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Asia

Blog   |   Bangladesh

Mission Journal: Bangladeshi press reined in as Hasina exerts authority

A 2007 election poster for Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Independent journalists in the country say the press is coming under pressure from her government. (AFP/Jewel Samad)

Matiur Rahman Chowdhury has been the host of "Frontline," a popular Bangla-language news show, for five years. Aired live three times a week, the show gained notoriety for bringing politicians, members of civil society, and journalists together to discuss current affairs. Chowdhury distinguished himself from many of his counterparts with his soft-spoken but firm demeanor as he led his guests in substantive discussion, rather than presiding over talking heads trying to drown one another out. At a time when much of the broadcast media in Bangladesh has become muted, talk shows like Chowdhury's were one of the last spaces for critical news coverage.

Blog   |   India, Internet

India's landmark online speech ruling is step toward greater press freedom

Aseem Trivedi speaks to the media after his arrest in 2012. Charges against the cartoonist have been dropped after India overturned part of its Information Technology Act. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)

In an historic decision, India's Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down part of a law used to silence criticism and free expression. While this marks a pivotal victory that has been welcomed in many quarters, many challenges remain for press freedom in the country.

Blog   |   Singapore

Lee Kuan Yew's legacy

What to make of Singapore's first and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died Monday morning in the city-state? Under the banner of the People's Action Party, Lee held government power for three decades. After stepping away from the prime minister's office in 1990, he held positions of senior minister and later "minister mentor" until 2004, when his son, Lee Hsien Loong, became prime minister. Under their rule (and the interregnum of Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong--not a Lee family member, but hand-picked for the role, with the elder Lee looming over his shoulder for 14 years), Singapore emerged from Southeast Asia's post-Second World War tumult as its most successful economy, a combination of authoritarian government, democratic trappings, and free markets that some predict will be the next century's model for growth and stability. And Singapore's media policies are being replicated across much of Southeast Asia.

Blog   |   China, Internet

China doubles down on counterproductive censorship

In a move unlikely to surprise those who access the Internet from mainland China, the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently blocked several popular tools used to bypass the "Great Firewall" national Internet censorship system. Citing the need to protect "cyberspace sovereignty" and to "maintain cyber security and steady operation," the Ministry changed firewall rules to block three increasingly popular commercial virtual private network (VPN) services.

January 28, 2015 5:15 PM ET

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Blog   |   South Korea

In South Korea, deportation and defamation cases mark slide in press freedom

Korean-America writer and talk show host Shin Eun-mi is deported from South Korea after making positive comments about North Korea. (AP/Yonhap Shin Joon-hee)

South Korea has been hailed by many as a bastion for democracy and press freedom, especially in comparison to its twin to the north, which for years has been featured on the Committee to Protect Journalists' most censored list. However the recent stifling of critical voices in South Korea, including cases of arrests, deportation, and criminal defamation hearings in the past seven days, indicates a worrisome climate for press freedom and free expression.

Blog   |   Sri Lanka

How Sri Lanka's new president can ease decade of repressive press measures

Newspapers announce the election victory of Maithripala Sirisena, who has pledged to improve conditions for the press in Sri Lanka. (AFP/Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)

The stunning defeat of Sri Lanka's incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa by challenger Maithripala Sirisena on Friday has given way to questions about what changes, if any, will come for press freedom in a country that had grown deeply repressive under the previous leadership.

Blog   |   Vietnam

In Vietnam, arrests dash hopes that crackdown on bloggers will end

Protesters in Hanoi hold up pictures of jailed bloggers and activists in May 2014. Hopes that authorities would end the repression of bloggers have faded with the arrest of three more writers. (Reuters/Nguyen Huu Vinh)

What one hand gives, the other takes in Vietnam. Last October's early release of jailed blogger Nguyen Van Hai, more commonly known as Dieu Cay, has proven to be an anomaly as authorities have subsequently ramped up their repression of other independent bloggers.

Blog   |   China

China's long-distance tactic to suppress Uighur coverage

When we conduct the research for our annual list of jailed journalists, we rely on a range of sources. And we come across a lot of information that doesn't always make it on to our list. With China once again the largest jailer of journalists--44 this year--our research team spotted several stories that deserve notice, even if they don't fall precisely under the "jailed journalist" heading.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Egypt, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mexico, Myanmar, 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   |   China

In China, mainstream media as well as dissidents under increasing pressure

Protesters carry a placard of jailed journalist Gao Yu at a demonstration in Hong Kong in July. (Reuters/Bobby Yip)

In 2014, a record number of journalists imprisoned in China was documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists. The 44 in prison this year is an increase from 32 in 2013, and is the largest figure for China since CPJ began tracking imprisoned journalists in 1990. In recent years, the generally rising numbers for China have been driven by the detention of journalists from ethnic minorities, mostly Tibetans and Uighurs. Many straddle the increasingly blurry line between journalism and activism.

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