The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.
This World Press Freedom Day, CPJ remembers the at least 1,340 journalists who have been killed in relation to their work worldwide since 1992. We salute the bravery of those who continue to risk their lives to bring us the news.
In 2018, CPJ recorded 54 journalists killed for their work worldwide. Of those, 34 were singled out for murder, which is an 88% increase from the previous year. This year, we have already confirmed five journalists killed for their work in Ghana, Honduras, the UK, Libya, and Mexico.
At least 250 journalists were imprisoned across the world simply for doing their job, according to CPJ's 2018 prison census. We have also found an uptick in journalists imprisoned on "false news" charges, with 19 cases in Egypt, followed by Cameroon with four, Rwanda with three, and one each in China and Morocco.
The world's worst jailers of journalists continue to be Turkey, China, and Egypt. The three countries combined were responsible for more than half of those jailed around the world.
Join CPJ and press freedom organizations around the world in calling for the release of imprisoned journalists, justice for those killed, and acknowledging that journalism is not crime. Join the conversation by tweeting #WPFD2019 or #PressFreedom.
Global press freedom updates
- Social media was blocked in Sri Lanka following Eastern Sunday terror attacks. One local journalist told CPJ that if the government starts here, "how far can it go?"
- Amid renewed unrest, Venezuelan authorities restrict internet, block outlets
- Ugandan regulator suspends staff from 13 outlets that covered Bobi Wine
- Radio station and show hosts sued for defamation in Liberia
- Russian police beat at least 1 journalist, arrest 2 during May Day protests in St. Petersburg
- Letter calls on Putin to not approve Russia's 'sovereign internet' bill
- CPJ joins letter urging Trump administration to address targeting of journalists at border
- Editor-in-chief of Mexican newspaper Reforma targeted by death threats following criticism from president
- Trial of detained Nicaraguan journalists Lucía Pineda and Miguel Mora indefinitely delayed
- Under Abiy, Ethiopia's media may have more freedom but challenges remain
- Journalist Casimir Kpedjo detained, facing false news accusations in Benin
- Jordanian journalist Abdulrahman Farhana detained by Saudi authorities
- Read the latest Turkey Crackdown Chronicle, CPJ's weekly round-up of press freedom violations in the country
- Peruvian judge orders assets freeze for Ojo Público, 2 journalists in defamation case
- Two journalists arrested covering yellow vest protests in France
Since March, CPJ has partnered with leading media outlets from around the world as part of the One Free Press Coalition. Each month, the coalition works to bring attention to some of the most concerning cases of journalists under threat.
This May the journalists highlighted include missing Tanzanian journalist Azory Gwanda; journalists Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda, detained in Nicaragua; and Egyptian photojournalist Shawkan and blogger Alaa Abdelfattah. Make sure their stories are not forgotten, and stand in solidarity with these journalists on social media using the hashtag #OneFreePress.
What we are reading
- On World Press Freedom Day, Let us Ask: #WhereIsAzory? -- Muthoki Mumo, CPJ sub-Saharan Africa representative, Inter Press Service
- In Eritrea, Jailed Journalists Continue to Languish -- Salem Solomon, VOA
- China's Algorithms of Repression -- Human Rights Watch
- Censorship Can't Be The Only Answer to Disinformation Online -- Jillian C. York, David Greene, and Gennie Gebhart, The Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Shutting down social media does not reduce violence, but rather fuels it -- Jan Rydzak, PRI
- Defending press freedom is a not the same as celebrating great journalism -- Joel Simon, CPJ executive director, Columbia Journalism Review
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