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Blog   |   Peru

Criminal defamation thwarts critical reporting in Ayacucho

When Wilfredo Oscorima, the governor of the southern Peruvian state of Ayacucho, was sentenced in June to five years in prison for official misconduct, independent daily La Calle viewed the ruling as vindication for its vigorous investigations into his administration.

Blog   |   Mexico

The murder of Mexican photographer Espinosa has touched a nerve

A protester holds up a photograph of Rubén Espinosa, a journalist who was killed after he fled Veracruz state. Hundreds of journalists, writers, and artists have signed on to a letter calling on the Mexican government to end the cycle of violence in Mexico. (Reuters/Henry Romero)

The July 31 murder of Mexican photographer Rubén Espinosa hit the press freedom community really hard. Espinosa, who was found in an apartment with four female victims--all of them shot in the head--had fled the state of Veracruz in June and sought refuge in Mexico City, where he thought he would be safe from threats and intimidation.

Blog   |   Syria, USA

Audio: James Foley on being a freelance war correspondent

In April 2012, Nicole Schilit, research associate in CPJ's Journalist Assistance program, interviewed James Foley about his experience working as a freelance journalist in conflict zones. The interview took place in New York between reporting trips to Libya and Syria. Foley was murdered in Syria in August 2014.

August 18, 2015 10:40 AM ET

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Blog   |   Security, USA

In times of war, Pentagon reserves right to treat journalists like spies

A press briefing at the Pentagon in April. Worrying guidelines on how the military can categorize the press during conflict are contained in the Defense Department's Law of War Manual. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

The Pentagon has produced its first Department of Defense-wide Law of War Manual and the results are not encouraging for journalists who, the documents state, may be treated as "unprivileged belligerents." But the manual's justification for categorizing journalists this way is not based on any specific case, law or treaty. Instead, the relevant passages have footnotes referring to either other parts of the document or matters not germane to this legal assertion. And the language used to attempt to justify this categorization is weak at best.

Blog   |   Indonesia, Internet, Security, USA

Increased risks for filmmakers and sources in documentaries' Golden Age

A scene from Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary 'The Look of Silence.' (Courtesy of Drafthouse Films and Participant Media)

Joshua Oppenheimer travelled to New York for today's premiere of his documentary "The Look of Silence," but one place he won't travel is Indonesia, where he says his work on this and an earlier film puts him at risk. Earlier this week, Laura Poitras, the Academy Award-winning director of the documentary CITIZENFOUR, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government seeking information related to border interrogations to which she was subjected between 2006 and 2012. These two cases represent the increased and varied risks facing filmmakers and their sources in what many critics have dubbed the Golden Age of documentary film.

July 17, 2015 1:27 PM ET

Blog   |   Venezuela

In Venezuela, online news helps journalists get their voices back

After leaving Globovisión, Alberto Ravell, pictured in 2010, set up critical online news site La Patilla. (AFP/Miguel Gutierrez)

When Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was rumored to be gravely ill four years ago, his socialist government was tightlipped about the diagnosis. Then in June 2011 a source in Havana, Cuba, where Chávez was being treated, told Nelson Bocaranda, a veteran columnist for the Caracas daily El Universal, that the president had cancer.

Blog   |   Colombia

Fabricated attacks by Colombian journalists mask real dangers

Although Colombian journalists are frequently threatened by Marxist guerrillas, criminal gangs, and corrupt politicians trying to silence them, two recent cases that created widespread concern--including alerts from CPJ--were fabricated by the very reporters who claimed to have been targeted.

Blog   |   Internet, Security, USA

CPJ joins call urging White House to protect encryption for journalists

A wheel cipher invented by Thomas Jefferson and used to securely encode messages in the late 1700s. CPJ is calling on President Obama to ensure modern versions of encryption remain protected. (Jefferson Cipher Wheel by ideonexus is licensed under CC BY 3.0 US)

Journalists are safest when their devices are secure by default. That is why the Committee to Protect Journalists today joined a coalition of nearly 150 civil society organizations, companies, trade associations, security experts, and policy specialists in sending a joint letter to U.S. President Barack Obama. The letter urges the president to support the broad adoption of strong encryption and to reject any proposal that intentionally weakens the security of products made by U.S. companies.

May 19, 2015 12:31 PM ET

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Blog   |   Mexico

In Mexico, reporters struggle to cover unrest over missing students

Graffiti referring to 43 students who went missing last September is spray painted on a wall in Mexico City as part of protests about their disappearance. Some journalists say they have struggled to cover the case. (Reuters/Tomas Bravo)

Veteran reporter Sergio Ocampo was having a late dinner on September 26 when his editor called about a shooting in the city of Iguala in Guerrero state. Students from the Ayotzinapa teacher training college were apparently among the victims. But when Ocampo, a correspondent for the newspaper La Jornada, called the then-mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, he was told, "Nothing happened." The mayor added, "They came from Ayotzinapa to do their destruction here," Ocampo recalled.

Blog   |   CPJ

On World Press Freedom Day and journalists' safety

Last week, I met a Cameroonian journalist who worked in the Congo until he fled following a series of threats and an attack on his home by armed men who assaulted his sister. Elie Smith, a TV host who documented alleged abuses by police and was outspoken in his criticism of the government, said he thought he had been under surveillance and that he had received multiple threats via text message.

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