May 2014

CPJ Blog

In the wake of US pullout, Afghan journalists need protection

May 30, 2014 5:16 PM ET

In the aftermath of this week's foreign policy speech by President Barack Obama and discussions on the imminent pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, we need to think once again of the implications this retreat will have for the thousands of Afghans who for more than a decade have worked...

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Journalists targeted by both sides in Nigeria's war on terror

May 30, 2014 2:27 PM ET

The struggle between Nigerian authorities and militant extremist group Boko Haram was recently thrust into the global spotlight with the abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls, but journalists in the country have been squeezed between the two sides for years....

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South Africa's new communications ministry causes concern

May 30, 2014 10:40 AM ET

Freedom of expression advocates in South Africa are concerned that the new Ministry of Communications, announced by President Jacob Zuma when he unveiled his cabinet on May 25, will compromise the independence of the public broadcaster and serve as a propaganda office....

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EU underscores support of free expression, but slights access to information

May 28, 2014 2:13 PM ET

A new document on freedom of expression and opinion, adopted May 12 by the 28 foreign ministers of the European Union, presses nearly all the right buttons. Drawing its inspiration from international human rights norms as well as from the EU's treaties and its charter of fundamental rights, the document...

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Mission Journal: The Kurdish conundrum--more outlets but not more 'news'

May 27, 2014 3:33 PM ET

In the stairwell between the newsroom and studios of Nalia Radio and Television (NRT) stand a charred monitor, a burnt vision mixer, and smashed camera lens. They make up a display of equipment damaged when armed men set fire to the station in Sulaymaniyah, a city in eastern Iraqi Kurdistan...

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Remembering Camille Lepage

May 22, 2014 5:05 PM ET

"Not sure I can talk about my 'career' just yet--I'm still just getting started!" freelance photographer Camille Lepage told the photography site Petapixel in October 2013.Less than a year later, Lepage's body was found in a car in the Central African Republic, according to news reports citing the French government. She...

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Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez launches independent news site

May 22, 2014 3:55 PM ET

Late last October, as I accompanied Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez in a cab ride from LaGuardia Airport to her hotel in Manhattan, we talked nonstop about what had changed in Cuba during 2013 and about her plans for 2014. Two things she told me then were particularly striking. ...

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Ethiopia's independent publishers may face another hurdle

May 22, 2014 3:38 PM ET

In what appears to be one of a collection of measures to silence the press ahead of 2015 elections, Ethiopian authorities in the Communications Ministry are preparing a new system to control the distribution of print media. Privately owned newspapers and magazines, possibly the only remaining independent news sources...

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Singapore blogger: 'I have been waiting' for government backlash

May 22, 2014 1:45 PM ET

EDITOR'S NOTE: This week, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong demanded an apology from a critical blogger who has allegedly accused him of corruption. Roy Ngerng Yi Ling, who is also a healthcare worker, has frequently posted critical commentary on the ruling People's Action Party on his blog, The Heart...

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Jordan's free press record dims with website restrictions

May 22, 2014 1:00 PM ET

Jordan's press freedom climate, once a shining light in the Middle East, has quickly deteriorated as journalists grapple with last year's government ban on nearly 300 news websites. Press freedom groups are documenting a rise in self-censorship and an increase in criminal cases against journalists. Local online news editors...

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Saudi censorship blurs lines between journalism, activism

May 20, 2014 4:59 PM ET

Since the surprise Arab uprisings of 2011, the Saudi government has worked assiduously to ensure it has all the tools of censorship it needs to control dissent. These tools--a combination of special courts, laws, and regulatory authorities--are starting to fire on all cylinders. The result has been a string...

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Coming to Kurdistan

May 15, 2014 7:10 PM ET

One of the strongest memories I have of meeting President Masoud Barzani is the winding drive up to his mountain-top headquarters in the town of Salahuddin outside Erbil. That was in 2008, when a CPJ delegation secured a pledge from the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to "create...

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Kenya must consider plight of refugee journalists

May 12, 2014 5:26 PM ET

Today, CPJ partnered with Reporters Without Borders and Rory Peck Trust in a joint open letter calling on Kenya's Cabinet Secretary of Interior, Joseph Ole Lenku, to provide clarity on the government's refugee policy and to exempt journalists from forced relocation to the refugee camps. On March 25, Lenku...

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Press freedom at low as Azerbaijan takes Council of Europe chairmanship

May 12, 2014 5:22 PM ET

On Wednesday, Azerbaijan will assume chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers. The chairmanship process is automatic; the position is rotated every six months among all of the council's members, in alphabetical order. But Azerbaijan's chairmanship has proven more problematic than most, as it comes at a time...

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Little progress on journalist safety despite more attention

May 9, 2014 12:49 PM ET

Late in 2013, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 68/163 on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, in an effort to stem the killings of journalists and ensure that perpetrators of deadly violence against journalists are brought to justice. The resolution was a recognition that it...

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Ilham Tohti's daughter fights for his freedom

May 8, 2014 3:23 PM ET

At first glance, 19-year-old Jewher Ilham may seem like a typical college student. As she clutched her smart phone, the face of a cat imprinted on the cover peered through her fingers. She spoke in short sentences with little pause. Her thoughts pulled her in various directions as she spoke...

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Am I a traitor?

May 8, 2014 10:11 AM ET

EDITOR'S NOTE: Hamid Mir, the executive editor of Pakistan's Geo Television, survived an April 19 assassination attempt, but was badly injured. The shooting came a few weeks after the Pakistani government pledged in a meeting with CPJ to address the insecurity plaguing the country's journalists. Shortly after the attack, some...

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Rousseff to CPJ: 'Brazil committed to fighting impunity'

May 7, 2014 3:57 PM ET

"The federal government is fully committed to continue fighting against impunity in cases of killed journalists," Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told a CPJ delegation during a meeting on Tuesday in Brasilia, the country's political capital. Accepting that deadly violence against the media is a detriment to freedom of the...

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Tom Lowenthal joins CPJ as first staff technologist

May 7, 2014 10:22 AM ET

Journalism is increasingly mediated by the same digital tools to which we entrust the rest of our lives. In keeping with CPJ's mission to enable and protect journalists wherever they find themselves under threat, we are pleased to announce the hire of Tom Lowenthal, our first staff technologist....

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SABC betrays South Africa's young democracy

May 6, 2014 4:18 PM ET

This week, South Africans go to the polls for their fifth democratic elections since 1994, but despite constitutional guarantees of media freedom, the vast majority of South Africans who vote will do so informed only by the positive news and information carried by a public broadcaster widely criticized for...

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Obama transparency record remains unimpressive

May 5, 2014 2:59 PM ET

Nearly seven months ago, CPJ published its first in-depth report on press freedom in the United States, concluding that the Obama administration's aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information, broad surveillance programs, and moves to stem the routine disclosure of information to the press meant that the president had...

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