Blog Archives

North Carolina Woman Challenges Absolutely True Diary for Second Time

April 24, 2015
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North Carolina Woman Challenges Absolutely True Diary for Second Time

The Brunswick County, North Carolina woman who last year waged a fruitless months-long battle to have Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian banned from a local middle school has resurfaced this week to challenge the same book again, this time in a high school. This time around, she has adopted the…

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Jefferson Center Muzzle Awards Bestow Dishonor For Free Speech Violations

April 21, 2015
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Jefferson Center Muzzle Awards Bestow Dishonor For Free Speech Violations

It’s time once again for the Muzzle Awards, presented annually by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression to “recognize” individuals or organizations that have committed egregious violations against free speech in the past year. This year the undignified winners include: Peoria, Illinois Mayor Jim Ardis, for authorizing a police raid on the home of…

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Zunar Remains Defiant Before Trial

April 21, 2015
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Zunar Remains Defiant Before Trial

Facing trial next month on nine counts of sedition which could carry a sentence of up to 43 years, Malaysian cartoonist Zunar has been making the English-language media rounds with a profile from news agency AFP and an interview with Al Jazeera. Both pieces are unified by a single theme: Zunar’s determination to keep drawing…

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What Do We Know About the Frequently Challenged Comics of 2014?

April 17, 2015
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What Do We Know About the Frequently Challenged Comics of 2014?

Following the news that comics made up almost a third of the books on the American Library Association’s Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books for 2014, we did a bit of investigating for more information on the challenges that landed Persepolis, Drama, and Saga on the list. Marjane Satrapi’s acclaimed graphic memoir Persepolis came…

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Award-Winning Indian Cartoons Celebrate Freedom of Expression

April 14, 2015
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Award-Winning Indian Cartoons Celebrate Freedom of Expression

Political cartoonists from India and around the world received some well-deserved recognition last week with the announcement of the winners in this year’s Maya Kamath Memorial Awards from the Indian Institute of Cartooning. While all of the designees reflect a certain provocativeness that is the very nature of the medium, two in particular focussed on…

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Iowa Teachers Fight Ban of Absolutely True Diary

April 10, 2015
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Iowa Teachers Fight Ban of Absolutely True Diary

School district administrators and teachers in Waterloo, Iowa are currently locked in a debate as to whether Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is appropriate for middle school classrooms. The district’s curriculum director sent an email ordering the book’s removal on March 13, but at least five teachers have pushed back,…

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New Mexico TV Station Continues Vendetta Against Palomar

April 9, 2015
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New Mexico TV Station Continues Vendetta Against Palomar

As we told you last week, the parent who wants Gilbert Hernadez’s Palomar removed from a high school library in Rio Rancho, New Mexico is appealing the decision of a review committee that voted to retain the book on shelves. Now Albuquerque-area news station KOAT, which originally broke the story with a biased and sensational…

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Zunar Charged with Nine Counts of Sedition

April 8, 2015
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Zunar Charged with Nine Counts of Sedition

The latest round of the Malaysian government’s harassment against political cartoonist Zunar came to a head last week when he was charged with nine counts of sedition, which could carry a total sentence of up to 43 years in prison. His trial is set to begin on May 20, and the advocacy group Cartoonists Rights…

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Minnesota Proposes Classroom Censorship Bills

April 6, 2015
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Minnesota Proposes Classroom Censorship Bills

Three similar bills recently introduced in the Minnesota legislature would require school districts to notify parents or guardians every time a fellow parent, guardian, or an adult student deems instructional material such as books or movies to be “sexually explicit or obscene and therefore harmful to minors.” Although the bills do not require discontinuing use…

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Clean Reader App Could Be Misused in Schools, Libraries

April 2, 2015
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Clean Reader App Could Be Misused in Schools, Libraries

By now many readers and fans of free speech have likely heard about the app called Clean Reader, which applies a filter to users’ ebooks and replaces certain potentially offensive words with supposedly milder terms. While many book lovers have understandably reacted with horror and outrage, the hard truth is that individuals can and do…

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