Asia / 2012

CPJ Blog

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China's name registration will only aid cybercriminals

December 28, 2012 5:24 PM ET

China's mounting crackdown on online news dissemination took an extra step today, when the country's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, its de facto legislative body, announced new requirements on Internet service providers and mobile phone companies to identify their users. The new rules would potentially allow ISPs...

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Reuters Institute focuses on Sri Lankan journalism

December 28, 2012 11:08 AM ET

The most recent paper produced by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford, "Media Freedom in post-war Sri Lanka and its impact on the reconciliation process<," does a great job of cataloging the abuse Sri Lankan journalists continue to face after the decades-long civil conflict with...

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Amid deadly demonstrations, focus on India police

December 26, 2012 5:35 PM ET

For the safety of journalists and other people on the streets protesting injustice, Indian police must begin in earnest to address how they respond to demonstrations. One journalist died covering protests that have been taking place across the country following the gang rape of a 23-year old female medical...

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Combat deaths at a high, risks shift for journalists

December 18, 2012 12:00 AM ET

Murder is the leading cause of work-related deaths among journalists worldwide--and this year was no exception. But the death toll in 2012 continued a recent shift in the nature of journalist fatalities worldwide. More journalists were killed in combat situations in 2012 than in any year since 1992, when...

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Journalists still murdered where impunity reigns

December 18, 2012 12:00 AM ET

Almost half of the 67 journalists killed worldwide in 2012 were targeted and murdered for their work, research by the Committee to Protect Journalists shows. The vast majority covered politics. Many also reported on war, human rights, and crime. In almost half of these cases, political groups are the...

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In Internet freedom fight, why the ITU matters (for now)

December 14, 2012 12:39 PM ET

For most of its almost-150-year history, the meetings of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations' communications standards body, have been rather predictable affairs....

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Integrity vs. authenticity in video journalism

December 13, 2012 2:20 PM ET

Back in November 2010, Britain's Channel 4 broadcast a leaked video that appears to show men in Sri Lankan military uniforms executing bound prisoners, the camera panning across a series of bodies laid out in a ditch. Family and friends identified one of those bodies as that of Tamil...

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Video: Campaign to free the press

December 11, 2012 12:00 AM ET

(CNN) The imprisonment of journalists hit a record high in 2012, driven by the growing use of anti-terrorism charges to silence critical voices. This video, a centerpiece of CPJ's new Free the Press campaign, details the plight of imprisoned journalists worldwide and describes how international advocacy can make a difference...

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On Human Rights Day, make your voice heard on impunity

December 10, 2012 4:07 PM ET

In 1950, the United Nations General Assembly declared December 10 Human Rights Day in commemoration of the adoption and proclamation two years earlier of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Every year, on this day, the U.N. chooses one right to highlight and advocate. This year, Human Rights Day is...

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Taiwanese media sale could threaten press freedom

December 10, 2012 3:39 PM ET

A media buyout in Taiwan which would put independent news outlets critical of China into the hands of a pro-Beijing media tycoon is cause for concern for the island's press. Jimmy Lai, the outspoken mogul behind Hong Kong-based Next Media and the Apple Daily tabloid, is selling his Taiwan...

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Nearly 20,000 call to free Kyrgyz, Tibetan journalists

December 10, 2012 1:15 PM ET

"I remain hopeful that I will one day see the sun once more--not through the barred window of my prison cell but as a free man." -Azimjon Askarov Today, on International Human Rights Day, CPJ and close to 20,000 supporters are calling on the governments of China and Kyrgyzstan...

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Pakistanis address violence on Pakistani journalists

December 10, 2012 12:15 PM ET

There is an absolutely terrific seven-part special report by The News on Sunday on Pakistan's problem with the killing of journalists and the impunity surrounding their deaths. It's written by and for Pakistanis, with compelling direction from Adnan Rehmat of Intermedia Pakistan--and not only describes and analyzes the problem, but...

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Speak Justice campaign fights impunity in press murders

December 6, 2012 6:15 AM ET

The tortured and decapitated body of 39-year-old María Elizabeth Macías Castro was found on a Saturday evening in September 2011. It had been dumped by the side of a road in Nuevo Laredo, a Mexican border town ravaged by the war on drugs. Macías, a freelance journalist, wrote about...

