Press freedom in the news 9/22/08

The failed assassination attempt against Iraqi Journalist Syndicate head Muaid al-Lami is the topic of various news stories today. Reuters reported that a bomb exploded as al-Lami left the front entrance of the syndicate’s headquarters in Baghdad on Saturday. The San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Voice of America, and the India based-Web site The Hindu all have coverage of the explosion that failed to kill al-Lami, but did injure him along with five of his colleagues.

Over the weekend, The Associated Press had coverage of the arrest of Hanoi Bureau Chief Ben Stocking in Vietnam. The CBS Iowa-based affiliate KGAN had coverage of Stocking’s arrest, which occurred while he was taking pictures at a religious ceremony in Hanoi. We released an alert on the arrest last Friday.

The Spanish-language newspaper El Universal based in Mexico City ran an op-ed piece co-authored by CPJ’s Americas Program Coordinator Carlos Lauria and Executive Director Joel Simon on Saturday. The piece, headlined “De la voluntad a los hechos,” examines the need for Mexico to federalize crimes against journalists.