Steven Butler/CPJ Asia Program Coordinator

Asia program coordinator Steven Butler lived and worked in Asia as a foreign correspondent for nearly 20 years, and later was Foreign Editor at the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau. He holds a PhD in political science from Columbia University.

Opinion: The dilemma facing journalists covering the Beijing Olympics

I don’t envy journalists from around the world who are entering China to cover the Beijing Olympics, held February 4 to 20. Perhaps never in history have the rules of the road for covering the games been so murky and the potential dangers so great for journalists who step over an as-yet-undefined red line that…

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Journalists at the Beijing Winter Olympics may test China’s tolerance for critical coverage

Can China and the International Olympic Committee maintain a “bubble” of total press freedom inside China’s vast sea of repression? That’s the question facing thousands of journalists as they arrive in the coming weeks to cover the Beijing Winter Olympics, which kick off on February 4. (CPJ’s safety advisory for those attending addresses coronavirus restrictions…

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‘Taken into a cage’: Hong Kong’s sad media milestone

The year 2021 marks a sad milestone in Hong Kong. For the first time journalists in the former British colony appear on CPJ’s annual survey of journalists unjustly imprisoned for their work. Eight. Zero to eight in one year. I first visited Hong Kong nearly 50 years ago as a student and returned to live…

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As staff flee, TOLO News vows to keep broadcasting from Afghanistan – for now

Saad Mohseni had a lot to worry about when the Taliban rolled into Kabul on August 15. Mohseni is CEO of the Moby Group, which owns and operates Afghanistan’s biggest news and entertainment networks, TOLO News and TOLO TV. The company’s 400 employees would have to adapt one way or another to the nation’s new,…

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‘Complex, fast changing, and extraordinarily dangerous’: PBS’ Jane Ferguson on the ground in Kabul

Jane Ferguson, a correspondent for PBS NewsHour and contributor to The New Yorker magazine, landed in Kabul on August 15, just as the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was collapsing and the Taliban began to enter the city. Ferguson told CPJ that covering the swift and unexpected changing of the guard in Kabul is…

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Why authoritarian governments force journalists like Belarus’s Raman Pratasevich into public confessions

Forced confessions—sometimes tied to public humiliation—have a long and inglorious history, and were a fundamental component of ancient judicial systems in the East and West. Obtaining a confession, by any means, for centuries was often a key part of achieving a conviction and meting out punishment. At the Salem witch trials, the accused could escape…

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As ruling party fans spew online abuse, Pakistan’s female journalists call for government action

On August 16, Ramsha Jahangir should have been celebrating a journalistic triumph, the release of a long, deeply reported cover story for the weekend magazine of Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper on the government’s social media strategy and image-building. Instead, she spent the day watching in horror as a torrent of abuse filled her social media feeds. Eventually, she went offline. …

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Hong Kong people hold Apple Daily newspaper

Hong Kong journalists struggle to carry on as national security law hits Apple Daily

An unnerving wait for the first impact on journalists of Hong Kong’s new National Security Law came to an abrupt end early yesterday when police arrested Next Digital founder and chair Jimmy Lai, along with four company executives and his two sons, while sending more than a hundred police officers on a raid of Apple…

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Prospects bleak for recovery of US media presence in China

The slugfest between China and the U.S. over the treatment of media workers in each country appears to have paused. Rather than expel each other’s journalists, as they did a few months ago, each side in early July imposed registration and reporting requirements on those remaining—still many more Chinese in the U.S. than Americans in…

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China’s COVID-19 countermeasures include restricting press freedom

In the nearly 71 years of Communist Party rule in China, the country’s citizens have enjoyed brief periods of relatively free speech, as during the abortive Hundred Flowers Campaign in 1956-57, or the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when investigative journalists covered local corruption and pollution. When the coronavirus outbreak first began spreading in…

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