August 2012

CPJ Blog

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As Wang is freed, Chinese journalist Shi Tao still held

August 31, 2012 12:42 PM ET

Chinese dissident Wang Xiaoning was released today after serving a 10-year prison term on charges of "incitement to subvert state power," a case built in good part on client information supplied by Yahoo. Wang had used his Yahoo email account and the discussion forum Yahoo Groups to spread ideas...

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Dear CPJ: Some malware from your 'friend'

August 30, 2012 4:32 PM ET

We talk a lot about hacking attacks against individual journalists here, but what typifies an attempt to access a reporter's computer? Joel Simon, CPJ's executive director, received an email last week that reflects some characteristics of a malware attack against a journalist or activist. There was nothing particularly notable...

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Attacks on press in Venezuela expand online

August 30, 2012 10:48 AM ET

Online penetration in Venezuela has increased in recent years, with 40 percent of its population online, according to the International Telecommunication Union. A significant amount of activity takes place on Twitter, where Venezuela has the highest penetration in the region after Uruguay, according to local research company Tendencias Digitales....

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News media expand, but freedom lags in Kashmir

August 27, 2012 5:07 PM ET

Early this month, newspaper offices in Indian-controlled Kashmir received a note warning journalists to be more supportive of the Kashmir independence movement, according to the leading national daily, The Times of India, citing a news agency in the state's summer capital, Srinagar. No militants took responsibility this time, but in...

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A journalist's account of a Cambodian activist's death

August 27, 2012 1:08 PM ET

Here's a quick pointer to a piece in the Daily Beast by freelance reporter Olesia Plokhii, who worked at The Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh until May this year. Plokhii's moving story, "Death of a Forester," describes the death of Chut Wutty, a Cambodian activist who was shot a...

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Criminalization of speech a serious setback for Russia

August 23, 2012 5:04 PM ET

Shortly after the May 7 presidential inauguration of Vladimir Putin, the Russian parliament passed four major bills in record time--all of them meant to counter the protests that first erupted in the country in December 2011....

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India's clumsy Internet crackdown

August 22, 2012 5:02 PM ET

Indian Internet advocates and journalists are in an uproar this week over the news that the government has blocked access to around 300 websites, pages, and social media accounts in an effort to quell communal violence in the turbulent northeast. The rationale is that inflammatory online content has fanned...

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Resources, tips for journalists covering conventions

August 22, 2012 3:24 PM ET

With up to 15,000 journalists expected in Tampa, Fla., for next week's Republican National Convention, some reporters and photographers will undoubtedly encounter problems concerning access to news events and coverage of related protests. Several journalism organizations have compiled resource materials and tips for journalists headed to the GOP gathering,...

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Is Pakistan's Ansar Abbasi being banned?

August 22, 2012 9:54 AM ET

Ansar Abbasi, editor of investigations for Pakistan's leading media group Jang, is apparently facing a de facto ban from his own employers. Other TV channels also report being told not to air his views. Abbasi has charged cable operators with spreading immoral, anti-Islamic messages through Indian movies and other popular...

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In Meles' death, as in life, a penchant for secrecy, control

August 21, 2012 5:25 PM ET

Ethiopians awakened this morning to state media reports that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, 57, the country's leader for 21 years, had died late Monday in an overseas hospital of an undisclosed disease. Within seconds, Ethiopians spread the news on social media; within minutes, international news media were issuing bulletins....

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Yamamoto's death reflects Japan's media reach, duty

August 21, 2012 4:39 PM ET

My colleagues and I were saddened to learn of the death of Mika Yamamoto, a Japan Press video and photo journalist who was killed while covering clashes in Aleppo, Syria, on Monday. The moment was all the more poignant because of the similarities with two other Japanese journalist fatalities:...

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Censors stymie reporting on China's biggest news stories

August 20, 2012 5:01 PM ET

It's a big news day in China, and state-controlled media are purposely dropping the ball to escape controversy and censorship. ...

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The long shadow of Spanish politics over public media

August 20, 2012 1:00 PM ET

A recent wave of personnel changes at Spanish state-owned broadcaster Radio Televisión Española (RTVE) has raised concerns about political and ideological influence, with many fearing that journalists closer to the current conservative government are being promoted at the expense of those with alleged progressive views. It is the latest controversy...

