October 2014

CPJ Blog

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Taiwan journalists feel pressure as elections approach

October 31, 2014 6:10 PM ET

Political tensions are rising in Taiwan ahead of local and municipal elections due at the end of November. The vote is expected to test the popularity of the ruling Kuomintang Party (KMT), which advocates greater integration with China and which earlier this year sparked protests when it tried to...

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Russian actor condemned for wearing press insignia and firing weapons

October 31, 2014 4:09 PM ET

Russian actor Mikhail Porechenkov has joined basketball star Dennis Rodman, who declared North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un his best friend, and Jennifer Lopez who sang "Happy Birthday Mr. President" to the authoritarian leader of Turkmenistan, on the list of celebrities who have made human rights faux pas....

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In Hungary, an independent website defies censorship and pressure

October 31, 2014 10:52 AM ET

A delegation from the Committee to Protect Journalists, led by board member Kati Marton, traveled to Hungary in October on CPJ's first fact-finding and advocacy mission to an EU member state. We went there in response to concerning reports of deteriorating conditions for the press, and met dozens of...

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Mission Journal: Creeping authoritarianism in Hungary

October 30, 2014 12:14 PM ET

On the Buda side of the River Danube stands the glass and steel headquarters of the thriving German-owned entertainment channel RTL. On the Pest side of the Hungarian capital, tucked in a corner of a converted department store, lies the cramped office of struggling online news outlet Atlatszo....

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A message from a scared Egyptian journalist

October 30, 2014 12:13 PM ET

Tamer Abuarab's article today under the title "A message from a scared person" offers strong insight into why we at CPJ decided to produce our upcoming documentary film, "Under Threat," and make an appeal for journalists to speak out with the hashtag #EgyptLastWord....

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Mission Journal: In Zambia, Sata never fulfilled promise of greater transparency

October 29, 2014 3:47 PM ET

"We'll see for ourselves on Friday," was a refrain on the lips of most journalists I met in Lusaka in mid-September, as they speculated on the health of President Michael Sata ahead of their country's opening of parliament, where the leader was due to speak....

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For journalists coming into US, policies border on the absurd

October 28, 2014 6:01 PM ET

I was only supposed to be in Miami for the briefest of layovers. I was en route to San Francisco from São Paulo in Brazil, where I had participated in the NETMundial Conference on Internet governance along with hundreds of members of civil society, technology executives, journalists, and government...

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BBC's Rwanda documentary leads to illogical, illegal suspension

October 28, 2014 4:33 PM ET

When the BBC released in early October its televised documentary "Rwanda's Untold Story," which questioned official accounts of the 1994 genocide, a massive outcry inside and outside Rwanda's borders ensued. Locals and foreigners alike protested the documentary's findings, parliamentarians demanded a ban and legal action, and authorities summarily suspended...

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Don't let al-Sisi's government have Egypt's last word

October 27, 2014 1:44 PM ET

"I want to send a message to the world; there is no need for defending honorable Egyptian journalists." That's what Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb said on World Press Freedom Day this year, speaking at Al-Ahram state newspaper. The same day, Al-Jazeera English Bureau Chief Mohamed Fahmy was roaring...

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In Reynosa, Mexico, suspected murder of social media user spreads fear

October 23, 2014 6:06 PM ET

On October 16, photographs of a woman were posted on the Twitter account @Miut3 with an ominous message. "My life has come to an end today. Don't put your families at risk like I did," the tweet read. "I'm sorry. I died for nothing. They are closer on our trail...

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Press freedom and the Olympic movement

October 23, 2014 12:48 PM ET

The guiding document of the Olympic movement is the Olympic Charter, a 105-page compendium of rules and regulations, but also principles and ideals that go far beyond sports. For example, the Olympic Games are intended to foment "respect for universal fundamental ethical principles, non-discrimination, and the educational value of good...

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How Bolivia's vice president used media to control his image--and that of the government

October 20, 2014 5:12 PM ET

Álvaro García Linera's savvy use of the media helped him make the leap from Marxist guerrilla to vice president of Bolivia. But critics contend that as the country's second-highest elected official, García Linera is now using his substantial power to manipulate and control the Bolivian news media....

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In Ebola-stricken countries, authorities and journalists should work together

October 17, 2014 4:14 PM ET

The Ebola crisis in West Africa is unrelenting, and journalists on the frontline of reporting on the virus are caught between authorities wanting to control how the outbreak is reported, and falling victim to the disease themselves....

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CPJ joins call for Azerbaijan to end persecution of investigative reporter

October 16, 2014 5:40 PM ET

A coalition of international press freedom groups, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, today called on Azerbaijani authorities to lift the travel ban and end the politicized prosecution of Khadija Ismayilova, an award-winning investigative reporter. In the past week authorities in Baku detained Ismayilova upon her arrival from Strasbourg where...

