April 2011

CPJ Blog

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U.S. rights message falls on deaf ears in China

April 29, 2011 11:22 AM ET

As predicted by CPJ and many other commentators, results of the U.S.-China human rights dialogue this week are less than satisfactory. The U.S. side was more critical than it has been, but China remained defiantly deaf to foreign pressure. ...

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CPJ responds to readers' comments on Italy letter

April 28, 2011 3:19 PM ET

In the past week, CPJ has received a number of emails in reaction to our April 19 letter, signed by Executive Director Joel Simon, to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, which details cases of harassment by Perugia authorities against journalists, writers, and bloggers who have critically covered high-profile local murder cases....

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Under house arrest in Belarus for not playing by the rules

April 28, 2011 2:17 PM ET

It has been four long months since security forces snatched Irina Khalip, at left, from Minsk's Independence Square while she was reporting on a protest of the flawed December 19 Belarusian presidential vote.While Khalip was giving a live account from the square to the Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy,...

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How the U.S. should raise human rights in China dialogue

April 26, 2011 1:21 PM ET

One day ahead of two-day bilateral talks with the U.S., China's Foreign Ministry rejected what it labeled "interference" in the country's internal affairs under the rubric of human rights, according to international news reports. Despite this obstructionist tone, CPJ hopes that Washington officials, led by Assistant Secretary for Democracy,...

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Chris Hondros: Images of life and death

April 22, 2011 6:04 PM ET

Photojournalist Chris Hondros, who was killed in Libyaon April 20, captured humanity at its worst and its best, in times of war and despair and at moments of kindness and hope. Here are some of his photos, from some of the world's most treacherous spots, courtesy of Getty Images. window.jQuery...

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Tribute to Chris Hondros, who ventured far with his torch

April 22, 2011 4:49 PM ET

My dear friend Chris. In the silence, I hear the symphony of memories that was your life as I knew it. I see your waving hand gestures and wry smile as you recount stories whilst we sit together in the tropical Liberian heat discussing everything from classical music to...

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Anti-press violence in Iraqi Kurdistan, past and present

April 22, 2011 12:57 PM ET

Kurdistan is different, as nearly every Iraqi Kurd I have ever met has said. Far less violent than the rest of Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the parts of the north controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government have escaped the kind of sectarian unrest that continues to...

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Tim Hetherington: A star inexorably, humbly rising

April 22, 2011 12:35 PM ET

I first met Tim Hetherington in Monrovia in 2005, in the run-up to Liberia's then historic elections, which officially drew the line under the country's 14-year civil war. Tim had already reported from Liberia in the chaotic final stages of that war in 2003, marching for days on end...

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Cyber-attacks on press up in number, down in cost

April 22, 2011 8:52 AM ET

The last two weeks have seen a spate of denial-of-service (DOS) attacks against news sites, coordinated attempts to overwhelm outlets with fake incoming data so the sites cannot respond to legitimate users....

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News assistants in China: an invisible, important group

April 21, 2011 4:12 PM ET

Among the first concerns a journalist may have on coming to China as a foreign correspondent is how to communicate with the Chinese people, the majority of whom do not speak a word of English. Finding a "news assistant" is usually the answer....

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Umar Cheema: 'Their efforts to intimidate me backfired'

April 20, 2011 6:05 PM ET

On September 4, 2010, Pakistani journalist Umar Cheema was abducted as he was going home after a dinner with friends near Islamabad. He was held captive for more than six hours, during which he was tortured by masked individuals. He was told to stop criticizing the government in the...

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Jose Pavia, press freedom champion, dies at 72

April 20, 2011 4:23 PM ET

Jose Pavia, a veteran journalist and tireless press freedom advocate, died on April 18 in the Philippines. Pavia, known simply as "JLP" among his friends and journalist colleagues, was a key partner in CPJ's Global Campaign Against Impunity. He was 72 and had been battling cancer....

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Site hosting Ai Weiwei petition hit with cyberattack

April 20, 2011 12:20 PM ET

Change.org is back up and running after what the site said was a cyberattack that came from within China. Here's the site's announcement that was running on its homepage earlier today:...

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Ugandan media censored over Walk to Work protests

April 19, 2011 4:33 PM ET

Freedom of the press in Uganda hit a new low late last week when the government, in response to a decision by opposition figures to demonstrate against the escalating price of food and fuel by walking to work, banned live coverage of the protests and issued a directive to...

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Al-Jazeera journalist pans China's Libya coverage

April 19, 2011 1:58 PM ET

In reporting on the Libyan conflict, China's media "emphasize only the humanitarian disasters caused by Western air bombardments, and [report] sparingly if at all on the violent suppression and massacre of the people by Qaddafi," Al-Jazeera's Beijing bureau chief, Ezzat Shahrour, writes on his blog. Chinese readers so far have...

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State Department falls short in first Pearl Act reports

April 15, 2011 5:23 PM ET

The State Department released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights this week. In preparing this year's reports, Foggy Bottom had to comply for the first time with the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act. Signed into law in May 2010, the Pearl Act requires descriptions, identifications, and assessments...

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Veteran Liberian press freedom fighter dies

April 15, 2011 5:14 PM ET

Stanton B. Peabody, a pillar of the press in Liberia and mentor to generations of visiting foreign correspondents, died this week in Monrovia. He was 80. Stanton, affectionately called "Bob Stan" by friends and family, reported through five administrations, a coup that brought an army sergeant to power in...

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China seizes critics as domestic media avert eyes

April 15, 2011 2:28 PM ET

The Chinese security apparatus is kidnapping government critics, unchallenged by the domestic press. Writer Yang Hengjun, who went missing in March and has since reappeared, criticized the Chinese press this week for failing to report on his enforced disappearance. While state media are accusing the missing artist and social...

