June 2013

CPJ Blog

In NSA surveillance debate, tech firms urge transparency

June 28, 2013 2:00 PM ET

Some of the Internet companies at the heart of the outcry over U.S. government surveillance today joined with human rights and press freedom groups, including CPJ, in calling for greater government disclosure of electronic communications monitoring....

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In Barroso-Aliyev talks, press freedom takes a back seat

June 27, 2013 5:02 PM ET

"We in Europe are also not perfect," José Manuel Barroso said last week while hosting a joint press conference in Brussels with Azerbaijan's head of state, Ilham Aliyev. The president of the European Commission, who is supposed to defend the EU's democratic values, seemed to prove his own point by...

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Danger on Turkey's streets: Reporting on the civil unrest

June 25, 2013 9:53 AM ET

It all changed so swiftly. The demand and price of gas masks, protective eyewear, and helmets rocketed in Istanbul. Not only protestors, but journalists, too, contributed to the rush. Hardware store clerks were quick studies, explaining to journalists which masks offer you a better line of sight when taking...

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Snowden travels trace a path of government hypocrisy

June 24, 2013 9:03 AM ET

Edward Snowden's global travels have highlighted the chasm between the political posturing and actual practices of governments when it comes to free expression. As is well known now, the former government contractor's leaks exposed the widespread phone and digital surveillance being conducted by the U.S. National Security Agency, practices...

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Colleagues call for Walsh's return to Pakistan

June 21, 2013 4:29 PM ET

In our report, "Roots of Impunity: Pakistan's Endangered Press and the Perilous Web of Militancy, Security, and Politics," we included a long list of recommendations for the new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to undertake to combat assaults on journalists and impunity in their murders. But there is a...

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New Ecuadoran legislation seen as a gag on critics

June 21, 2013 1:26 PM ET

After inspecting a hydroelectric project in northern Ecuador last year, President Rafael Correa complained about the scant press coverage of his visit and suggested it was part of a media blackout. "Did the Ecuadoran media conspire to ignore this important event? It seems like that is the case," Correa...

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In Woolwich aftermath, UK revives 'snooper's charter'

June 20, 2013 2:38 PM ET

Key elements of the British Communications Data Bill, known as the "snooper's charter" by its critics, have returned to the political agenda in the month since two suspected jihadis fatally stabbed Lee Rigby, a 23-year-old soldier, in London's southeast Woolwich district. The bill, which would have given police and...

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Family murdered, Veracruz journalist seeks asylum in US

June 19, 2013 12:00 AM ET

A fellow newspaper photographer phoned him and said he had to get right over to his parents' home because something very bad had happened. When Miguel Angel López remembers seeing when he got there was "just blood. You can't understand that much hatred." He was talking about the murders...

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Exiled journalists in risky places need helping hand

June 19, 2013 12:00 AM ET

It was well past mid-day in Eastleigh, a shanty district on the east side of Nairobi, Kenya. The billows of dust rising from the rock-scarred road showed a government that had long lost interest in the neighborhood. A young man, struggling with horribly dry conditions, was fighting with his...

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For one Brazilian journalist, harsh reality after exile

June 19, 2013 12:00 AM ET

I have always been convinced that journalism is an instrument that transforms people and realities. I believe in this profession as a means of change, even if this implies some risk. I've been beaten almost to death and at another time have had to move to another city because I...

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In London, echoes of Pakistan's deadly press policies

June 17, 2013 2:32 PM ET

Among the more 200,000 Pakistanis living in London is Altaf Hussain, leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. This powerful political party is widely thought to be behind the murder of reporter Wali Khan Babar, a rising star at Geo TV who was shot dead in Karachi in 2011. His coverage...

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Chinese diplomats harass France 24 reporter

June 14, 2013 1:55 PM ET

Diplomats are charged with promoting cordial and constructive ties between nations. But Chinese embassy officials in France and Thailand appear bent on fostering fear and disgust with recent efforts to harass and intimidate France 24 reporter Cyril Payen....

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Threats to Northern Irish journalists on the rise

June 13, 2013 2:17 PM ET

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has informed a Belfast-based reporter that dissident republican groups, opposed to the peace process, have issued a death threat against her, the British National Union of Journalists said this week. The threat came after the journalist published a story in a local Sunday...

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Remembering Iraq, a forgotten war

June 13, 2013 12:19 PM ET

As growing sectarian violence across Iraq renews fears of civil war, journalists gathered in New York this week to talk about their experiences reporting in the country over the past decade....

