CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Asia

Blog   |   China

Hong Kong journalists try range of models to battle press freedom challenges

Tourists photograph Hong Kong's skyline. A group of new websites has emerged in the city to counter the restrictive climate for the press. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

A new Chinese-language website pledging to provide Hong Kong with "independent, accurate and fair" news is the latest journalism venture to open in the city, in an attempt to counter increasing Chinese control of the media. Citizen News was launched January 1 by a group of journalists, including Kevin Lau Chun-to and Daisy Li Yuet-wah, who say they plan to cover a wide range of issues and views across the political spectrum.

Blog   |   China

Weighing China jailed cases amid censorship and fear

A screen shot shows Shen Hao's tearful 'confession' on Chinese state television channel CCTV. The former chairman of 21st Century Media was sentenced to four years in prison for extortion.

My native China is consistently among the world's worst jailers of journalists. This year, it has been eclipsed by Turkey, which is holding a record number of journalists behind bars. But since CPJ began conducting an annual census in 1990, China has topped the ignoble list 18 times.

Blog   |   China

In China, foreign correspondents continue to face harassment, restrictions

Conditions for foreign correspondents in China remain difficult, with journalists reporting cases of harassment, surveillance, and restrictions on where they can work, according to findings by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China.

Blog   |   India

'It's worse this time,' says photographer shot by police during latest Kashmir unrest

Indian security forces face protesters during unrest in Srinagar in September. Journalists are being caught in the crossfire during the recent unrest. (AP/Dar Yasin)

For four months, the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has been under a curfew imposed after protests broke out when Burhan Wani, a commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, a pro-independence militant organization that advocates for Kashmir's independence from India, was killed in clashes with the Indian army. Journalists have been caught in the crossfire as protesters clash with police and authorities try to regain control by imposing curfews and blocking access to the internet.

Blog   |   India

In India, online campaign seeks to free press from risk of criminal defamation

India's Parliament in New Delhi. A private members' bill to decriminalize defamation will be heard during its winter session. (AFP/Money Sharma)

An online campaign to decriminalize defamation in India is being led by a member of the country's main opposition party. "Criminal defamation can lead to people being put in jail for something they have said publicly. This law needs to be replaced by a modern, progressive law," reads the statement on the campaign website.

Blog   |   China, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Pakistan

Protecting journalists who cover corruption is good for the bottom line

Number of journalists who covered corruption who were killed in relation to their work since 1992, by country. (Mehdi Rahmati/CPJ research)

Corruption is one of the most dangerous beats for journalists, and one of the most important for holding those in power to account. There is growing international recognition that corruption is also one of the biggest impediments to poverty reduction and good governance. This is why journalists on this beat must be protected, including by multilateral lending institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which just concluded their annual meetings in Washington D.C.

Blog   |   Nepal

In Nepal, critical editor flees and journal's funding is blocked

Kunda Dixit cut his once mop-like white hair, grew a beard, and quietly went into hiding, eventually fleeing Nepal for the safety of the U.S. to avoid arrest. And in doing so, the prominent journalist, publisher, and frequent writer for the Nepali Times, skipped out on a major international journalism conference he was co-sponsoring with the Global Investigative Journalism Network. In a videotaped speech played at the conference, attended by over 350 journalists, mainly from Asia, he blamed a "political witch hunt" for his self-imposed exile.

Blog   |   China

Criticism and jokes off limits ahead of G20 summit in Hangzhou, China

An empty refrigerator at a convenience store at West Lake, in Hangzhou, China, on August 31 bears a sign that reads 'During G20, beverages and dairy products are not allowed to be purchased and are sold out. Thanks.' Authorities have ordered the media not to report on inconveniences caused by the summit. (Reuters/Aly Song)

The city of Yuyao, in China's Zhejiang province, is 70 miles away from Hangzhou, where leaders of the world's 20 leading economies will gather September 4 and 5 for the annual G20 summit. Nonetheless, on August 26, democracy activist You Jingyou and his wife were subject to extra security checks at the train station in Yuyao, where they went to board a train to their home of Fuzhou, in Fujian province--a train that would not even pass by Hangzhou.

Blog   |   China

As Beijing tightens grip on Hong Kong media, mainland journalists suffer

A cover of Time magazine on display in Hong Kong, July 22, 2016, features portraits of Chinese leader Xi Jinping and former leader Mao Zedong. (AP/Vincent Yu)

On August 1, prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Yu, who had been detained incommunicado for over a year, reemerged--with an unusual twist on an old script. Wang gave a TV interview in which she renounced her legal work and accused foreign forces of using her to "attack" and "smear" the Chinese government; the report claimed she'd just been released on bail. The public statement of guilt without trial is part of an established pattern in China, with more than a dozen such "confessions" delivered by human rights activists, journalists, and writers. But this time, the state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) failed to play a role. Instead, the interview was carried by a website affiliated with the Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily.

Blog   |   Philippines

Philippine leader blows hot and cold on press freedom

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, speaks with journalists in June. The new leader has given mixed messages on press freedom. (AFP/Manman Dejeto)

Newly installed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has sent mixed messages on his commitment to upholding press freedom and combating impunity in media murders, a mix of hope and fear that has broadly defined the first months of his leadership. Uncertainty about Duterte's stance on the media's watchdog role comes against the backdrop of a "war on drugs" campaign that has resulted in the killing by police and vigilante groups of hundreds of drug suspects.

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