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Confusion grows around missing Tibetan monk filmmaker

November 30, 2012 3:01 PM ET

Not unusually, an already confusing situation in Tibet just got worse. Twenty-seven Tibetans have self-immolated in protest against Chinese this month alone, according to Human Rights Watch. That's almost one a day. Against this chaotic backdrop, Chinese authorities have issued an arrest order for a missing monk who helped...

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To fight impunity, cycle of fear, silence must be broken

November 23, 2012 9:00 AM ET

Three years ago, on November 23, 2009, 30 journalists and two media workers were brutally killed in the southern Philippine city of Maguindanao while travelling in a convoy with the family and supporters of a local politician. To this day, not a single suspect has been convicted, though local...

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Awardees say indignation trumps intimidation

November 21, 2012 12:46 PM ET

The battle for a free press sometimes feels like a war between indignation and intimidation. Journalists learn of abuses of power, crime, or corruption, and--indignant--they speak out. In response, the perpetrators of those abuses--be they government officials or criminals--try to intimidate the journalists into silence with threats, lawsuits, jail,...

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Arrests over Facebook comments fan debate in India

November 20, 2012 2:10 PM ET

The arrest of two women in India this week because of posting and "liking" an opinion on Facebook has further inflamed debate over the right to freedom of expression in the world's largest democracy....

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In Karachi, a trail of death and impunity in Babar case

November 16, 2012 6:41 PM ET

Haider Ali, an eyewitness to the 2011 murder of Geo TV reporter Wali Khan Babar, was gunned down on Sunday, two days before he was set to testify in the trial of five suspects. The murder sent shockwaves across Pakistan--one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists...

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What China's new leadership means for press freedom

November 15, 2012 5:23 PM ET

Like many China watchers, we at CPJ have been struggling to interpret obscure floor markings and tie colors on display in Beijing as new Communist Party leaders were appointed in a rare leadership hand-off today. The names of the top seven are no longer in doubt. But the real...

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Tibetan voices censored around China's Party Congress

November 14, 2012 1:30 PM ET

Reports of a massive surveillance operation in Tibet and harassment of journalists covering Tibetan issues cast a shadow over eagerly anticipated leadership appointments expected tomorrow in Beijing....

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In China, kids ask the tough questions at Party Congress

November 13, 2012 2:18 PM ET

When a nation's most outspoken journalists are 11-year-olds, is it a good sign for the future? On the one hand, they might grow up to ask probing questions. On the other hand, they might end up following the path taken by their older peers and stick to scripted exchanges....

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Will UN plan address impunity, security for journalists?

November 13, 2012 1:31 PM ET

Here are the facts:A journalist is killed in the line of duty somewhere around the world once every eight days.Nearly three out of four are targeted for murder. The rest are killed in the crossfire of combat, or on dangerous assignments such as street protests.Local journalists constitute the large...

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Twenty-three days to take action against impunity

November 1, 2012 4:28 PM ET

Approximately 30 journalists are targeted and murdered every year, and on average, in only three of these crimes are the killers ever brought to justice. Other attacks on freedom of expression occur daily: bloggers are threatened, photographers beaten, writers kidnapped. And in those instances, justice is even more rare. Today,...

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UPDATED: A window of opportunity to take on Sri Lanka

November 1, 2012 1:06 PM ET

If you've been watching the attempts to silence media in Sri Lanka through attacks, disappearances, legal harassment, and government policies aimed at restricting free speech and the right to information, take the time to speak out with others around the world today. An opportunity like this only comes around every...

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Baluchistan latest epicenter of attacks on Pakistani press

October 25, 2012 4:43 PM ET

It is one step forward and two steps back in Pakistan's restive Baluchistan province. The nation's highest court has acknowledged the dangerous climate journalists face in Baluchistan, but it has also affirmed a directive that only adds to the pressure cooker conditions that journalists work under....

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London statement urges strong steps to protect journalists

October 23, 2012 12:12 PM ET

More than 40 media organizations worldwide are demanding urgent action by governments, the United Nations, and the industry to stop violence against journalists and end impunity in attacks on the press. They made their position known in a joint statement delivered today to the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural...

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Sedition dropped, but Indian cartoonist faces other charges

October 18, 2012 4:17 PM ET

After intense public pressure, the Maharashtra state government last week dropped the charge of sedition against Indian cartoonist Aseem Trivedi. However, Trivedi still faces other charges as his case resumes tomorrow at the Bombay High court. The 25-year old cartoonist, who was arrested on September 8, could have been sentenced to...

