CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Joel Simon

Joel Simon is the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. He has written widely on media issues, contributing to Slate, Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Review of Books, World Policy Journal, Asahi Shimbun, and The Times of India. He has led numerous international missions to advance press freedom. Follow him on Twitter @Joelcpj.

Blog   |   Ethiopia, Iran, Russia, Venezuela

CPJ Press Freedom Awardee: 'I always wanted answers'

Left to right: Nadira Isayeva, Dawit Kebede, and Laureano Márquez in Washington. (CPJ/Rodney Lamkey Jr.)

The last few weeks have been extremely busy for everyone at CPJ as we've been preparing for the 2010 International Press Freedom Awards. Today's press conference in Washington will be followed by a series of events culminating in our awards ceremony Tuesday in New York. As always, the awardees make it special. 

Blog   |   Mexico

Alfredo Corchado: 'Trust No One'

On Monday, the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington hosted a panel discussion on the press freedom crisis in Mexico. Carlos Lauría and I spoke about CPJ report "Silence or Death in the Mexican Press" and the results of our meeting in September with President Felipe Calderón. Dolía Estevez described the event in a blog she posted yesterday. I was struck by the remarks made by Dallas Morning News correspondent Alfredo Corchado, one of Mexico's bravest and best reporters. Excerpts from his prepared remarks are below:

November 11, 2010 11:02 AM ET

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Blog   |   Journalist Assistance, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Russia, Uganda

Help journalists in need: An appeal

Beketov must be transported to trial in an ambulance while his attackers walk free. (Foundation in Support of Mikhail Beketov)

Mikhail Beketov is lucky to be alive, although I'm sure there are days when he doesn't think so. On November 13, 2008, the environmental reporter who campaigned against a highway that would have destroyed a forest in Khimki, a town outside Moscow, was beaten nearly to death by men with metal bars. The attackers made a special effort to destroy his hands and left him to die in the November cold. He would have if neighbors had not noticed him and called the police 24 hours after the attack.

Blog   |   Philippines

Remembering Philippine prosecutor Leo Dacera

CMFR

Leo Dacera, a senior state prosecutor and head of the witness protection program for the Philippine Department of Justice, died suddenly on November 4. Initial news reports said Dacera, 54, left, was the victim of an apparent heart attack. Dacera's untimely death is a tremendous blow to all those seeking to end the culture of impunity in Philippine journalist murders. 

Blog   |   CPJ, Equatorial Guinea

Obiang prize suspended indefinitely

The Obiang prize, named for and funded by one of Africa's most notorious dictators, was a very poor idea from the start and our goal, bluntly, was to kill it. We didn't quite succeed in getting an outright cancellation, but the prize, while technically alive, is in a deep coma with virtually no chance of recovery. How the prize came to a halt is detailed in a press release available on the website of the Open Society Institute's Justice Initiative, but here's the story in a nutshell.

October 21, 2010 12:55 PM ET

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Blog   |   Russia

Mission Journal: A visit to Russia's Supreme Court

Chief Justice Vyacheslav M. Lebedev of Russia's Supreme Court told CPJ, "The independence of journalists is just as important as the independence of judges." (Reuters/Mackson Wasa)

At the end of our recent mission to Moscow, our delegation squeezed in one final official meeting. Vyacheslav M. Lebedev, the chief justice of Russia's Supreme Court, had sent word only the night before that he would receive us. The meeting had been brokered by Aleksei Venediktov, the legendary founder of the radio station Ekho Moskvy, who told us that Lebedev had a keen interest in freedom of expression issues.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, UK

As with Norgrove, a need to probe Munadi death

A photo of Sultan Mohammed Munadi at a 2009 prayer service for him. (AP/Musadeq Sadeq)

This morning, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that British aid worker Linda Norgrove, who died in a rescue attempt after she was taken hostage in Afghanistan, may have been killed by a U.S. grenade rather than by her Taliban captors, as originally reported.

Blog   |   Mexico

Mission Journal: Calderón sees a national threat

Journalists protest anti-press violence in Tijuana. (AP/Guillermo Arias)

Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa had a message to deliver and it wasn't about press freedom. After hearing the concerns presented by a joint delegation from CPJ and the Miami-based Inter American Press Association last week, the president wanted us to know something: He didn't go looking for a fight against the drug cartels.

September 26, 2010 5:32 PM ET

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Blog   |   India

Attacks on the rise in India’s Orissa state

Everything, it seems, is growing in India. Bucking global trends, India’s media are expanding rapidly, reaching into the hinterlands following a wave of development and growing literacy. Industrial development is expanding, with explosive growth of mining and natural resource extraction. In Orissa state, historically poor and restive, these two trends are colliding, producing a spike in media attacks, according to a new report by journalist Geeta Seshu.

August 3, 2010 9:09 AM ET

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Blog   |   Iran, USA

Three hikers in Iran, one year on

American hikers Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd wait to see their mothers at a hotel in Tehran, in May. (AP/Press TV)On July 30, three American hikers in Iran will have endured an entire year in custody, held without charge or a modicum of due process. This is obviously a terrible injustice, so much so that it surprises me when I mention their situation to skeptical friends or colleagues who believe that the three were foolish to hike along the Iranian border and should have anticipated the consequences.
July 27, 2010 3:27 PM ET

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2010

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