July 2013

CPJ Blog

New Zealand, US may have spied on McClatchy reporter

July 30, 2013 7:46 PM ET

Concern over government surveillance of journalists has washed up on the faraway shores of New Zealand, with a report in the country's Sunday Star this week asserting that the military there, with help from U.S. intelligence, spied on an investigative journalist who had been critical of its activities in Afghanistan. ...

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Attacks on Orient News illustrate Syria's many threats

July 30, 2013 6:35 PM ET

It is increasingly difficult to document violations against the press in Syria, let alone hold those responsible to account. It has always been hard to verify facts within the country. But now, the sheer number of violations and the expanding list of violators have become admittedly overwhelming. ...

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Jailed Burkinabe journalist appeals to African Court

July 29, 2013 3:19 PM ET

Journalist Lohé Issa Konaté has been imprisoned in Burkina Faso since he was convicted in October of criminal defamation over articles in private weekly L'Ouragan alleging corruption and abuse of power at the office of the public prosecutor. In May, an appeals court rejected his appeal and upheld the 12-month...

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Q&A: Zenzele Ndebele promotes radio in Zimbabwe

July 29, 2013 1:30 PM ET

With Zimbabwe elections days away, the fight over access to the airwaves has intensified. The media environment has loosened slightly compared with previous years, but most Zimbabweans still lack access to independent sources of news, including radio. One person familiar with obstacles to broadcasting is Zenzele Ndebele, editor of...

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Chinese censors silence corruption blogger

July 25, 2013 10:34 AM ET

Chinese censors have cracked down on blogger Zhu Ruifeng, an apparent signal that there are limits to the government's tolerance for citizens assisting with the exposure of corrupt officials.On July 16, one day after the Beijing-based blogger and founder of an anti-corruption website published corruption allegations about the chief secretary of Jinjiang...

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Afghan journalists in good hands--their own

July 24, 2013 12:02 PM ET

I've been making the rounds of journalists and organizations in Kabul for the last several days. As I mentioned in my last post, I've been asked to come up with a support plan for journalists after next year's presidential elections, the drawdown of international troops, and an expected reduction in...

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After Security Council, what next for journalist safety?

July 23, 2013 4:57 PM ET

Speaking at a U.N. Security Council discussion about the protection of journalists, Associated Press Executive Editor and CPJ Vice Chair Kathleen Carroll remembered the 31 AP journalists who have died reporting the news and whose names grace the Wall of Honor that visitors pass as they enter the agency's...

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Mediapart complies with ruling, but vows to fight on

July 23, 2013 2:17 PM ET

At midnight on Monday, the French news website Mediapart complied with the Versailles court of appeal which last week ordered the site to withdraw articles referring to the Bettencourt recordings--the secret tapings of Liliane Bettencourt, the richest woman in France, by her butler. Mediapart as well as the newsweekly Le...

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Protests in Catatumbo add to risk in Colombia

July 22, 2013 5:30 PM ET

Reporting from Catatumbo, a region in northern Colombia dominated by guerrillas and drug traffickers, has always been challenging.  But working conditions for journalists have seriously deteriorated amid nearly two months of anti-government protests pitting thousands of angry peasant farmers against soldiers and riot police....

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Kashmir's Internet suspension fits pattern of restrictions

July 22, 2013 1:35 PM ET

Curbing the flow of information during heightened periods of tension has become routine business by authorities in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Access to mobile Internet service was suspended Thursday after violent protests erupted in the state. Although the service was restored late that night, the...

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Surveillance detection for journalists in the field

July 22, 2013 8:22 AM ET

Much has been made recently about the digital surveillance of journalists--and rightly so--but physical surveillance remains a key tactic of security forces, law enforcement, and private entities. These operatives are monitoring journalists, gathering intelligence on them, and potentially obstructing journalists' work or putting them at risk....

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As Zimbabwe vote nears, state media drown out others

July 19, 2013 12:25 PM ET

When Star-FM launched on June 25, 2012, it was the first time in 30 years that Zimbabweans, who have known no other radio besides the state-controlled Radio Zimbabwe, had the chance to call in to a radio station to express their views. ...

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CPJ, coalition press for information on surveillance

July 18, 2013 1:36 PM ET

CPJ today joined an unprecedented coalition of leading Internet companies and civil liberty activists in the United States to press Washington to be more open about its massive and controversial surveillance programs....

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For Afghan journalists, elections, not troops, are key

July 18, 2013 11:28 AM ET

I'm in Kabul for several days, making the rounds of journalists' organizations and media houses. My brief is to see what, if anything, can be done to protect journalists after the withdrawal of NATO troops during and after 2014. But "post-2014" has much different connotations for the Afghans with...

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Doubts as Sri Lanka says Commonwealth meeting open

July 17, 2013 4:19 PM ET

As Sri Lanka prepares to host the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo in November, some journalists have wondered whether they will be able to access the summit given the island nation's abysmal press freedom record....

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Burkina Faso state media journalists protest censorship

July 16, 2013 2:25 PM ET

In Burkina Faso, tens of journalists from state media today held a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Communications in the capital Ouagadougou to protest what they deem to be excessive government censorship of news coverage....