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After Malala shooting, Taliban goes after media critics

October 17, 2012 5:36 PM ET

Journalists, like many others in Pakistan, have spoken out strongly since the Taliban attempted to kill the teenage Malala Yousafzai on October 9. The Taliban, in return, are threatening the media over their coverage, according to journalists and news reports....

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Activists protest imprisonment of Indian journalist

October 10, 2012 12:53 PM ET

A couple dozen activists gathered this past week in New York City's Union Square to protest the imprisonment of freelance journalist Lingaram Kodopi and his aunt Soni Sori, who were arrested one year ago in India....

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Quick rethink on cybercrime law in Philippines

October 9, 2012 3:42 PM ET

On Tuesday, the Philippines Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order stopping the government from enforcing the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 which President Benigno Aquino III signed into law last month. The court, in full session, ordered that oral arguments for and against will start January 15. And it...

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In Pakistan, a murderous exercise in democracy

October 9, 2012 3:10 PM ET

Covering political rallies in Pakistan must be considered a dangerous assignment. One journalist was killed and three others injured on Sunday when gunmen opened fire on a Pakistan People's Party (PPP) rally in Khairpur in Sindh province. All told, at least six died and 10 were wounded critically....

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Online in Philippines? Check out #notocybercrimelaw

October 5, 2012 1:48 PM ET

In a notoriously litigious country like the Philippines, it's bewildering that the government coupled a law targeting so-called cybercrimes like cybersex, child pornography, identity theft, and spamming with the hoary and over-used concept of libel. And no matter how abusive those crimes may be, it's an even bigger mystery why...

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In Indian Kashmir, concerns over Internet censorship

October 4, 2012 6:05 PM ET

The government of Indian Kashmir has a long record of failing to respond to physical attacks on the press. This week, the possibility that websites like YouTube and Facebook were blocked indicated that online freedoms, too, are under threat.  ...

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Environment journalists rally for murdered Cambodian

September 28, 2012 12:46 PM ET

On September 11, a Cambodian journalist named Hang Serei Odom was found dead in an abandoned vehicle. Missing since September 9, the reporter with the local Vorakchun Khmer Daily newspaper had suffered several axe blows to the head....

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For India, celebrations not in order on Singh's birthday

September 27, 2012 5:38 PM ET

This week, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh marked his 80th birthday. He spent the day, Wednesday, in the company of family and at public events, according to news reports. "There are no celebrations. He prefers to be with his family in the morning--then work as usual," Singh's spokesman told...

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With new focus on sedition law, India poised at juncture

September 21, 2012 5:48 PM ET

Although it is the world's largest democracy, India has retained its colonial-era sedition law. But with a national debate ensuing after the arrest of 25-year-old political cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on the antiquated sedition charge and others, members of the Indian government have been forced to do some soul-searching....

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Danlambao: We will not be silenced

September 19, 2012 12:02 AM ET

On September 12, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung issued an administrative order--number 7169--accusing us, Danlambao, of "publishing information that is false, fabricated, and untruthful to slander the leadership of the nation, to agitate the people against the Party and the State, to cause doubts and create bad publicity...

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Japan's independent journalism on trial with Tanaka

September 17, 2012 11:22 AM ET

It doesn't take a baseball bat to silence a reporter in Japan--increasingly the blunt weapon being wielded by corporations, power brokers, and politicians is the court gavel. In May of this year, a writer for the weekly magazine Shukan Kinyobi was sued by one of Japan's most powerful nuclear...

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China's Xi Jinping unseen, unsearchable

September 12, 2012 7:08 PM ET

It was only a matter of time before Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's physical absence from the public view was accompanied by his disappearance from cyberspace. The characters "Jinping" from his name were censored today from searches of Sina's microblog service Weibo, according to the Fei Chang Dao blog....

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Shooting investigation stalls in India

September 11, 2012 5:55 PM ET

CPJ has been monitoring the investigation into the shooting attack on Arunachal Times journalist Tongam Rina outside her office in Itanagar, capital of Arunachal Pradesh state, which left her hospitalized in critical condition this July. Her recovery is progressing, slowly but surely. The police inquiry, however, is not. ...

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Thorning's chance to press China for media freedom

September 11, 2012 1:53 PM ET

Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt is in China this week to meet with top leaders, according to international news reports. CPJ's Advocacy and Communications Associate Magnus Ag and Senior Asia Program Researcher Madeline Earp co-wrote an op-ed calling on Thorning--as she is called in the Danish press--to raise the issue...

