|In Iraq, CPJ finds, record number of journalists died in 2006
Violence in Iraq claimed the lives of 32 journalists in 2006, making it the deadliest year for the press in a single country the Committee to Protect Journalists has ever recorded. CPJ’s widely covered year-end analysis found that in the vast majority of cases insurgents specifically targeted journalists to be murdered. The victims include Atwar Bahjat, left, one of Arab television’s best-known reporters and a posthumous recipient of CPJ’s 2006 International Press Freedom Award.
Worldwide, CPJ found 55 journalists were killed in direct connection to their work in 2006, and it is investigating about 30 other deaths to determine whether they were work-related. Afghanistan, the Philippines, Russia, Mexico, Pakistan, and Colombia were on CPJ’s list of deadliest countries. Detailed accounts of each case are posted on CPJ’s Web site.
Jailing of Internet journalists on rise, CPJ reports
CPJ’s annual census of imprisoned journalists, released on December 7, revealed that the number of journalists jailed for their work had increased for the second consecutive year, and that one in three is now an Internet blogger, online editor, or Web-based reporter. CPJ’s worldwide survey found that 134 journalists were imprisoned on December 1, an increase of nine from the 2005 tally. China, Cuba, Eritrea, and Ethiopia were the top four jailers among the 24 nations that imprisoned journalists.
Although print reporters and editors continue to make up the largest professional category of those in jail, Internet journalists are the fastest growing segment of CPJ’s imprisoned census. Detailed accounts of each case are posted on CPJ’s Web site.
CPJ and PEN remember Anna Politkovskaya
On December 6, CPJ and PEN American Center sponsored an evening of readings from the work of Anna Politkovskaya, left, the Russian investigative reporter murdered in October. CPJ board member Kati Marton read excerpts published posthumously that detailed human rights abuses in Chechnya. Others who read to a full auditorium at CUNY Graduate Center in New York included Musa Klebnikov, widow of murdered Forbes Russia editor Paul Klebnikov, Washington Post reporter Dana Priest, David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker; Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher and editor of The Nation, and Natalia Estemirova, a representative of the Memorial Human Rights Center. Dozens of audience members signed CPJ petitions calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to ensure the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for Politkovskaya’s murder. Hear Marton’s reading on PEN’s Web site.
Mahoney named deputy; Crawford to join BBC Trust
We’re pleased to announce the appointment of Rob Mahoney, CPJ’s senior editor for the past 18 months, as our new deputy director. Mahoney has been an editor, bureau chief, and reporter for Reuters in Jerusalem, Abidjan, Delhi, Jakarta, Singapore, and Paris. Mahoney’s last posting for Reuters was in London, where he was news editor in charge of politics and general news for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He has served as an editorial trainer for the Reuters Foundation, teaching reporting and writing to journalists in the Middle East. He has also worked as a consultant for Human Rights Watch.
Julia Crawford, our Africa program coordinator, is leaving CPJ after three years to join the BBC World Service Trust in London. Crawford will be director of a new project called “Communicating Justice,” which will train journalists in five post-conflict African countries.
• Venezuela and Russia missions to get under way
Americas Program Coordinator Carlos Lauría and Americas consultant Sauro González Rodríguez will travel to Caracas on January 8 to lobby for improved press freedom conditions in Venezuela. CPJ board member Victor Navasky will join them for meetings with officials and journalists.
Also in January, CPJ Chairman Paul Steiger and board member Norman Pearlstine will travel to Moscow with Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova and Executive Director Joel Simon. The delegation plans to meet with Russian officials and call for justice in the Politkovskaya murder and the contract-style slayings of 12 other journalists since 2000.
• CPJ to release Attacks on the Press
On February 5, CPJ will release its worldwide survey of press freedom conditions, Attacks on the Press, at press conferences in Washington and other international locations. Plans are nearing completion for the launch, our earliest to date. CPJ’s annual survey, the definitive resource for press freedom analysis, features information from more than 120 nations.