Bob Dietz/Asia Program Coordinator

Bob Dietz, coordinator of CPJ’s Asia Program, has reported across the continent for news outlets such as CNN and Asiaweek. He has led numerous CPJ missions, including ones to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Follow him on Twitter @cpjasia and Facebook @ CPJ Asia Desk.

Andal Ampatuan Jr., a defendant in the killings, is taken to court in Manila. (Reuters/Roi Azure)

Justice takes twisting turns in Philippines massacre

An apparent injustice has been reversed—Philippines Justice Secretary Alberto Agra refiled murder charges against two key figures in the November 2009 mass killing of journalists and others in Maguindanao. On April 19, we filed an alert expressing our dismay that Agra had dropped murder charges against Zaldy Ampatuan, former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and his uncle, Akmad…

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An indicator of what comes next for Sri Lanka’s media

In Sri Lanka, there is a lull of sorts in outright attacks on the media as the Rajapaksa government takes stock of where it stands, which is in a very strong position: Last May the government declared a final victory in the brutal 30-year conflict with Tamil secessionists. In January, President Mahinda Rajapksa won a convincing victory in…

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Taliban threats, abducted journalists in Pakistan

Over the last few days, several papers in Pakistan reported that a Taliban organization in North Waziristan gave a “last warning” to Pakistani media. The story was widely reported, quoting an e-mail message from Muhammad Umar, a “spokesman for the Taliban Media Center,” the papers said. The group is angry about the way it is being portrayed on Pakistani…

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Protective bylines, and why they’re necessary

I’ve been writing a lot recently about the urgent need to protect journalists in Afghanistan and Pakistan (a string of links is at the bottom of this entry). While neither country has become as dangerous as, say, Iraq at the height of the conflict, conditions are getting more dangerous for reporters. And very often, it…

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(Reuters)

An update on the Karachi double bombing

On February 5, I blogged about three vicious bomb blasts in Pakistan in the previous two days—“one in Lower Dir that wounded three reporters on Thursday, and Friday’s double attack in Karachi that we’re still investigating.” I argued that media companies in Pakistan must start taking responsibility for protecting their employees in the field. I had…

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Is Sri Lanka done assaulting the media?

It was good to hear Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa point out in his Independence Day speech on Thursday that the country “cannot be developed with harassment, gross punishments or by the gun.” But the sentence that followed that—“Discipline is not revenge”—gives cause for concern. Rajapaksa’s speech marked the 62nd anniversary of the country’s independence…

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The blast in Lower Dir, seen here, was just one of many recent deadly explosions in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. (Reuters)

Time to step up protection for media in Pakistan

Three vicious bomb blasts in Pakistan in the last two days—one in Lower Dir that wounded three reporters on Thursday, and Friday’s double attack in Karachi that we’re still investigating—highlight just how dangerous it has become for journalists, particularly TV camera crews and photographers, but certainly any journalist assigned to cover a public event or…

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TV coverage guidelines drawn in Pakistan as violence rises

In November 2009, I received this e-mail message from a few people in Pakistan:TOP NEWS MANAGERS AGREE ON TV COVERAGE GUIDELINESISLAMABAD—Top news managers from Pakistan’s eight television channels have evolved a first-of-its-kind voluntary framework to standardize professional guidelines governing terrorism coverage. [A PDF of November’s message is here.]Since then there hasn’t been much more news about the issue,…

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After election, will Sri Lanka improve press record?

Sri Lanka’s Department of Elections today declared incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa the winner of the presidential election with almost 58 percent of the vote. The situation is still tense as his opponent, former Gen. Sarath Fonseka, threatens a lawsuit to challenge the entire process, from voter access to irregularities in computer counting, to name just two…

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A drawing of slain editor Lasantha Wickramatunga stands in the lobby of The Sunday Leader. (CPJ)

Will impunity in media attacks ever end in Sri Lanka?

On Tuesday, I revisited three cases CPJ had investigated last year, dating from January 2009: the attack on Sirasa TV; the murder of newspaper editor Lasanatha Wickramatunga, and the violent attack on another editor, Upali Tennakoon and his wife, Dhammika. Last year’s report was called Failure to Investigate. Today, I’ll take a look at the implications of the…

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