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Japan releases Chinese journalists--China's up next

August 17, 2012 2:11 PM ET

It's not often we at CPJ find ourselves calling on other countries to release Chinese journalists from detention. But that's just what happened yesterday. Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV contacted us to say that two of their journalists were among a group of 14 arrested by Japanese authorities over a...

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Mexico must back up federal measure to protect press

August 17, 2012 9:43 AM ET

Using guns, grenades, explosives, and other deadly means, criminals have assaulted four Mexican newsrooms in less than six weeks. One of the country's top journalists, Lydia Cacho, was the target of a chilling death threat last month. Journalists in Veracruz have gone missing or been killed this year. Press...

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As it backs Assange, Ecuador stifles expression at home

August 16, 2012 5:25 PM ET

The Quito government's decision to grant Julian Assange political asylum comes at a time when freedom of expression is under siege in Ecuador. President Rafael Correa's press freedom record is among the very worst in the Americas, and providing asylum to the WikiLeaks founder won't change the repressive conditions...

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McClatchy's Boswell caught in South Sudan's war of words

August 15, 2012 5:19 PM ET

A day before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited South Sudan this month, McClatchy correspondent Alan Boswell reported that President Salva Kiir had finally acknowledged his government's support for a Nuba Mountains-based group that had been skirmishing with Sudanese forces. In a letter to his U.S. counterpart,...

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Council of Europe foreign ministers call for libel reform

August 14, 2012 10:52 AM ET

Trickling back from the summer recess, European press freedom advocates and media lawyers are taking stock of facts and statements that went underreported during the holiday lull. And libel reform stands on top of the pile.  ...

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Syria, Somalia, Bahrain--where fathers bury their sons

August 10, 2012 2:40 PM ET

The 17-year-old videographer Anas al-Tarsha regularly filmed clashes and military movements in the city of Homs in Syria, and posted the footage on YouTube. On February 24, he was killed by a mortar round while filming the bombardment of the city's Qarabees district, according to news reports. The central...

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Umbrellas cast shadow over 'open' trial in China

August 9, 2012 3:44 PM ET

We cover all kinds of censorship here at CPJ. Recently we documented the cunning application of scissors to prevent readers from accessing China-related articles in hard copy magazines. But it's been a while since we've had chance to write about one favored implement of information control in China: the...

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What to do if you are detained or arrested at conventions

August 9, 2012 11:16 AM ET

As a follow-up to my previous "What to know about covering the conventions," the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) has been working with a number of organizations in order to provide support for journalists covering the U.S. national political conventions in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., this month and...

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Election corruption grave threat to Pakistan's media

August 8, 2012 3:18 PM ET

"Elections will not be fought, but will be bought," is a saying being used by political tacticians in Pakistan. Hope for the legitimacy of the country's first fair transfer of power between two civilian governments with the oversight of unbiased media is disappearing quickly. Billions of rupees are pouring into...

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US pursues return of Palestinian TV station's equipment

August 7, 2012 3:39 PM ET

For more than five months, the Ramallah-based private television broadcaster Wattan TV has been without key equipment, including transmitters, computers, files, and archives. On February 29, Israeli soldiers and officials from the Ministry of Communications raided the station without a warrant, saying it was broadcasting illegally and interfering with aircraft...

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No right to information in Sri Lanka

August 7, 2012 11:27 AM ET

You would think that with fighting between government forces and secessionist Tamils finished in May 2009, the Sri Lankan government might ease its grip on public information--information which is really the property of the country's citizens, not whichever administration happens to be holding political power. In 2004, former President...

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Weak cyber protections lead to personal, institutional risk

August 6, 2012 6:14 PM ET

The Syrian civil war is also a propaganda war. With the Assad regime and the rebels both attempting to assure their supporters and the world that they are on the brink of victory, how the facts are reported has become central to the struggle. Hackers working in support of Assad...

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Principled broadcasting in Pakistan, a work in progress

August 3, 2012 1:21 PM ET

Pakistan's media, particularly broadcast, are often praised and condemned, sometimes in the same sentence. The number of television broadcasters exploded under the Musharraf government, growing to around 90 private cable and satellite channels. And while the growth has been swift and competitive, very often the end product leaves a lot...

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Mogadishu comic is latest Somali media death

August 3, 2012 12:30 PM ET

All the radio stations wanted him, and for good reason--Abdi Jeylani Malaq was one of the most famous comedians in Mogadishu, and it was the holy month of Ramadan when the radio broadcasters hold quiz shows. Abdi had been in the business since 1989 and was in hot demand...

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