John Otis/CPJ Andes Correspondent

John Otis, CPJ's Andes correspondent for the Americas program, works as a correspondent for Time magazine and the Global Post. He authored the 2010 book Law of the Jungle, about U.S. military contractors kidnapped by Colombian rebels, and is based in Bogotá, Colombia.

In Colombia, a shipping container on wheels brings a roving reporting workshop to news deserts

Can the key to ending news blackouts in isolated areas of Colombia come from inside a shipping container? The Bogotá-based Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) thinks so. In an experiment to turn community activists into reporters in regions that lack local news outlets, FLIP has converted a shipping container into a roving journalism classroom. For…

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Journalist Dayanna Monroy covers the COVID-19 pandemic in Ecuador. (Courtesy of Dayanna Monroy)

Journalist Dayanna Monroy on covering the COVID-19 crisis in Ecuador

Dayanna Monroy reports for the Teleamazonas television station in the port city of Guayaquil, the epicenter of Ecuador’s COVID-19 outbreak. She and her colleagues have recently reported on bodies piling up in morgues and being left for days in the streets and in people’s homes, the results of overwhelmed hospitals, funeral homes, and cemeteries.

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Bolivian journalist Amalia Pando is seen in her makeshift office; she was formerly a ubiquitous presence on Bolivian radio and TV. (CPJ/John Otis)

Forced out of jobs and sidelined, Bolivia’s independent journalists see their audience slipping away

Amalia Pando was once a ubiquitous presence on Bolivian radio and TV, hosting some of the country’s most popular news and political commentary programs. At age 66, she’s still at it, but her audience is a sliver of what it once was.

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A volunteer works to put out a forest fire in Quitunuquina, on the outskirts of Robore, Bolivia, on August 24, 2019. Bolivia’s forest fires have exposed the numerous risks faced by environmental reporters. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

Bolivia’s forest fires expose risks for environmental reporters

When Pablo Ortiz, a veteran reporter for El Deber, the main daily in the eastern city of Santa Cruz, set off to cover massive forest fires, he didn’t realize how dangerous the assignment would be.

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The exterior of Samaniego Stereo radio station in Samaniego, in Colombia's Nariño department. One of the station's journalists, Libardo Montenegro, was shot dead on June 11. (CPJ/John Otis)

Killing of radio journalist highlights dangers for local reporters in Colombia’s border region

The otherwise Spartan studio of Samaniego Stereo is adorned by a white banner emblazoned with the image of Libardo Montenegro, a veteran reporter for the community radio station in southern Colombia who was shot dead on June 11. Under his photo are the words: “You will live in our hearts forever.”

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Álvaro Uribe, center, poses for pictures with supporters at his home in Rionegro, Colombia, in June 2018. Colombia's former president filed a civil defamation suit in the U.S. against journalist Daniel Coronell. (AFP/Joaquin Sarmiento)

Uribe lawsuit part of ‘systematic campaign to silence me,’ Colombian reporter Coronell says

A civil defamation lawsuit filed in a U.S. court by former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez against journalist Daniel Coronell is the latest broadside in a long and bitter dispute pitting one of Colombia’s most powerful politicians against an investigative reporter.

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Journalists cover the release of five colleagues briefly detained in Caracas in January. The number of arbitrary arrests of local and foreign journalists covering Venezuela's political and economic crisis is increasing. (AFP/Juan Barreto)

Venezuela’s intimidation tactics include arbitrary arrests, deportation

When Venezuelan military officials detained American freelancer Cody Weddle on March 11, the experience was both frightening and bizarre. Weddle said that agents put a hood over his head and pressed him to reveal sources he had never spoken with. They suggested the reporter was a member of the CIA and would be charged with…

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A photojournalist works in a Caracas hotel room during the third day of a massive power outage. Alongside power cuts, journalists must navigate internet blackouts imposed as Nicolás Maduro's government attempts to silence news of the opposition. (AFP/Juan Barreto)

Maduro’s internet blackout stifles news of Venezuela crisis

One of the world’s biggest news stories on March 4 was the daring return to Venezuela of opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó, who faced possible arrest by the authoritarian regime of Nicolás Maduro. But most Venezuelans were unable to follow his homecoming.

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The near deserted newsroom of Caracas daily El Nacional, pictured in October. Like many Venezuelan outlets, several of its journalists are in exile to escape legal action and the deepening economic crisis. (AFP/Federico Parra)

Lawsuits and economic crisis drive Venezuela’s journalists into exile

When Ewald Scharfenberg, the founding editor of the Venezuelan investigative news website Armando.Info, holds editorial meetings, he pulls out his mobile phone. That’s because most of his reporters are in Venezuela while Scharfenberg lives and works in neighboring Colombia.

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At a national dialogue with President Daniel Ortega in May 2018, a woman holds up a newspaper showing images of people who died in protests in Nicaragua. More media outlets are providing hard-hitting news about the violent crackdown. (AP/Alfredo Zuniga)

In Nicaragua, Ortega’s control over the media slips even as a government crackdown intensifies

Nicaragua’s four-month-old popular uprising has not only weakened President Daniel Ortega’s grip on power: it has eroded his government’s control over the news.

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