February 2012

CPJ Blog

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Ethnic violence renews information clampdown in China

February 29, 2012 3:37 PM ET

Two months into 2012, all-too-familiar stories are emerging from China's troubled minority regions, Tibet and Xinjiang. Following riots against Chinese rule in 2008 and 2009, violence and its corollaries--increased security and censorship--have become commonplace. Independent bloggers and journalists who cover the unrest pay a high price: Over half the...

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Bangladeshi journalists call for justice in couple's murder

February 27, 2012 3:38 PM ET

On February 11, two Bangladeshi television journalists, Meherun Runi and her husband Golam Mustofa Sarowar, were murdered in their Dhaka home. Their 5-year-old son found their bodies. No arrests have yet been made and no motive has been publicly disclosed, although police claim they know why the couple was...

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No joke: Malaysian cartoonist stands up to government

February 27, 2012 3:19 PM ET

Tuesday marks the next step in a legal faceoff between Malaysian authorities and the well-known political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, also known as Zunar. Hearings will resume in civil lawsuit filed by Zunar that challenges the legality of his arrest and detention in September 2010. Malaysian police arrested him...

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Recalling Rémi Ochlik, 'a man of great value'

February 25, 2012 1:13 PM ET

I liked Rémi a lot. Rémi was fragile, yet he didn't really try to conceal the fact. His fragility was his strength, a formidable one at that. Unlike so many journalists of today, Rémi was a true idealist, a rare mix of innocence and panache, compassion and bravery....

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Caveat utilitor: Satellite phones can always be tracked

February 24, 2012 6:03 PM ET

The Telegraph in London was the first to report that Syrian government forces could have "locked on" to satellite phone signals to launch the rocket attacks that killed journalists Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik, as well as many Syrian civilians, besides wounding dozens more including two more international journalists. Working...

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High-tech security information needs better dissemination

February 24, 2012 3:29 PM ET

After the London launch of CPJ's Attacks on the Press at the Frontline Club this week, I had an opportunity to talk to a number of young journalists setting out to regions where reporters are frequently at risk. As CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon noted, these discussions took on...

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Was letter to Haiti website just part of Martelly's theatrics?

February 24, 2012 12:59 PM ET

As a former entertainer better known as "Sweet Micky," it is perhaps unsurprising that Haitian President Michel Martelly has been theatrical at times in his dealings with the press. At one media event in October, the President answered a critical question posed by a journalist by telling him, "I...

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Recalling Marie Colvin, the 'greatest of our generation'

February 23, 2012 3:41 PM ET

In her final hours, Marie Colvin gave this damning report to CNN's Anderson Cooper. Bravery, generosity, and commitment: These are the three characteristics of Marie Colvin that have surfaced, again and again, in the many tributes spoken and published since the veteran Sunday Times reporter was killed Wednesday in...

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Paul Conroy appeals for help from Homs

February 23, 2012 11:39 AM ET

In a video posted to YouTube by a Syrian activist, injured Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy speaks from Homs with his local doctor, describing his injuries and asking for humanitarian assistance, cessation of the shelling, and safe passage out. In English with some Arabic.Click here for Edith Bouvier and William...

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To quote Marie Colvin: 'What is bravery, and what bravado?'

February 23, 2012 11:30 AM ET

Not since the worst period of the Iraq war, or in the Balkans the decade before, have so many storied journalists been killed or seriously injured in such a short period of time. Inevitably, the spate of deaths leaves many journalists asking questions about whether and how much they are...

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From Homs, injured journalists seek world's help

February 23, 2012 9:56 AM ET

In this video posted to YouTube by a Syrian activist, injured Le Figaro reporter Edith Bouvier and Sunday Times photographer William Daniels speak from Homs along with the local doctor who has been treating them. They are pleading with the world to make the barrage of rockets stop and...

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Slideshow: Colvin, Ochlik at work

February 22, 2012 3:11 PM ET

International journalists Marie Colvin, 55, and Rémi Ochlik, 28, were killed Wednesday during shelling of the besieged city of Homs in Syria. window.jQuery || document.write("\x3C/script>") $( document ).ready(function() { $(".anyClass").jCarouselLite({ btnNext: ".next", btnPrev: ".prev" }); }); « Previous Image | Next Image » Pictured are Colvin, an American reporting for...

