.

Tired of witnessing how those responsible of the biggest frauds and scams go unpunished, XNet has taken part in the legal fights, some of which have led to the arrests of the main responsible for the misappropriation of funds in very representative cases in Spain.

Xnet have also encouraged, promoted and stimulated a series of citizen-run initiatives and collectives against corruption, among them the remarkable 15mparato, a citizen group responsible for the lawsuit against Bankia upper echelon, because of the scam this firm has proven to be. Starting from the participation of Xnet members in the collective for the Audition of the Debt, another group was created with the aim of auditing the most widely known banker in Spain.

Find more info here:

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Latest projects:

Facebook: RedX.NetTwitter: @X_net

Free access to information of public interest is a right, not a privilege

The project aims at contributing, through watchdog and advocacy activities, to a better and a more uniform implementation of transparency and accountability principles in Romania. Specific objectives: • Building local capacity of civil society in using proper advocacy tools for holding public authorities accountable for granting free access to information. • Raising awareness of public authorities on the duty to provide unrestricted, non-discriminatory access to information for all categories of solicitors, regardless the subject matter of the request or the type of institution.

INFO Act of the Year – Competition (formerly: The Biggest Friend and Enemy of Information)

The project was designed as a competition: individuals and organizations could nominate a public institution/government body as positive or negative example for providing information based on the Freedom of Access to Information Act (FOIA); at the end of each year the “winner”” was given an award (http://www.infocin.sk/).”

Corruption – everyone loses

This initiative organized by Stowarzyszenie Instytut Nowych Technologii focused on raising social awareness about the corruption issues and simultaneously endeavored to diminish public acceptance of any form of corruption in the Łódzkie province. The organization applied means to both ridicule corruptive activities as well as spur a discussion about commonness of this phenomenon in Poland. The organizer intended to target different types of audience with this action and encourage reflecting on corruption. To achieve that, a light and fun-related form of the messages was chosen in order to appeal to the target groups.
During the action various measures were applied:
• Surveys of corruption perception in the Łódzkie province (some 750 respondents)
• Public debates devoted to anti-corruption issues, in which well known and popular celebrities (football players) as well as sociologic experts took part
• Workshops on ethical code of conduct for those groups, which were perceived in the survey as having the greatest exposure to corruption i.e. police, public officials, healthcare workers (high turnouts)
• Open space public happenings with an anti-corruption message (some 600 people)
• A family-oriented picnic with games and activities rising awareness of corruption issues (some 300 people)
• Final conference (with low participation rate)

Preventing corruption through education, information and consciousness-raising

The project aimed at increasing anti-corruption awareness through education of the youth, dissemination of anti-corruption information, expansion of sociological basis and awareness-raising on the financing of political parties and campaigns, thus contributing to the development of civil society. The project consisted of four independent but thematically-linked components: 1) preparation of the anti-corruption education course for higher schools; 2) carrying out a long-term TV programme on anti-corruption; 3) using public opinion surveys for improving the anti-corruption measures; 4) round-table discussion on the problems related to the financing of political parties and political campaigns. Intended outcomes: 1) Anti-corruption education introduced into higher school curriculum; 2) Anti-corruption information disseminated through TV on a long-term and regular basis; 3) The public opinion surveys carried out; 4) Round-table discussion on topical issues related to the financing of political parties.

Transparency of political party funding

A small research team from the Institute of Public Affairs (Instytut Spraw Publicznych) carried out an appraisal of financing of the political parties’ electoral campaigns. It was an in house research not related to any public campaign. They focused on official information provided by the parties to a governmental agency responsible for gathering such documents, which the parties are obliged by the law to deliver. Moreover, the team carried out in-depth interviews with or contacted via email/fax (one party and three main governmental controlling bodies) representatives of the political parties.
A project final output was a report on budgetary subsidies to political parties for running their electoral campaigns. The report was released at the press conference and was commented by all the major newspapers and on-line news portals as well as radio and TV news. It included a detailed analysis of a gathered material as well as recommendations aiming at enhancing transparency of the political party funding.
Goals of the project:
• assessment of corruption risks in the political party financing system
• enhancing the transparency of parties’ expenditure of budgetary subsidies
• civil society control of the party financing
• increasing public awareness of party financing system

Bureau of Public Information in Rural Locals

Public services rendered to the rural population in Uzhgorod region were analyzed and mechanisms to protect the receipt of services were developed. Aimed at overcoming the rural population’s lack of knowledge concerning their own rights and corruption challenges, a handbook of services was prepared, published, and distributed among citizens and local self-governments in the region. A number of awareness-raising measures to introduce transparency principles were held in pilot villages.

Civic monitoring over the process of issuing licenses by Hygienic-Epidemic Inspectorate and National Fire and Emergency Safety Service in cases of building and reconstruction

The primary goal of the project was to identify and investigate corrupt practices in the process of issuing licenses in the targeted supervising agencies. The project team made official meetings with representatives of the target institutions: the Hygienic-Epidemic Inspectorate (HEI), the Fire and Emergency Safety Service (FES) and the Ministry of Health to present the project and negotiate the terms of project partnership. The main project outputs referred to: analyzes of citizens’ complains for illegally issued licenses; monitoring of the routine activity of the targeted supervising agencies;development of a legal data base the observed field and a hot phone line for signals; an active public awareness campaign for popularization of the investigated corrupt practices and the proposed measures for counteraction.

Administration close to us, partner for everyone

The aim of the project was to increase the transparency in the work of four municipal administrations in the region of Gabrovo by increasing their accountability and accessibility to citizens. The main activities included: 1. development and dissemination of an information bulletin “Dialogue”” and creation of a web site for the news campaign regarding the work of the targeted municipalities; 2. realization of a radio program dedicated to the project main goal; 3. realization of several conferences with representatives of the civil society, the business and local authorities on the issues of transparency and accountability of the municipal administration.”

Partnership between the citizens and the municipal administration – a guarantee for transparency and accountability

The project aimed at increasing the capacity of the structures of the civil society in four municipalities in the fight against corruption. The capacity building refers to the capabilities of the civil society organizations to implement models and methods for monitoring and control over the public services provided by the municipal administrations . The project main activities included: 1. development of a local civil society partnership network; 2. survey of best practices in Bulgaria with regard to services of general interest provided by the local authorities 3. development of a web site for the partnership network in order to facilitate the communication between the target groups as well as to ease the monitoring process; 4. analyses of the existing deficiencies in the provision of services of general interest in the selected four municipalities and development of action plans for improvement; 5. realization of round tables with representatives from the civil society sector and the administration in order to discuss and improve the action plans; 6. monitoring over the implementation of the provided recommendations in the action plans; 6. analysis of the results of the project and dissemination of the good practices achieved.

Corruption and FDI in Kosovo

The goals of the project were: 1) Raising awareness about the damage that corruption as well as perceptions about its presence in our society cause to the process of attracting new foreign investments in Kosovo; 2) Support of Kosovo institutions in drafting more sophisticated platform for creating a better conditions, comparable with the countries in the region, for foreign investments; 3) Mobilizing social capacities in treatment of this phenomenon and contribution for development of an atmosphere where fighting corruption is considered as necessity.