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When a defender is persecuted, what rights are left?

April 15, 2011 2:03 PM ET

Everyone at some point has needed someone to stand up for them. These people shine in our memories for gestures or actions taken on our behalf, whether as children against the schoolyard bully or as adults in favor of a scholarly proposition or professional advance. But an especially powerful embodiment...

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In Japan, scenes of devastation

April 15, 2011 8:58 AM ET

Here is a selection of photos by Japanese freelancer Hiro Ugaya showing the devastation in northeastern Japan caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Photos are copyright Hiro Ugaya and used with permission. View his full Picasa gallery here. In an interview on the CPJ Blog, Ugaya tells CPJ's...

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Freelance, online reporting discouraged on nuclear threat

April 14, 2011 6:42 PM ET

The Japanese government upped the danger rating for the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station to its highest level, 7, on Tuesday, a month after an earthquake and tsunami devastated the country. It was not yet clear whether the administration or the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs...

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Freelancer Hiro Ugaya on covering Japan's crisis

April 14, 2011 6:39 PM ET

Following up on our post about the difficulties of covering the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake from outside the mainstream media, CPJ spoke with intrepid freelancer Hiro Ugaya, whom we first interviewed in 2010. "From April 2 to 8, I was traveling in tsunami-destroyed area in Tohoku, northeastern Japan,"...

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Benin journalists protest attacks

April 14, 2011 6:13 PM ET

Six associations of media professionals in Benin rallied Tuesday in Cotonou, the capital, in a protest march against what they called "the barbarity of security forces" against journalists....

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U.N. vows transparency on Sri Lanka abuses

April 13, 2011 1:49 PM ET

The three-person panel of experts on Sri Lanka appointed in 2010 to look into possible war crimes during the decades-long conflict with Tamil secessionists submitted its findings to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday. That report should include the attacks on the news media that have become a...

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Writer threatened during Bailey murder trial

April 13, 2011 1:20 PM ET

As the trial of suspects charged with murdering Oakland, Calif., reporter and editor Chauncey Bailey continued, a reporter who has written dozens of articles about the case was himself threatened as he investigated allegations of real estate fraud by a business tied to the suspects on trial....

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Malawi: A prying press silenced by injunctions

April 11, 2011 5:45 PM ET

In Malawi, where half the population survives on a dollar a day, it proves wise for the political elite to keep their exorbitant wealth hidden from public scrutiny.  That's why they appear to be running to the courthouse to file injunctions to silence the press....

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In Mexico, a chance for justice

April 11, 2011 12:39 PM ET

"We have a big story coming out tomorrow," Adela Navarro Bello, the co-editor of the muckraking Tijuana weekly Zeta, said when I visited the newspaper last Thursday. "There's a breakthrough in the investigation into the murder of Ortiz Franco."...

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Cuban journalist Fernández Saínz: I was a reporter in prison

April 8, 2011 11:22 AM ET

I went to prison for practicing independent journalism in Cuba. As soon as you get there, you must prepare yourself to narrate the horrors of the hellhole you've ended up in. And Cuban prisons are horrendous. But the horrors start not one step back in the penal tribunal, not...

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In Ai Weiwei coverage, a couple of unexpected notes

April 8, 2011 11:15 AM ET

We reported Thursday that Chinese media reports on Ai Weiwei have reflected his ambiguous status in Chinese law. After several days in which Ai was considered missing, the Foreign Ministry acknowledged police were investigating him for "economic crimes" although it stopped short of saying he was detained. Coverage within China...

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Journalist security: An evolving field

April 7, 2011 2:10 PM ET

The garden city between the mountains and the sea founded by Vikings in 871 cast an historic hue over the discussion. Journalists from nearly every continent gathered this past weekend to discuss journalist security issues in a hotel in Tønsberg, Norway, outside of which a replica of a Viking ship...

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Guides for Journalists using Facebook

April 6, 2011 4:31 PM ET

Facebook has just rolled out a series of meetups and resources for news organizations and individual journalists using its services. As Mashable mentions, the social networking company has been taking the increased use of its service as a news publishing and sourcing tool increasingly seriously over the last year. The...

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Agreed: Pakistan is deadliest country for journalists

April 5, 2011 12:14 PM ET

Just a quick pointer. Zohra Yusuf's column in The Express Tribune, "A dangerous country for journalists," deserves a link from CPJ. Yusuf is a former vice chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. From the piece: ...

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Q&A: NYT's Lynsey Addario on Libya sexual assault

April 4, 2011 12:09 PM ET

New York Times photographer Lynsey Addario is speaking publicly about sexual aggression she experienced while detained in Libya last month by forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi. Addario was held for six days with Times colleagues Anthony Shadid, Stephen Farrell, and Tyler Hicks, all of whom were subjected to physical...

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Hugo Chávez, free expression prize winner

April 1, 2011 3:18 PM ET

Just as the awardee himself anticipated (in his subconscious, after all, he is no idiot), this "freedom of expression award" stirred up disapproval and indignation across the board. Notwithstanding, no one should question the decision of Argentina's University of La Plata. If anyone has freedom of expression in Venezuela,...

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Taking risks to tell the story: NYT journalists discuss Libya

April 1, 2011 2:49 PM ET

On March 15, four New York Times journalists were detained in Libya while crossing a checkpoint after they entered the country without visas. They were released six days later. The four--photojournalists Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks, and reporters Anthony Shadid and Stephen Farrell--came to Columbia University's Graduate School of...

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