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As live streaming expands, challenges intensify

February 22, 2012 3:06 PM ET

The world lost one of the only direct windows into the carnage in Homs, Syria, when Rami al-Sayed's video live stream went dark Tuesday. A citizen journalist, al-Sayed was live streaming the Assad regime's bombardment of Baba Amr and the brutal after-effects when he was struck by shrapnel and...

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Risk and reporting

February 22, 2012 2:29 PM ET

Last night at London's Frontline Club, CPJ launched its global survey of press freedom conditions, Attacks on the Press. The topic of discussion was the safety of journalists covering conflict and the panel consisted of journalist and documentarian Jenny Kleeman, ITN safety guru Colin Pereira, and journalist and filmmaker Maziar...

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Attacks on Zaman test EU-Turkey ties

February 22, 2012 11:20 AM ET

Last week, suspected supporters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an armed group listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States, took their confrontation with the Turkish state to Western Europe, attacking the French and German offices of one of Turkey's most influential newspapers, Zaman....

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Threats and menace: Pakistan's war on words

February 21, 2012 11:40 PM ET

In Pakistan, the term "a war of words" can take on a menacing dimension beyond the metaphorical. Words--written, spoken, or reported--regularly land journalists in trouble, a very literal, physical sort of trouble. Reporters have become accustomed to being threatened, and over the years they've seen threats sometimes build to...

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At Attacks launch, a look at Cairo's post-revolution press

February 21, 2012 11:39 PM ET

What a difference a year makes. In January 2011, we had to scrap plans for our regular Middle East launch of Attacks on the Press at the headquarters of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate in downtown Cairo. Just a few blocks away, in Tahrir Square, journalists were busy fending off...

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In Ecuador, a crushed and silenced democracy

February 17, 2012 3:35 PM ET

The sentence against Ecuadoran newspaper El Universo, its opinion editor, Emilio Palacio Urrutia, and its three top executives, Carlos Eduardo Pérez Barriga, César Enrique Pérez Barriga, and Carlos Nicolás Pérez Lapentti, for supposed offenses against Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa in Palacio's article "NO to lies," is a worn-out manifestation...

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Rwandan exiled journalist comes out of hiding

February 16, 2012 3:08 PM ET

I must have received at least a dozen communications from worried friends and colleagues, asking the whereabouts of the chief editor of the highly critical Rwandan website, Umuvugizi. By mid-January, no one had heard from John Bosco Gasasira, nothing new had been published on Umuvugizi since January 11, and...

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Ekho Moskvy board shuffled ahead of Russian election

February 14, 2012 6:15 PM ET

The Russian blogosphere erupted with comments today following an announcement that the board of directors of the iconic radio station, Ekho Moskvy, will be changed. The timing of the development--weeks before presidential elections--and the potential consequences for Ekho's editorial policy threw listeners into a frenzy of worry and speculation....

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Threats to Pakistani journalists don't let up

February 14, 2012 5:05 PM ET

In the last few days, messages from two journalists in Pakistan have made me realize that I can't turn away from publicizing the threats they are facing, because they just keep coming. ...

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Attack on South Sudan reporter sparks critical debate

February 14, 2012 4:21 PM ET

February is the hottest month in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and Mading Ngor, a reporter and presenter for the Catholic-owned Bakhita FM, trudged his way through the heat to cover parliament proceedings last week--only to be thrown unceremoniously out of the assembly. "Before I had time to...

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Archaic media policies make China a poor partner

February 14, 2012 3:25 PM ET

President Obama has promised to raise issues of human rights when he and his administration meet with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in the next day. After that, Xi, billed as China's next leader, is expected to make some speeches, visit a few factories, stop at the Pentagon, sign...

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For Gambia's press, positive developments?

February 13, 2012 6:00 PM ET

Good news for Gambia's beleaguered independent press has been rare during President Yahya Jammeh's 17-year rule, but last week brought three potentially positive developments. It's unclear whether they mark a real change in the status quo, but they may at least increase the resolve of advocacy groups to seek...