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How resistance to encryption jeopardizes journalism

October 16, 2014 5:08 PM ET

Earlier today, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion with FBI Director James B. Comey, who made the case that steps taken by Apple and Google to protect user privacy were damaging the FBI's efforts to fight crime and safeguard U.S. national security. The discussion was due to take place...

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Hong Kong's media battlefield

October 16, 2014 2:11 PM ET

Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests are among the best covered in history. The city is saturated with print, broadcast, and social media, traveling across some of the best networks on earth. Its citizens are among the most connected in the world. And for all the media's flaws, consumers expect them...

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Simple steps to protect journalists and sources from eavesdroppers

October 16, 2014 10:23 AM ET

Journalists are among those most likely to face technical attempts at attack and interception. Reporting is based on discussions with sources who may want to remain out of the limelight, and news sites attract extensive readership, making them a desirable target for potential attackers. But there are simple steps to...

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Eight days in Hong Kong: Laura Poitras on documenting Snowden for 'Citizenfour'

October 15, 2014 4:52 PM ET

The world premiere of Laura Poitras's highly anticipated documentary "CITIZENFOUR" at the New York Film Festival occurred with the appropriate amount of intrigue for a film about last year's dramatic revelations of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. The press and premiere screenings were clocked to begin simultaneously on...

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When it comes to the right to report, journalists must stand together

October 14, 2014 12:52 PM ET

Pakistani journalists I have met over the years know that while I might be an American, I have never been an apologist for the U.S. government. The goal of the Committee to Protect Journalists is to assist members of the press no matter where they are, and if we...

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Duvalier's death must not mean end of proceedings against dictatorship

October 14, 2014 11:29 AM ET

The sudden death on October 4 of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier and the initial information that he would be honored with a state funeral stunned the victims who had filed suit against Duvalier for massive violations of human rights during his regime. It also created an unexpected ripple effect...

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One year after CPJ's US report, little has changed between Obama and press

October 10, 2014 1:16 PM ET

After a summer plagued by war and disease abroad and partisan fighting at home, it was not hard to fathom why President Barack Obama would yearn for a retreat. But from which of the mounting crises did the president hope to escape: Ukraine? Islamic State? Ebola? The Tea Party?...

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Amid government crackdown, Hungary's journalists look for new ways to work

October 9, 2014 2:26 PM ET

"They raided our offices as if we were mobsters. The irony of the situation is that the Hungarian police rarely raid mobsters with such force," said an employee at one of two NGOs whose Budapest offices were stormed by about 20 officers of the Central Investigations Office--Hungary's version of the...

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Turkey's reform fatigue, the EU's enlargement fatigue, and press freedom

October 9, 2014 1:23 PM ET

"The European Commission expressed serious concern about developments in the area of rule of law and fundamental rights (in Turkey)." It is progress report season in Brussels. As every year in early October, the commissioner in charge of enlargement unveils documents that judge the progress of all candidate countries...

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Bolivia's president and state-run TV skip presidential election debate

October 7, 2014 5:45 PM ET

President Evo Morales wasn't the only no show at Bolivia's lone presidential debate in the run-up to this Sunday's election. State-run Bolivia TV, which has provided live coverage of every presidential debate since the late 1980s, also ignored the September 28 candidate forum....

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Big businesses attempt to muzzle critical reporting in India

October 7, 2014 1:20 PM ET

This month Keya Acharya is responding to a nine-page legal notice demanding she pay 1 billion rupees ($16.3 million) over her article on India's rose industry. Her legal troubles are a window on to a pattern of how big businesses are using India's outdated defamation laws to silence criticism of...

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Journalist in Hong Kong? These tips will keep you safer and help you do your best job

October 2, 2014 1:14 PM ET

We have been receiving reports of harassment and the use of force directed toward journalists covering the demonstrations in Hong Kong. Most of the incidents came over the weekend with the government's ill-advised attempt to end the protests with police force. But with tensions building today, more clashes with...

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How automatic encryption ensures safety by default

October 2, 2014 11:51 AM ET

The year is 1991, the month April. EMF is playing on the radio. The term "cyberspace" has existed for only half a decade. The world wide web won't exist for another four months. The software engineer Linus Torvalds has only just started work on the Linux operating system. The...

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Holder resignation presents U.S. with opportunity for reform

October 1, 2014 5:24 PM ET

Last week's announcement by Eric Holder that he will resign as Attorney General marks what will hopefully be the beginning of the end of a perplexingly dark period for press freedom in the U.S. As Holder seeks to solidify his legacy, in part based on important civil rights reforms that...

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