Analysis: Middle East deadliest region | Database: Journalists killed in 2014 | Slideshow
Blog: In Syria, fewer journalist deaths, but danger has never been greater
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News of the August 19, 2014, murder of journalist James Foley broke not in the media but instead on Twitter. News organizations faced the agonizing questions of how to report on the killing and what portions of the video to show. If a group or individual commits an act of violence, and then films it, how can traditional news organizations cover it without amplifying the propaganda message?
During South Africa's Boer War, at the turn of the 20th century, a determined news organization relocated reporters, copy editors, and printing presses to the front line to ensure accurate reporting. In the Warsaw Ghetto, during World War II, a literal underground press, established to counter Nazi propaganda, required the nightly movement of cumbersome printing equipment to evade capture.
Press Uncuffed: Free the Press
On March 26, CPJ partnered with students at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism and Knight chair and Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Dana Priest to launch the Press Uncuffed: Free the Press campaign at the Newseum in Washington. The campaign aimed to raise awareness about nine journalists imprisoned around the world in relation to their work. At least 221 journalists were behind bars when CPJ conducted its most recent prison census.
The students and Priest developed the idea of selling bracelets bearing the names of nine jailed journalists. All proceeds are being donated CPJ.
It started as a street protest against President Bashar al-Assad. Ordinary citizens took out their smart phones to record the demonstrations that quickly spread. Four years and 220,000 dead later, the Syrian civil war is still raging, although the numbers of 'citizen' and professional journalists on hand to document it is woefully small.
On March 15 the fourth anniversary of the start of the Syrian uprising will be marked. No one knew in the early days of unrest how events would escalate, let alone how the entire region and the journalists covering it would be so deeply impacted.
In its new series, "Supporting journalists at risk," CPJ profiles journalists who have been in dire situations as a result of persecution for their work. CPJ's Journalist Assistance program has helped these journalists, and hundreds of others, through a combination of financial and non-financial assistance.
In this edition, CPJ recounts how 26-year-old Syrian Rifaie Tammas fled his country in 2013 following the threat of detention by the Syrian government. Today, Tammas has established a new life in Turkey.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.