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Blog   |   Ecuador

How Ecuador's plans to make communications a public service is threat to free press

Newspapers on sale in Ecuador's capital, Quito. Proposals to classify communications as a public service have led to concerns over press freedom. (Reuters/Guillermo Granja)

Attempts to amend Ecuador's constitution to categorize communications as a "public service" has sparked a fierce debate, with one critic drawing comparisons to the way dictators such as Stalin and Hitler used the press as a propaganda tool, and supporters of President Rafael Correa's government arguing that the proposed reforms will make journalism more accountable and accessible.

January 20, 2015 5:57 PM ET

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Blog   |   Venezuela

News rationed as Venezuela seeks to control newsprint imports

Rolls of donated newsprint are delivered to papers in Caracas. The country's press is struggling to have supplies imported. The shortage has forced the daily Correo del Caroní to cut its page numbers. (AFP/Juan Barreto)

Venezuelan newspapers have traditionally handed out hundreds of courtesy copies in their lobbies and at hotels. But Correo del Caroní, an independent daily in the industrial city of Ciudad Guayana, treats every edition as if it were precious and now gives away just 14 copies, including one to the owner.

Blog   |   Venezuela

Venezuela's El Universal criticized for being tamed by mystery new owners

The headquarters of El Universal in Caracas. The daily, which had a reputation for being critical of the government, was sold in July 2014. (Reuters/Jorge Silva)

To illustrate how the once-critical Caracas daily El Universal has cozied up to Venezuela's socialist government in the wake of its sale in July, it helps to examine the newspaper's coverage of the current oil price plunge.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Burma, Central African Republic, Egypt, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mexico, Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine

Slideshow: Journalists killed in 2014

In 2014, at least 60 journalists and 11 media workers were killed in relation to their work, according to CPJ research. Local and international journalists died covering conflicts, including in Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine, while many others were murdered reporting on corruption and organized crime in their own countries.

Here, CPJ remembers some of the journalists who gave their lives to bring us this year's headlines.

Blog   |   Cuba

In Cuba, case for harassing press has collapsed

Cubans gather around a television in Havana as Raúl Castro announces the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the U.S. (AFP/Yamil Lage)

Throughout the years, the Cuban government has justified the imprisonment of independent journalists on charges that they were acting against the State's sovereignty at the behest of the United States. During the so-called Black Spring in March 2003, when the government then led by President Fidel Castro launched a massive crackdown against dissidents while the world's attention was focused on the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a total of 29 independent journalists were sentenced to prison terms of up to 27 years. During court proceedings, it became an established fact that those journalists were charged with destabilizing the nation because of their work for foreign media outlets. They were punished for being "mercenaries" at the service of a foreign power (namely, the United States).

December 22, 2014 12:06 PM ET

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Blog   |   Ecuador

Life on the run in Amazon jungle for journalist charged with defaming president

For Ecuadoran journalist and political activist Fernando Villavicencio, life on the lam has meant wading through jungle rivers to avoid police checkpoints, dining on crocodile and monkey meat, and penning his latest book from a series of safe houses.

December 9, 2014 2:39 PM ET

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Blog

Accounting for impunity is obligation for all states

This week, members of UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication will meet to discuss the director general's biannual report, which examines the cases of nearly 600 journalists killed around the world from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2013. The report, and lacklustre response from member states who had been asked to provide status updates to the cases, highlights why the campaign to end impunity is so vital.

November 18, 2014 4:22 PM ET

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Blog   |   Mexico

In Reynosa, Mexico, suspected murder of social media user spreads fear

On October 16, photographs of a woman were posted on the Twitter account @Miut3 with an ominous message. "My life has come to an end today. Don't put your families at risk like I did," the tweet read. "I'm sorry. I died for nothing. They are closer on our trail than you think."

October 23, 2014 6:06 PM ET

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Blog   |   Bolivia

How Bolivia's vice president used media to control his image--and that of the government

Vice President Álvaro García Linera, left, and President Evo Morales, right, at a gas plant in Bolivia earlier this month. The pair were voted in for a third term on October 12. (AFP/Aizar Raldes)

Álvaro García Linera's savvy use of the media helped him make the leap from Marxist guerrilla to vice president of Bolivia. But critics contend that as the country's second-highest elected official, García Linera is now using his substantial power to manipulate and control the Bolivian news media.

October 20, 2014 5:12 PM ET

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Blog   |   USA

Eight days in Hong Kong: Laura Poitras on documenting Snowden for 'Citizenfour'

Laura Poitras's highly anticipated documentary Citizenfour was shown last week in New York. (AP/Charles Sykes/Invision)

The world premiere of Laura Poitras's highly anticipated documentary "CITIZENFOUR" at the New York Film Festival occurred with the appropriate amount of intrigue for a film about last year's dramatic revelations of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. The press and premiere screenings were clocked to begin simultaneously on Friday so no breaking news could be leaked. The movie was a last-minute addition to the festival and the first complete screening even for film industry professionals, who had previously seen it only with crucial redactions. In a surreal touch, a 9-foot tall statue of the film's protagonist, Edward Snowden, mysteriously appeared in a park in New York earlier that day at the very moment--and apparently coincidentally--in which another principal character, journalist Glenn Greenwald, was there having breakfast.

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