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In Cryptocat, lessons for technologists and journalists

September 11, 2012 12:12 PM ET

Alhamdulillah! Finally, a technologist designed a security tool that everyone could use. A Lebanese-born, Montreal-based computer scientist, college student, and activist named Nadim Kobeissi had developed a cryptography tool, Cryptocat, for the Internet that seemed as easy to use as Facebook Chat but was presumably far more secure....

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Sandhya Eknelygoda speaks for Sri Lanka's disappeared

September 4, 2012 1:28 PM ET

When I first met Sandhya Eknelygoda in May 2010 in her home outside Colombo, she was a distressed mother of two young boys whose husband had gone missing. He was last seen four months earlier, just prior to the elections that returned President Mahinda Rajapaksa to power after the end...

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As Wang is freed, Chinese journalist Shi Tao still held

August 31, 2012 12:42 PM ET

Chinese dissident Wang Xiaoning was released today after serving a 10-year prison term on charges of "incitement to subvert state power," a case built in good part on client information supplied by Yahoo. Wang had used his Yahoo email account and the discussion forum Yahoo Groups to spread ideas...

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Dear CPJ: Some malware from your 'friend'

August 30, 2012 4:32 PM ET

We talk a lot about hacking attacks against individual journalists here, but what typifies an attempt to access a reporter's computer? Joel Simon, CPJ's executive director, received an email last week that reflects some characteristics of a malware attack against a journalist or activist. There was nothing particularly notable...

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News media expand, but freedom lags in Kashmir

August 27, 2012 5:07 PM ET

Early this month, newspaper offices in Indian-controlled Kashmir received a note warning journalists to be more supportive of the Kashmir independence movement, according to the leading national daily, The Times of India, citing a news agency in the state's summer capital, Srinagar. No militants took responsibility this time, but in...

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A journalist's account of a Cambodian activist's death

August 27, 2012 1:08 PM ET

Here's a quick pointer to a piece in the Daily Beast by freelance reporter Olesia Plokhii, who worked at The Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh until May this year. Plokhii's moving story, "Death of a Forester," describes the death of Chut Wutty, a Cambodian activist who was shot a...

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India's clumsy Internet crackdown

August 22, 2012 5:02 PM ET

Indian Internet advocates and journalists are in an uproar this week over the news that the government has blocked access to around 300 websites, pages, and social media accounts in an effort to quell communal violence in the turbulent northeast. The rationale is that inflammatory online content has fanned...

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Is Pakistan's Ansar Abbasi being banned?

August 22, 2012 9:54 AM ET

Ansar Abbasi, editor of investigations for Pakistan's leading media group Jang, is apparently facing a de facto ban from his own employers. Other TV channels also report being told not to air his views. Abbasi has charged cable operators with spreading immoral, anti-Islamic messages through Indian movies and other popular...

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Yamamoto's death reflects Japan's media reach, duty

August 21, 2012 4:39 PM ET

My colleagues and I were saddened to learn of the death of Mika Yamamoto, a Japan Press video and photo journalist who was killed while covering clashes in Aleppo, Syria, on Monday. The moment was all the more poignant because of the similarities with two other Japanese journalist fatalities:...

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Censors stymie reporting on China's biggest news stories

August 20, 2012 5:01 PM ET

It's a big news day in China, and state-controlled media are purposely dropping the ball to escape controversy and censorship. ...

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Japan releases Chinese journalists--China's up next

August 17, 2012 2:11 PM ET

It's not often we at CPJ find ourselves calling on other countries to release Chinese journalists from detention. But that's just what happened yesterday. Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV contacted us to say that two of their journalists were among a group of 14 arrested by Japanese authorities over a...

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Umbrellas cast shadow over 'open' trial in China

August 9, 2012 3:44 PM ET

We cover all kinds of censorship here at CPJ. Recently we documented the cunning application of scissors to prevent readers from accessing China-related articles in hard copy magazines. But it's been a while since we've had chance to write about one favored implement of information control in China: the...

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Election corruption grave threat to Pakistan's media

August 8, 2012 3:18 PM ET

"Elections will not be fought, but will be bought," is a saying being used by political tacticians in Pakistan. Hope for the legitimacy of the country's first fair transfer of power between two civilian governments with the oversight of unbiased media is disappearing quickly. Billions of rupees are pouring into...

