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.

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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A Pakistani man watches a broadcast by Prime Minister Imran Khan on a smartphone in August 2018. Pakistani regulators are moving to regulate internet videos in measures that journalists fear will result in censorship or penalties. (AFP/Rizwan Tabassum)

Pakistan broadcast regulator proposes sweeping control of internet news programs

Munizae Jahangir knew she’d be prevented from putting Mohsin Dawar on her nightly “Spotlight” talk show on Aaj TV, an Urdu-language Pakistani station. Dawar, an elected member of the national assembly, is a leading figure of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), which aims to boost the rights of the Pashtun people clustered in Pakistan’s western…

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Pakistani journalists protest layoffs outside a press club in Karachi on December 17, 2018. Pakistan's military and security agencies exert pressure on local media, while the government slashes its advertising budget, squeezing a key source of revenue for private newspapers and TV stations. (AP/Fareed Khan)

Proposed media regulator provokes strong criticism in Pakistan

Pakistani journalists are a fractious lot. The unions have split into competing factions. TV networks snap at each other on air. So it takes something really threatening to prompt journalists to come to a common point of view. That’s happened as the government’s latest plan to create a new media regulatory body has provoked a…

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A man reads a newspaper outside a Dhaka flower stall in 2015. Bangladesh's press say a climate of fear amid legal action, attacks, and threats makes covering sensitive issues difficult. (AP)

Bangladesh’s press say they are losing the courage to report amid threats from all sides

Nazmul Huda pointed his TV camera at garment workers demonstrating for higher wages in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, and at the police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at them. It took a while for police to notice the ETV reporter, and they were furious. After all, they had ordered him to leave…

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A Chinese flag flutters against blue sky in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China in December 2017. The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China annual survey, released this week, showed a steady deterioration of working conditions in China for the foreign press. (Reuters/Stringer)

Conditions deteriorate for foreign press in China, FCCC finds

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China annual survey, released this week, showed a steady deterioration of working conditions in China for the foreign press. The report, “Access Denied,” documented increased efforts by Chinese authorities to deny or restrict foreign correspondents’ access to large parts of the country in 2017. Increasingly, foreign ministry officials use China’s…

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Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at a seminar on the safety of journalists in Colombo in December 2017. Despite Sri Lanka's commitments to address impunity, no justice has been secured in the cases of 10 murdered journalists. (AFP/Ishara S. Kodikara)

Lots of talk but little progress in Sri Lanka over journalist murders

It was the police line-up from hell. Forget all those “Law and Order” scenes where a victim stands anonymously behind a one-way mirror. Sri Lankan journalist Namal Perera had to stand eyeball-to-eyeball with 42 army intelligence officers in April, each of whom, Perera explained to me while demonstrating his fiercest tough-guy glare, faced him with…

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Supporters pay their respects to Chinese Noble laureate Liu Xiaobo at a vigil outside the Chinese Liaison Office of Hong Kong. The jailed activist and journalist died in July. (AFP/Isaac Lawrence)

It’s too late for Liu Xiaobo but China could show a little kindness to other jailed journalists

I have no pity for Chinese President Xi Jinping, who dug himself into a deep public relations hole with the unnecessarily cruel treatment of China’s Nobel Laureate and political dissident, who died this week. Liu died of liver cancer in a Chinese hospital, after receiving medical parole in June from prison, where he was diagnosed…

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