September 16, 2005
News from the Committee to Protect Journalists
Mexico’s Fox pledges action after CPJ meeting
After meeting with a CPJ delegation at our offices on Thursday, Mexican President Vicente Fox said he will urge his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate crimes against free expression.
The president’s pledge follows a series of deadly attacks against journalists in the country’s northern states–and several months of investigation and advocacy by CPJ staff. Fox also pledged to consider creation of a panel of national experts to evaluate how federal authorities can become more involved in fighting crimes against the press.
The visit was the first by a head of state to CPJ offices.
Paul Steiger, CPJ chairman and Wall Street Journal managing editor, headed the delegation. It also included Executive Director Ann Cooper; Deputy Director Joel Simon; Americas Program Coordinator Carlos Lauría, and board members Josh Friedman, Cheryl Gould, Michael Massing, Geraldine Fabrikant-Metz, and Franz Allina
CPJ: U.S. military fails to probe journalist killings in Iraq
The analysis, by senior program coordinator Joel Campagna, was picked up The Associated Press and Reuters. “In most cases,” Campagna writes, “the U.S. military has either failed to investigate journalists’ deaths or it has not made its inquiries public The findings from the few investigations that have been released have not credibly addressed questions of accountability for shooting deaths, and whether U.S. forces are taking necessary measures to differentiate between combatants and civilians in conflict areas.”
Marash, Smyth: Safety of journalists in the Americas is crucial
Sponsored by the International News Safety Institute, the discussion explored the reasons behind the deaths of journalists in the Americas and worldwide. John Roberts, chief White House correspondent for CBS News, moderated the discussion. Other panelists included NBC News correspondent Ron Allen, New York Times Deputy Foreign Editor Ethan Bronner, CNN International Managing Director Chris Cramer, and NPR Senior Foreign Editor Loren Jenkins.
Our view: Saudi government, editors can build a free press
Campagna, senior program coordinator for Middle East and North Africa, traveled to Saudi Arabia for two weeks this summer in CPJ’s first mission to the country. His special report will be released later this year.
Mission reveals advances for Indonesian journalists in Aceh
Across Aceh, he found, reporters worked under extraordinarily difficult conditions to provide desperately needed news and information. Foreign aid workers credited the media’s response–including the dissemination of important public health and relocation announcements–for staving off the outbreak of disease and helping maintain order. The thirst for news about the reconstruction has also fostered a flowering of the local media. In the aftermath, the Indonesian government eased some of the restrictions it had imposed on news reporting from Aceh.
Crispin’s report, “After the Tsunami,” will be featured in the new edition of our magazine, Dangerous Assignments, due out this fall.
We also welcome Ivan Karakashian as our new Middle East research associate. Karakashian was born and reared in Jerusalem, where he grew up speaking Arabic. He is a graduate of the University of Nottingham in England, where he received a bachelor’s degree, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has worked as a researcher on Middle East issues for MIFTAH, The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy.
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