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No right to information in Sri Lanka

August 7, 2012 11:27 AM ET

You would think that with fighting between government forces and secessionist Tamils finished in May 2009, the Sri Lankan government might ease its grip on public information--information which is really the property of the country's citizens, not whichever administration happens to be holding political power. In 2004, former President...

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Time to reassess U.S. military counterinsurgency tactics

July 27, 2012 4:16 PM ET

One year ago, on July 28, 2011, Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak, 25, was killed by American troops during a brutal close-quarters battle with a Taliban suicide squad backed by gunmen. Khpalwak was one of 22 people killed in the hours-long siege on government buildings that included the governor's office and...

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Viewing the London Olympics coverage from China

July 27, 2012 2:09 PM ET

Chinese propaganda officials must be thrilled that they're not responsible for the Olympics coverage in the British papers. Back during the Beijing Games, they worked hard to censor unrest and dissatisfaction in the domestic media. Reports of China's press freedom and human rights abuses were blocked, the kind of information...

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Stressed out: How should newsrooms handle trauma?

July 27, 2012 1:49 PM ET

The rampage inside a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 people and injured dozens more is the most recent reminder that a journalist anywhere can face sudden, great emotional stress. Any story involving tragedy--from domestic violence to natural disasters--can inflict an emotional toll on field journalists. The very empathy...

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For journalists, danger lurking in your email

July 27, 2012 7:47 AM ET

This week, Morgan Marquis-Boire and Bill Marczak of the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab provided a disturbing look into the likely use of a commercial surveillance program, FinFisher, to remotely invade and control the computers of Bahraini activists. After the software installs itself onto unsuspecting users' computer, it can...

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Propaganda officials miss the boat on 'China's Katrina'

July 26, 2012 4:59 PM ET

Chinese journalists are questioning government propaganda due to conflicting reports of the death toll following Saturday's devastating flooding in Beijing. Like the Wenzhou train crash and the Sichuan earthquake, the tragedy has galvanized mainstream and online journalists--and the official narrative is crumbling under their scrutiny....

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CPJ testifies on global threats to freedom of expression

July 26, 2012 1:51 PM ET

CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington on Wednesday, highlighting global attacks on press freedom and, in particular, assaults on the press in Honduras, Russia, and Turkey....

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Defense tools for Sri Lanka's online onslaught

July 25, 2012 2:17 PM ET

Sanjana Hattotuwa, the founder of the citizen journalism website Groundviews, sent us the links to a new series of posters and videos focused on digital communications security. The material, which is aimed at a Sri Lankan audience, is available in English, Sinhala, and Tamil, but is relevant to anyone who...

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#Maldives media debate unfolds on Twitter

July 24, 2012 4:23 PM ET

It started at 6:34 p.m. Monday. Abdulla Riyaz (@riyazabdulla), whose Twitter bio describes him as commissioner of the Maldives Police Service (MPS), published the following on his personal account: "MPS decides NOT to cooperate to Raajje TV [sic]. A statement will be released today."...

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Face-blurring comes into focus for journalists

July 20, 2012 5:24 PM ET

This week, YouTube announced a feature that should catch the eye of video journalists and bloggers working in dangerous conditions. After uploading a video to YouTube, you can now deploy a "blur faces" post-production tool that, in theory, should disguise the visual identity of everyone on the screen. The...

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Chinese censors move staff from outspoken papers

July 18, 2012 3:40 PM ET

Top figures at two outspoken newspapers in China were shuffled or suspended this week, according to online news reports....

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Afghanistan's draft media law slowed, but not stopped

July 17, 2012 2:29 PM ET

For now, the Afghan government's apparent attempt at railroading through a less-than-media-friendly new Mass Media Law without consultation seems to have been sidelined, though not derailed. On Sunday in Kabul, representatives of the Ministry of Information and Culture received recommendations from civil society workers and journalists, including some from the...

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China's diverse censors

July 16, 2012 10:45 AM ET

Attempts to rein in microblogs like Sina Weibo are a huge part of China's sophisticated information control strategy these days. However, news reports last week serve as a reminder that propaganda authorities also rely on methods that are more old school. ...

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Maldives media offer first-hand accounts

July 13, 2012 1:36 PM ET

Violent clashes between police and opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) protesters continued in the streets of the capital, Malé, on Thursday night, according to international news reports. You can read CPJ's news alert on journalists swept up in the unrest--and background on the demonstrations--here, and some lively discussion on the...

