Europe & Central Asia

2003

Alerts   |   Russia

Head of Russian television station shot dead

New York, April 18, 2003—Russian journalist Dmitry Shvets, head of the independent television station TV-21 Northwestern Broadcasting in the northern Russian city of Murmansk, was shot dead today outside of the station’s offices. The motive is unclear.

Police have launched an investigation, but no details were available. CPJ will continue to monitor the case.




April 18, 2003 12:00 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Georgia

Popular radio station attacked

New York, April 14, 2003—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has recently learned about an attack on Dzveli Kalaki, a popular independent radio station in Kutaisi, a city in eastern Georgia.

On the evening of March 28, four ax-wielding men charged to the roof of the building where Dzveli Kalaki's office is located and knocked the station's antenna to the ground. Although no one was injured, more than two weeks later, Dzveli Kalaki remains off the air, while trying to repair its antenna and transmitter.
April 14, 2003 12:00 PM ET

Alerts   |   Russia

National media outlets agree to curb reporting on terrorism

New York, April 11, 2003—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is concerned about the “Anti-Terrorist Convention,” which was signed on Tuesday, April 8, by directors of several leading national broadcast media outlets, who agreed to accept voluntary restrictions on their coverage of terrorism and anti-terrorist government operations.

The media executives who signed the agreement (click here to see the full text) pledged to obtain official authorization before interviewing “terrorists” on the air live, ban journalists from acting as independent mediators during a crisis situation, be mindful of the “tone” of their coverage, and comply with a series of other restrictions.
April 11, 2003 12:00 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Russia

Anti-Terrorist Convention


Anti-Terrorist Convention

Source: Interfax news agency


For purposes of supplying society with authentic information, the mass media have the right and duty of contributing to the open discussion of the problem of terrorism, informing society on the progress of counter-terrorist operations, carrying out investigations, and providing people with information on real problems and conflicts.

April 11, 2003 12:00 PM ET

Attacks on the Press   |   Germany, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa

Attacks on the Press 2002: Preface

Many reporters find themselves in a dilemma when the press comes under attack. Our pride, our institutional and tribal loyalties, all clamor for a retort. We may be the bearers of bad tidings, but we are not their cause. If the truth is inimical to you, we want to argue, assailing us will not alter it. But then the reporter's half of the brain pipes up. Our instinct is (or should be) to stay out of the fray, to remain impartial, not to become part of the story. If we claim the right to question those in authority, why should our power, our institutions, our work be above challenge and criticism? Why should we demand special treatment? And who better knows the failings of the press than we do? Above all, if we have become the news, have we not failed in our primary task of covering the news? These conflicting instincts often make us reluctant to write about the travails of our trade.
March 31, 2003 12:10 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Yemen

Attacks on the Press 2002: Middle East and North Africa Analysis

The Arab world continues to lag behind the rest of the globe in civil and political rights, including press freedom. Despotic regimes of varying political shades regularly limit news that they think will undermine their power. Hopes that a new generation of leaders would tolerate criticism in the press have proved illusory, with many reforms rolled back in 2002. Meanwhile, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been deadly for journalists and remains the dominant news story for local and Pan-Arab media, which have aggressively covered the fighting's violent twists and turns, winning influence in the Arab world and beyond.
March 31, 2003 12:10 PM ET

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  |   Albania

Attacks on the Press 2002: Albania

Despite some modest media-related reforms implemented by Parliament in 2002, Albania's contentious political scene and economic underdevelopment continue to make the country a relatively chaotic and difficult place for the independent press. Journalists face government harassment, criminal libel lawsuits, arbitrary dismissal by politicized owners, and limited access to basic government information, particularly when investigating official corruption and organized crime. Furthermore, low professional standards, an editorial emphasis on sensationalism, and the financial influence of political parties over many media outlets mean that journalists have little credibility with the public.
March 31, 2003 12:10 PM ET

  |   Armenia

Attacks on the Press 2002: Armenia

In the run-up to presidential elections scheduled for 2003, President Robert Kocharian, who is seeking another term, muzzled dissenting voices in the press and called for more compliant media coverage of government policies. As a result, journalists continued to face criminal prosecution, attacks, and censorship. Meanwhile, poor economic conditions drove some members of the press to ignore journalistic standards and sell their skills to the highest bidder--even if that meant being a mouthpiece for a powerful politician or businessman.
March 31, 2003 12:10 PM ET

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  |   Azerbaijan

Attacks on the Press 2002: Azerbaijan

Despite proclaiming a commitment to democracy and offering some financial aid to the beleaguered press, President Heydar Aliyev's relationship with the media remained tense in the run-up to presidential elections scheduled for October 2003. During 2002, independent and opposition outlets struggled to overcome official harassment and economic hardship, while the government passed flawed media legislation.
March 31, 2003 12:10 PM ET

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  |   Belarus

Attacks on the Press 2002: Belarus

In May 2002, CPJ named Belarus one of the world's 10 worst places to be a journalist, highlighting the stifling repression of Europe's most authoritarian regime. The rest of the year brought more bad news for the country's besieged but strong-willed private media, with President Aleksandr Lukashenko tightening his grip on power while the economy floundered. Using a broad arsenal of weapons, Lukashenko carried out an unprecedented assault against the independent and opposition press.
March 31, 2003 12:09 PM ET

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2003

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