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French website Mediapart faces crippling judgment

July 15, 2013 4:39 PM ET

Three years ago, revelations by the independent news website Mediapart on the "Bettencourt affair"-- allegations of illegal funding of former President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative UMP party by the heiress of the L'Oréal fortune, Liliane Bettencourt--put the fledgling site on the map, helped it build a reputation as a dogged and...

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Anniversaries of Russian journalist murders pile up

July 12, 2013 4:46 PM ET

Last week, I was preparing to write a column about the anniversary of Paul Klebnikov's murder. The American editor of Forbes-Russia was murdered contract-style nine years ago in Moscow at the age of 41. He had investigated connections between Russian business and organized crime, as well as ethnic and...

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A bid to rid Africa of criminal defamation, sedition laws

July 12, 2013 3:48 PM ET

The African Union's special rapporteur on freedom of expression and access to information, Commissioner Pansy Tlakula, has launched an auspicious initiative in East Africa to counter criminal defamation and sedition laws. Since independence, authorities and business interests in the East and Horn region have used criminal laws on sedition, libel,...

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Amid upheaval, Egypt's media blunders

July 12, 2013 10:32 AM ET

The unfolding political tumult in Egypt over the past week has not only captured headlines worldwide, it has taken its toll on journalism and reporting as well. While much of the international media turned their attention away from the country over the past year and assumed democracy was marching...

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JPK's disappearance becomes murder case in Tahiti

July 11, 2013 3:57 PM ET

Since Jean-Pascal Couraud's disappearance in mid-December 1997 his friends had been fighting to debunk the notion that he had committed suicide. In 2004 they had thought they could prove that the 37-year-old muckraker had been a victim of foul play. Vetea Guilloux, a member of the local militia Groupe...

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In China, foreign correspondents see worsening conditions

July 11, 2013 1:09 PM ET

Many international correspondents in China believe reporting conditions have worsened over the past year, according to a new survey by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China that also finds the Chinese government has "increasingly resorted to threats and intimidation against foreign media."...

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Colombian TV director resigns from network in protest

July 11, 2013 1:04 PM ET

A Colombian TV news director, who oversaw hard-hitting political coverage in central Antioquia department, resigned on June 28 after his editorial meeting was secretly recorded and used by politicians to push for his ouster....

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Hopes dashed again for more press freedom in Macedonia

July 11, 2013 11:14 AM ET

On June 21, Macedonian journalists, intellectuals, artists, and free thinkers breathed a sigh of relief. The U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue, visited Skopje and held one of the most straightforward and honest press conferences on...

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Historic judgment for Gautam Das murder in Bangladesh

July 10, 2013 1:17 PM ET

Almost eight years have passed since the murder of Bangladeshi journalist Gautam Das, but the slow wheels of justice have finally rotated. Late last month, a court sentenced nine individuals to life in prison in connection with the scribe's murder. Many local journalists have hailed the verdict as a landmark,...

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China, local leaders threaten Hong Kong press freedom

July 10, 2013 12:12 PM ET

In "Dark Clouds on the Horizon," the Hong Kong Journalists Association's latest annual report, the group warns that China is tightening its grip over Hong Kong media. The findings come at a time when attacks on a pro-democracy media group, Next Media, have raised fears of aggression against news...

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The targeting of Russian blogger Aleksei Navalny

July 8, 2013 5:41 PM ET

The trial of Aleksei Navalny is coming to an end at the Leninsky District Court in the river city of Kirov, 500 miles northeast of Moscow. Navalny, a charismatic 37-year-old lawyer, was propelled to fame through his activities as an anti-corruption blogger, activist, and a leader of Russia's opposition...

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Rouhani can take steps to improve Iran press freedom

July 8, 2013 4:54 PM ET

After eight hellish years for Iran's journalists under outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the election of Hassan Rouhani was welcomed with hope for a better future. As soon as he takes office in August, he should act on his view and take steps to protect journalists in Iran....

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Ecuador loses investigative journal Vanguardia

July 8, 2013 12:30 PM ET

Like the death of a loved one. That's how Juan Carlos Calderón, editor of the newsmagazine Vanguardia, described the June 28 closing of the newsweekly that for eight years published hard-hitting investigations about public officials and faced frequent government harassment. Yet the final days of Vanguardia were almost as...

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Post-Snowden, time for journalists to get smart

July 8, 2013 10:10 AM ET

Let's be clear: Everything journalists do in the digital world is open to scrutiny by suspicious minds because that's the way intelligence agencies work. If state eavesdroppers didn't make use of this amazing opportunity they wouldn't be very good at their job....

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Attacks in Egypt highlight risk of covering protests

July 3, 2013 4:24 PM ET

From São Paulo to Istanbul to Cairo, coverage of street demonstrations has re-emerged as an exceptionally dangerous assignment for journalists. Since June 1, CPJ has documented more than 120 attacks on the press amid the civil unrest in Brazil, Turkey, and Egypt--the biggest surge of attacks in such circumstances since the...

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In Hong Kong law, privacy may trump public interest

July 2, 2013 3:43 PM ET

Tens of thousands of residents demonstrated on the streets of Hong Kong on Monday, the 16th anniversary of the city's return to Chinese rule. The protests have become an annual rite, but the demonstrators' demands were quite specific this year. They wanted the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying...

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