Frank Smyth/Washington Representative and Journalist Security Coordinator

Frank Smyth is CPJ’s senior adviser for journalist security. He has reported on armed conflicts, organized crime, and human rights from nations including El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Cuba, Rwanda, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Jordan, and Iraq. Follow him on Twitter @JournoSecurity.

Courtesy Hollman Morris

Hollman Morris, labeled ‘terrorist,’ finally Harvard-bound

For a month, U.S. officials in Bogotá told Colombian journalist Hollman Morris that his request for a U.S. visa to study at Harvard as a prestigious Nieman Fellow had been denied on grounds relating to terrorist activities as defined by the U.S. Patriot Act, and that the decision was permanent and that there were no…

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Press freedom has a good day: WPFD, the Daniel Pearl Act

Yesterday was a good one for press freedom. “The United States joins the international community in celebrating World Press Freedom Day,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a statement. “Wherever independent media are under threat, accountable governance and human freedom are undermined.” She went on to defend harassed or jailed bloggers in nations from Cuba to Burma. Clinton further noted that 71…

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The White House says it wants to improve transparency. Greater access to information could prevent deaths of journalists in the field.

FOIA needs new muscle behind it, not just promises

These are busy days for Freedom of Information. On April 5, the watchdog Web site that knows no borders, WikiLeaks, posted a classified U.S. military video showing U.S. forces firing on Iraqi civilians, killing many, including two Reuters journalists, as well as wounding children. Two days later, the Pentagon posted a redacted U.S. military assessment of the same incident concluding that U.S. troops fired “in accordance…

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Good discussions in Bonn; murder in Mogadishu

Journalism conferences discussing global trends often inflate the real but intermittent risks faced by foreign correspondents from wealthier nations who travel to and report from less stable regions of the world. They do so at the expense of downplaying if not plain ignoring the much greater risks faced by local journalists who live in such…

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Obama, Clinton acknowledge World Press Freedom Day

Barack Obama first addressed press freedom as a global issue back when he was visiting his father’s native Kenya as a senator in 2006. “Press freedom is like tending a garden, it’s never done,” Obama told reporters in Nairobi after a recent Kenyan government crackdown on the press. “It continually has to be nurtured and…

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Newseum honors fallen colleagues

After each name was read aloud, the ring of a bell resonated through the studio auditorium that included many relatives, friends, and colleagues of the journalists whose names were being added to the Newseum Journalists Memorial. Some, like Tom Borrelli of The Buffalo News, died unexpectedly; Borrelli fell while climbing steep stairs on his way…

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Senator calls for Gambian journalist’s release

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said he wanted to focus his colleagues’ attention on a tragic story in a small West African nation. Chief Ebrima Manneh is a reporter in the Gambia for the state-controlled Daily Observer newspaper. He was arrested by two plainclothes officers from the country’s National Intelligence Agency at the newspaper’s office building…

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