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Working Report on 14-country study of coverage of the Mohammed cartoon controversy released in Helsinki

A working report on the coverage of the Mohammed cartoon controversy in 14 countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway UK, France, Germany, Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia, China, US, Canada), coordinated by Dr Risto Kunelius of the University of Tampere, Finland, has just been released at a conference in Helsinki. Dr Sarmila Bose was invited as commentator on the report for this occasion.

The project, supported by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation, focuses on the question of how the issue of "freedom of speech" was articulated by newspapers in different parts of the world (with different legal, political, cultural contexts) when reporting about the cartoon issue. One of the most interesting findings was the extent to which the position taken by newspapers in many countries on the cartoon issue reflected and reinforced existing political positions of the publications in the party politics of the countries.