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In revolt, freelancers establish Frontline Freelance Register

June 12, 2013 5:03 PM ET

Finally, there is an organization for freelancers run by freelancers, and it could not come at a more opportune time. As anyone who has been one knows, being a freelance conflict reporter, in particular, can be tricky business....

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Iran restricts international coverage of election

June 12, 2013 2:44 PM ET

Some authoritarian governments try to hide their targeting of the press, but not the Islamic Republic of Iran. Officials there brag about it. Ahead of Iran's presidential election Friday, they have much to brag about....

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Indian media face growing calls for regulation

June 10, 2013 3:55 PM ET

The rapid growth of revenue-hungry Indian media and recent scandals involving news outlets have prompted growing calls for external regulation, raising concerns about independence of the press....

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Kenyan journalists kicked out of Parliament media center

June 10, 2013 3:39 PM ET

News coverage of the Kenyan Parliament elected in March 2013 is off to a rocky start. The press last week was kicked out of the media center in the National Assembly, and although the speaker tried to make assurances that overall access won't be affected, journalists are wary....

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Sharif's challenge: Work with Pakistani press, not against it

June 10, 2013 1:00 PM ET

Pakistan's general elections in May, though marred by violence that left more than 100 dead, was a reaffirmation of the people's commitment to the democratic process. Voters proved once again that they can make decisions based on their own political interests--and not because of intimidation by those who would...

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Siege over, but damage to Ugandan press may last

June 7, 2013 4:13 PM ET

Journalists are back to work at Uganda's leading privately owned daily, The Monitor, after a 10-day siege of their newsroom by police. But that does not mean it is business as usual for the nation's press. The paper's owners at the Nation Media Group evidently begged and negotiated for...

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For Turkish media, Taksim story reveals flaws, threats

June 7, 2013 3:00 PM ET

The coverage of the Taksim Square protests will not be remembered as a moment of glory for a number of Turkish mainstream media. While demonstrators were being tear-gassed and beaten by police a week ago, CNN Türk was airing a documentary on penguins and Habertürk had a debate on...

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Sri Lanka tries new ways to crush independent media

June 7, 2013 12:05 PM ET

In Sri Lanka, where there has seldom been good news for the media in recent years, things have taken a further turn for the worse, as well as a turn for the bizarre. With President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government secure in its 2010 electoral mandate, its leaders have made fresh moves...

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Secrecy, scale of PRISM raise alarms

June 7, 2013 7:19 AM ET

Government surveillance of electronic communications "should be regarded as a highly intrusive act that potentially interferes with the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society," Frank La Rue, U.N. special rapporteur for freedom of expression, warned in a report issued less...

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Sri Lankan journalist in UAE still at risk of deportation

June 6, 2013 5:00 PM ET

Lohini Rathimohan, a former television journalist from Sri Lanka, faces an unclear future. The 28-year-old is among 15 Tamil refugees still sheltered in a single room of an aluminum factory at Dubai's Jebel Ali port whose official statuses remain uncertain....

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An open plea: Xi and Obama can accomplish one thing

June 6, 2013 12:25 PM ET

Dear President Xi and President Obama, You will both have received many public and private letters of advice prior to your meeting on Friday and Saturday in California. They will urge you to take up specific issues ranging from military and trade concerns to human rights. That diversity of concern...

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Investigative journalist under threat again in Angola

June 6, 2013 12:24 PM ET

The Angolan government has brought criminal charges against journalist Rafael Marques de Morais for his book, Blood Diamonds: Corruption and Torture in Angola, published in Portugal in 2011, that documented allegations of homicides, torture, forced displacement of civilian settlements, and intimidation of inhabitants of the diamond-mining areas of the country's...

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Photographers attacked: Two weeks in southern Africa

June 5, 2013 12:39 PM ET

From Cape Town to Lilongwe, four photographers on routine news assignments in major southern Africa cities were assaulted by security officials in the past two weeks. The details differ, but the heavy-handed actions in each case reflect a belief among those responsible for security that they are above the...

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A poor defense of censorship on Tiananmen anniversary

June 4, 2013 4:40 PM ET

Today, the 24th anniversary of the brutal crackdown in Tiananmen Square, a Chinese state-run newspaper ran a piece justifying censorship of the Web by citing recent attempts at media regulation abroad....

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Singapore bloggers wary of news site license scheme

June 4, 2013 10:48 AM ET

Singapore's Internet community is in backlash since the government announced on May 28 a new licensing scheme for "news websites"--a term it did not define--arguing that digital news platforms ought to be regulated on par with offline media. The government said the scheme would take effect June 1....

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