CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Frank Smyth

Frank Smyth is CPJ’s senior adviser for journalist security. He has reported on armed conflicts, organized crime, and human rights from nations including El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Cuba, Rwanda, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Jordan, and Iraq. Follow him on Twitter @JournoSecurity.

Blog   |   Germany, Security

Subjectivity, advocacy in covering human rights

The tension between objective news reporting and advocacy was the subject of the final plenary panel that I moderated last week at the Global Media Forum in Bonn. Sponsored by Germany's multi-language, government broadcast agency, Deutsche Welle, the three-day conference brought together journalists and experts from every continent to address but not necessarily resolve the media's role in covering human rights abuses.

Blog   |   Security, USA

Justice served in Chauncey Bailey murder

After a lengthy police investigation that involved a number of questionable irregularities, a jury in Oakland, Calif., today found two men guilty of the 2007 murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey. Yusuf Bey IV and Antoine Mackey were both convicted of first-degree degree murder in Bailey's slaying.

June 9, 2011 7:30 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Security

In journalist security field, maturing and understanding

Journalists are facing increasing risk at public demonstrations. Here, a March rally in Islamabad to denounce the CIA. (Reuters/Mian Khursheed)

Journalist security is still a maturing field, but news organizations are devoting more attention to preparing their reporters and photographers for the dangers particular to the profession. That means understanding risks that are constantly evolving. The brutal attack on CBS correspondent Lara Logan at a Cairo demonstration has drawn worldwide attention to the issue of sexual assault against journalists--CPJ issued new guidelines on the threat today--but the case also points to an emerging, if lesser-known threat. In the past 18 months, more journalists have been killed covering violent demonstrations and other non-military events than at any time since CPJ began keeping detailed records two decades ago.

June 7, 2011 8:57 AM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, Security

Anti-press violence in Iraqi Kurdistan, past and present

Protesters denounce anti-press violence in Iraqi Kurdisatn in this 2010 demonstration. (AP/Yahya Ahmed)

Kurdistan is different, as nearly every Iraqi Kurd I have ever met has said. Far less violent than the rest of Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the parts of the north controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government have escaped the kind of sectarian unrest that continues to flare in the south. But in recent months more than 150 Iraqi Kurdish journalists have been injured or attacked, according to the local Metro Center to Defend Journalists. One journalist was murdered three years ago in Kirkuk after uncovering evidence of government corruption. But most of the journalists who find themselves more recently under siege have been covering violent clashes between the Kurdish security forces and protestors in Sulaymaniyah.

April 22, 2011 12:57 PM ET

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Blog   |   Security, USA

State Department falls short in first Pearl Act reports

The State Department released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights this week. In preparing this year's reports, Foggy Bottom had to comply for the first time with the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act. Signed into law in May 2010, the Pearl Act requires descriptions, identifications, and assessments of press freedom conditions, including whether "severe violations" have occurred and "whether government authorities" have been complicit in press freedom violations. As I note in a blog in TheHill.com, though, the State Department's first attempt falls short, providing too little context and assessment.

April 15, 2011 5:23 PM ET

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Blog   |   Security, USA

Writer threatened during Bailey murder trial

As the trial of suspects
charged with murdering Oakland,
Calif., reporter and editor Chauncey Bailey continued,
a reporter who has written dozens of articles about the case was himself threatened
as he investigated allegations
of real estate fraud
by a business tied to the suspects on trial.

April 13, 2011 1:20 PM ET

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Blog   |   Norway, Security

Journalist security: An evolving field

The garden city between the mountains and the sea founded by Vikings in 871 cast an historic hue over the discussion. Journalists from nearly every continent gathered this past weekend to discuss journalist security issues in a hotel in Tønsberg, Norway, outside of which a replica of a Viking ship was being constructed.

April 7, 2011 2:10 PM ET

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