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Asia

2011

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Defending the middle ground of online journalism

It's easy to use polarizing descriptions of online news-gathering. It's the domain of citizen journalists, blogging without pay and institutional support, or it's a sector filled with the digital works of "mainstream media" facing financial worries and struggling to offer employees the protection they once provided. But there is a growing middle ground: trained reporters and editors who work exclusively online on projects born independent of traditional media. They share many of the practices of an older generation of reporters, but their work draws from the decentralized and agile practices of the digital world. 

A new set of media regulations in China is attempting to control the growing influence of social media users. (AFP)

China's latest media regulations, issued Thursday in a bid to take some steam out of microblogs that increasingly drive the country's news agenda, signal an increased role for the state in drafting and enforcing press standards.

Wednesday's post, "Advice for colleagues on the digital front lines," offered practical advice for keeping a website up and running in a hostile political environment. But such measures are not universally applicable. Sky Canaves, CPJ's new East Asia and Internet consultant in Hong Kong, sent this reality check for Internet writers in China, where tighter government scrutiny has driven online users to turn to other tactics.

New York, November 10, 2011--A Bangladeshi editor was rearrested on the same day he was released on bail, as he was leaving the gate of the prison, news reports said. 

Police detained Ekramul Haque, editor of Sheershanews website and Sheersha Kagoj weekly, on extortion charges on July 31. On October 25, the High Court in the country's capital, Dhaka, granted the journalist bail, and he was released on November 1. But he was arrested again at the gate of the jail as he was leaving, news website bdnews24 reported. 

President Rajapaksa's government is imposing new guidelines on the Sri Lankan media. (Reuters)

New York, November 10, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the Sri Lankan government's announcement of an upcoming set of guidelines and code of conduct for journalists and media organizations, and believes these regulations will only increase the government's control of the media.

The announcement, which appeared Thursday in the government-owned Daily News, said the government would "soon introduce a set of guidelines and a code of conduct for media to be adhered to by all media institutions and media persons in the country." The announcement also stated that the government would set up the guidelines, which would be enforced under the relevant laws.

If you're running a website that's come under attack, or is likely to, here is some advice on how to protect yourself.

First, a little background:

On Monday we filed an alert about the Sri Lankan government's blocking of at least five websites there. The move silenced just about all of the country's independent online voices. Two websites, Groundviews and its sister Sinhala site Vikalpa, have survived a few temporary takedowns, but for now they seem to be about the last two journalism sites posting independent analyses about Sri Lankan politics that are still up and running.

It's not clear whether Beijing will require licensing of social media sites or users to register under their real names. (Reuters)

In the latest sign of increasing pressure on Chinese companies to tighten control of the Internet, Chinese authorities convened an unusual seminar in Beijing for senior executives of 39 major enterprises involved in Internet services, technology and telecommunications.

New York, November 7, 2011--The body of missing Pakistani journalist Javed Naseer Rind was found on Saturday morning in Khuzdar, 186 miles (300 kilometers) south of the city of Quetta, local and international news reports said. The journalist had been shot multiple times in the head and chest, and his body showed multiple signs of torture, the local media reported. 

New York, November 7, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned by reports that access to at least five Sri Lankan websites has been blocked by the country's government.

New York, October 31, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the imprisonment of two Tibetan writers, one of whom was sentenced after a year of detention without trial, according to reports.

2011

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