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The Maldives backslides on press freedom

July 10, 2012 3:55 PM ET

CPJ has been watching the Maldives with concern since its first democratically-elected President Mohamed Nasheed relinquished power in February following what he describes as a military coup. New President Mohamed Waheed Hassan says Nasheed's resignation was voluntary and refuted criticism that his rule marked a return to the ways...

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Afghan donors must address media repression

July 5, 2012 4:06 PM ET

One thing that had better be high on the agenda this weekend at the meeting of 70 or so international aid donors for Afghanistan in Tokyo is the recently released official draft version of the Mass Media Law (a copy of the draft can be found here). I mentioned...

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Shallow victory for China's journalists, protesters

July 5, 2012 1:51 PM ET

Shi Junrong, Xi'an Evening News bureau chief in the city of Wei'an, ran into trouble recently after he reported on the costly brand of luxury cigarettes favored by local officials. He announced on his microblog that the paper suspended him soon after, according to the U.S. government-funded Radio Free...

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The New York Times takes on China's censors

July 2, 2012 4:55 PM ET

Well, that didn't take long. Just days after The New York Times' soft launch of its Chinese-language edition and accompanying microblog accounts, Berkeley-based China Digital Times website reports that the @nytchinese Sina Weibo feed is no longer accessible in China, along with two accounts hosted by Netease and Sohu. We...

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Can Pakistan's corrupt media be checked?

June 29, 2012 3:02 PM ET

With ratings driving the profits of media channels, journalists and political talk show hosts are being motivated to stir up controversy at any cost. Meanwhile, the professionals who believe in credibility, objectivity, and honesty as essential parts of ethical journalism are becoming sidelined....

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What China's Weibo censorship does, and does not, reveal

June 28, 2012 4:01 PM ET

A flurry of research on Weibo censorship underscores what we already know about the Chinese company Sina's microblog service--with a few surprises thrown in. ...

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What to do if Google warns of state-sponsored attack

June 22, 2012 12:55 PM ET

Some journalists continue to receive the warning from Google about state-sponsored attacks that we mentioned last week. The message appears on top of logged-in services like Gmail. Occasionally it will disappear for a few hours and then reappear, but there is no way to remove it....

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Dangerous disease--the unexpected threat

June 21, 2012 1:03 PM ET

Last week, Tarun Sehrawat, a 22-year-old Indian photographer for Tehelka magazine, died from cerebral malaria and its complications, according to several of his colleagues and media accounts. He had returned, ill, from a shooting assignment with Tehelka's reporter Tusha Mittal in May. The team had been covering the ongoing Maoist revolt...

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Don't punish Chinese restrictions with more restrictions

June 21, 2012 10:31 AM ET

The Committee to Protect Journalists is watching with concern the progress of H.R. 2899, the Chinese Media Reciprocity Act of 2011, which is under discussion Wednesday in front of the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. The bill seeks to reduce the number of visas available to journalists (and their...

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Al-Arabiya news team missing in the Philippines

June 19, 2012 12:56 PM ET

CPJ is monitoring with concern the news coverage of Baker Abdulla Atyani, a Pakistan-based Jordanian Al-Arabiya TV journalist, and his two Philippine crew members, Rolando Letrero and Ramelito Vela, who have been unaccounted for since June 12. Atyani, Letrero, and Vela left their hotel in Jolo, in the southern...

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Spreading the security message

June 14, 2012 2:03 PM ET

Video streaming by UstreamOn the frontlines of global reporting, knowledge is safety. CPJ's event series to promote our new Journalist Security Guide continued Wednesday in Washington, D.C. where we teamed up with Internews for a panel discussion on journalist security on-site and online. ...

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Bangladesh backsliding on press freedom

June 14, 2012 1:01 PM ET

"Bangladeshi democracy [may be] doomed to more of the same," International Crisis Group wrote in a recent commentary. They are describing a longstanding pattern of antagonism between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League and the opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP), which the Crisis Group describes as "a pernicious cycle...

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Brazil restates commitment to press freedom, UN plan

June 13, 2012 12:58 PM ET

CPJ has received an encouraging letter from Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Brazil's permanent representative to the United Nations, affirming the country's support for the UNESCO-led U.N. Plan of Action for Security of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. ...

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Philippines' Aquino demonstrates selective political will

June 13, 2012 10:43 AM ET

Some weeks ago, the body of Esmail Amil Enog was found. The corpse had been chopped to pieces and then thrown together in a sack. Enog was a witness in a grisly massacre in November 2009, which took the lives of 57 people, 32 of them journalists, on a stretch...

