Attacks on the Press in 2008

Attacks on the Press   |   Colombia

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Colombia

Deadly violence in Colombia eased for the second consecutive year as no journalists were killed in direct relation to their work. Colombian authorities cited increased security throughout the country as the cause for the recent decline in news media deaths, but journalists said widespread self-censorship had made the press less of a target. Even so, intimidation and threats remained a serious problem. Repeated death threats against four provincial journalists forced them to flee their homes. Prominent journalists in the capital denounced government harassment that followed their criticism of the administration of President Álvaro Uribe Vélez.

February 10, 2009 12:41 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Cuba

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Cuba

Five years after the government’s massive crackdown on the independent press, 21 journalists remained behind bars in inhumane conditions as Cuba retained its notorious distinction as the world’s second-leading jailer of journalists. Only China jailed more. Two Cuban reporters were released from prison and went into exile during the year, but harassment of independent journalists and their families continued unabated. Despite the continued repression, a new generation of bloggers openly criticized authorities, offering some promise that free expression may have found a home.

February 10, 2009 12:40 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Two years after transitioning to democracy in historic U.N.-backed elections, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was one of the most perilous countries in Africa for journalists. For the fourth consecutive year, a journalist was murdered in unclear circumstances, this time in the unstable, strife-torn east of the country.

February 10, 2009 12:39 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Ecuador

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Ecuador

A July government takeover of almost 200 businesses, including two private television stations that drew nearly 40 percent of the country’s news audience, enabled leftist President Rafael Correa to further his political agenda and gain greater control of the media. After the move, Correa won a decisive victory in a referendum on a new constitution that will broaden executive powers and potentially weaken press freedom.

February 10, 2009 12:38 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Egypt

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Egypt

Egypt took a lead role in developing a regional charter designed to restrict satellite broadcasting throughout the Arab world. At the behest of President Hosni Mubarak, parliament extended the 27-year-old Emergency Law, keeping intact for two additional years a key tool for stifling free expression. In this environment, journalists continued to fend off a rash of politically motivated court cases filed by members of the ruling National Democratic Party and other government surrogates.

February 10, 2009 12:37 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Ethiopia

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Ethiopia

The small vanguard of independent media that emerged from a brutal 2005 crackdown struggled in the face of continuing government harassment. Although authorities issued licenses allowing a handful of independent political newspapers to operate, they continued to use imprisonment, threats, and legal and administrative restrictions to suppress coverage of sensitive issues.

February 10, 2009 12:36 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Georgia

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Georgia

Three journalists were killed and at least 10 were wounded during a brief but bloody conflict in the disputed region of South Ossetia that pitted Georgian troops against local and Russian forces. South Ossetian separatists strengthened their position after the conflict--gaining full recognition from Moscow and the active support of Russian troops--although Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili reaped at least a short-term spike in popularity.

February 10, 2009 12:34 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Guatemala

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Guatemala

Violence associated with organized crime fueled widespread self-censorship, especially in the provinces. Journalists sometimes wrote without bylines when covering dangerous subjects, but many were still attacked and threatened. Ongoing violence led to the slayings of two journalists and the kidnapping of a third.

February 10, 2009 12:33 AM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   India

Attacks on the Press in 2008: India

A series of coordinated terrorist attacks that struck more than a dozen locations in the commercial capital, Mumbai, killing more than 170 and wounding hundreds, shocked the world and punctuated a year of growing tension and risk. Witnesses became journalists as they Twittered up to 100 messages a minute, posted photos to Flickr, and transmitted cell-phone video to television networks, all of which provided a hectic yet compelling real-time account of the horrific three-day siege in late November. The instantaneous spread of information on the assault—which hit two lavish hotels, a top restaurant, a rail station, a Jewish center, and a hospital, among other sites—illustrated as much as any recent event the extraordinary revolution in media and communication.

2008

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