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.
In the Philippines, a court convicted the mastermind of the November 23, 2009, massacre of 58 people in Maguindanao. The attack killed 32 journalists and media workers, and was the deadliest event for the press that CPJ has ever recorded.
This week, CPJ released its 2019 report on journalists killed worldwide, finding that at least 25 journalists were killed in relation to their work this year, the lowest figure since 2002. Ten of the 25 journalists were murdered in reprisal for their reporting, which is the lowest such number CPJ has recorded since we began keeping records in 1992. Our database of attacks on the press includes information on each victim and reveals trends in the data. Find out more in this video.
The report was also accompanied by blog posts and analyses:
- When it comes to protecting journalists, Mexico’s safety mechanism comes up short
- Q&A: Leona O’Neill on the aftermath of Lyra McKee’s killing in Northern Ireland
Global press freedom updates:
- Journalists attacked by police, disrupted by demonstrators while covering protests in India
- Journalists beaten by unidentified groups, interrogated by police in Sri Lanka
- Journalist Rida Fahil al-Bom detained in Libya
- Palestinian journalist Sameh al-Titi arrested by Israeli authorities, held without charge
- Journalist extradited from Turkey and sentenced to 10 years in Iran
- Russian blogger Yegor Zhukov handed suspended sentence for 2017 protest coverage
- Bangladeshi court orders 3-day detention of editor Abul Asad
- At least 3 Hong Kong journalists denied entry to Macao to cover Chinese President Xi Jinping visit
- Q&A: Isma’il Kushkush and Sophia Cope on U.S. court ruling against warrantless border searches
- Cuban journalist Luz Escobar repeatedly barred from leaving her home
- Brazilian radio station antenna destroyed in arson attack
- Rio mayor’s office bars Globo journalists from press conference
This week, CPJ published “One Country, One Censor” a new report on China’s efforts to undermine media freedom in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The report details Chinese government efforts to sway editorial content and manipulate public opinion, threatening the civil liberties that have been a hallmark of both Hong Kong and Taiwan.
China is notorious for its sophisticated censorship and information control, and is currently holding 48 behind bars, more than any other nation, according to CPJ’s most recent prison census. CPJ has continuously advocated on behalf of journalists in China, most recently featuring imprisoned Uighur blogger Ilham Tohti in our #FreeThePress campaign.
CPJ’s Emergencies Response Team has also closely monitored ongoing civil unrest in Hong Kong, issuing specialized safety advice for journalists.
What we are reading:
- Predictions for journalism 2020 — Nieman Lab
- Small-town Alaskan newspaper seeks new owner. Price: $0 — Matthew Cantor, The Guardian
- In the Year Since TIME Named Besieged Journalists the Person of the Year, the War Against Truth Has Continued Unabated — Karl Vick, TIME
- Ethiopia's Surveillance Network Crumbles, Meaning Less Fear and Less Control — Maggie Fick, Reuters
- Hundreds of ‘pink slime’ local news outlets are distributing algorithmic stories and conservative talking points — Priyanjana Bengani, Columbia Journalism Review
- Editor’s Picks for 2019’s Best Investigative Stories from around the world — Global Investigative Journalism Network
- Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy — Stuart A. Thompson and Charlie Warzel, The New York Times
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