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A year of repression: Bahrain continues crackdown on press

February 13, 2012 1:59 PM ET

In the year since peaceful protests began in Bahrain on February 14, 2011, the government has targeted the press corps with assault, detention, harassment, and torture to obstruct their coverage. My organization, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, has documented a systematic campaign by authorities to silence coverage of...

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Brazil set to test Twitter's selective blocking policy

February 10, 2012 4:52 PM ET

I've been telling reporters that Twitter's new national blocking policy was like Chekhov's gun. Its recent appearance inevitably prefigured its future use....

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Old issues, new debates on Internet freedom in India

February 10, 2012 3:09 PM ET

Just how free should the Internet be in India? And whose job is it to police the Web? Two recent court cases turn on these questions and, more specifically, whether Internet companies have a responsibility to filter content. In a country where Internet usage is growing exponentially, but where the...

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India: Let us in!

February 10, 2012 11:25 AM ET

In 2005, we deliberately violated the immigration laws of India. We broke the law by producing a documentary film even though we had entered the country on a tourist visa. We broke the law because we wanted to show that Scandinavian companies were in violation of many other laws...

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In high-tech China, low-tech media control works too

February 9, 2012 2:24 PM ET

China's investment in high-tech Internet surveillance technology is well known, and the byzantine rules of its Central Propaganda Department have inspired books and academic treatises. But among the many tools in the box for media control, there's one that's very simple and low-tech: Keep journalists away....

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Rousseff quiet as Cuban blogger denied travel to Brazil

February 9, 2012 10:06 AM ET

The response from Cuban officials did not take anyone by surprise. Prominent Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez had been, once again, denied permission to leave her country after she was granted a visa by the Brazilian Embassy in January to attend a film festival. "I feel like a hostage kidnapped...

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Chinese media little help with Chongqing mystery

February 8, 2012 5:40 PM ET

The website of Xinhua News, China's state media flagship, leads today with EU's threats of sanctions against Syria. Elsewhere on their Chinese-language site, one can read about Wen Jiabao's remarks to the visiting Canadian prime minister, or look at photos of pretty white ladies lounging around, if that's your...

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What's behind India's Internet censorship?

February 8, 2012 5:35 PM ET

We have been posting a lot about the challenges facing the Internet in India recently--see Mannika Chopra's "India struggles to cope with growing Internet penetration." On Tuesday, Angela Saini, a guest blogger on The Guardian's Comment Is Free site, posted "Internet censorship could damage India's democracy," with the subhead "Google...

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DRC journalist Solange Lusiku honored for fortitude

February 8, 2012 3:42 PM ET

Seated near the fireplace in a historical home in Tournai, a medieval town 70 miles from Brussels and a stone's throw from the French border, while snow fell outside, Solange Lusiku Nsimire was enjoying not only the company of friends, but the chance to live for a few days...

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Pakistan's Abbas: Journalists hostage to 'power of gun'

February 7, 2012 1:42 PM ET

CPJ award winner Mazhar Abbas penned a strong Sunday op-ed piece, "Death is the only news--Challenges of working in conflict zones," for The News. It's about conditions for journalists working in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Baluchistan. As Abbas says, "The killing of one journalist is a...

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Accreditation disputes at center of US arrests

February 7, 2012 1:25 PM ET

The issue of press accreditation continues to reverberate. In November, when the Occupy movement came into conflict with law enforcement across the country and at least 20 journalists covering the events were arrested, CPJ reported that disputes over press accreditation were at the center of many of those arrests....

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Can selective blocking pre-empt wider censorship?

February 3, 2012 5:14 PM ET

Last week, Twitter provoked a fierce debate online when it announced a new capability--and related policy--to hide tweets on a country-specific basis. By building this feature into its website's basic code, Twitter said it hoped to offer a more tailored response to legal demands to remove tweets globally. The...

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Does the Internet boost freedom? We decide, book says

February 2, 2012 5:22 PM ET

The Internet doesn't bring freedom. Not automatically, anyway. That's one of the main messages of Rebecca MacKinnon's new book, Consent of the Networked, which had its New York launch at the offices of the New America Foundation last night. In a conversation with CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker, MacKinnon,...

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