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Afghan media is under political and economic pressure

June 11, 2012 4:24 PM ET

Danish Karokhel, who won a CPJ International Press Freedom Award in 2008, messaged this morning concerned that the news agency he runs, Pajhwok Afghan News, and some other media outlets have been referred to the Attorney General's Office by the Ministry of Information and Culture for reporting on an...

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In China, press rights equal press control

June 11, 2012 3:03 PM ET

China's state news agency Xinhua published the full text of the state council's National Human Rights Action Plan 2012-15 on Monday. There is no section dedicated to press freedom. But the most striking omissions can be found in the text itself....

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State-sponsored attacks: open season on online journalists

June 8, 2012 2:39 PM ET

The last few weeks have offered the strongest indications yet that nation-states are using customized software to exploit security flaws on personal computers and consumer Internet services to spy on their users. The countries suspected include the United States, Israel, and China. Journalists should pay attention--not only because this is...

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In Pakistan, UN human rights chief meets with Jahangir

June 7, 2012 1:43 PM ET

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, in opening remarks at her press conference in Islamabad on Thursday, addressed a wide range of problems in Pakistan, including those faced by journalists. (The full statement is on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.) What...

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Google gives Chinese Web users glimpse into censorship

June 5, 2012 3:41 PM ET

In China, people know enough not to take to the streets to commemorate the brutal crackdown on demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Beijing is very quiet in the days before and after June 4. The Internet is a different story....

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In India, imprisoned journalist's plea for help

June 5, 2012 1:13 PM ET

The New Delhi-based Tehelka magazine published an open letter by imprisoned freelance journalist Lingaram Kodopi on Monday. Kodopi, one of the two journalists CPJ documented in prison in India on December 1, 2011, has been held without charge since September 2011 as a suspected associate of insurgent Maoists in Chhattisgarh. His...

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EU, UN officials in Pakistan must make time for Jahangir

June 5, 2012 12:47 PM ET

There is no better time than now for U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton to step out of their tightly planned schedule of meetings in Pakistan and make a trip to the home of human rights activist Asma Jahangir....

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Foreign broadcasters shut down for Cambodian elections

June 4, 2012 4:11 PM ET

How far has democracy advanced in Cambodia? Not very far. Activists from three different political parties died during the 15-day campaign period leading up to the elections, in which the ruling Cambodian People's Party won a large majority of seats, according to a report issued by the Committee for Free...

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How times change in Sri Lanka, and how they don't

June 4, 2012 12:48 PM ET

For a good historical perspective on the abuse of journalists in Sri Lanka, Iqbal Athas, the recipient of a 1994 International Press Freedom Award from CPJ, wrote a center-page spread for the 25th anniversary edition of the Sunday Times, a popular weekly in Colombo. Athas, a critical journalist who...

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Third witness to Maguindanao massacre killed

June 1, 2012 3:34 PM ET

The climate of impunity that fostered the November 23, 2009, massacre of 57 people, including 32 journalists, is alive and well not only on the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, where the massacre took place, but in all of the country. The revelation that the brutalized body of a key...

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A heads-up for Sri Lanka press freedom watchers

June 1, 2012 12:55 PM ET

Former Attorney General Mohan Peiris has been ordered to testify about a statement he made at the U.N. Committee Against Torture in Geneva on November 9, 2011, in which he said that Prageeth Eknelygoda was alive and living outside the country (see "Sri Lanka's savage smokescreen"). Peiris will have to appear...

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Computer crime laws belie Thai claim to modern society

May 31, 2012 5:19 PM ET

At online discussion sites all over the world, comments are posted on the Web as soon as they are written. People argue, inform, express anger, and voice fears. Some say things in the heat of the moment that they might go on to regret. Others are elliptical and obscure. The...

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Free expression in Americas goes beyond left or right

May 31, 2012 3:47 PM ET

On Sunday the general assembly of the Organization of American States will convene in Bolivia in the verdant, highland valley city of Cochabamba. The 35 member states (every nation in the region except Cuba) are expected to vote on a measure that, if passed, could curtail free expression and press...

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23 years after Tiananmen, China is still paying

May 31, 2012 2:23 PM ET

The annual crackdown on commemorations of the June 4 anniversary of the brutal suppression of student-led demonstrations based in Tiananmen Square in 1989 Beijing is under way, according to Agence France-Presse. What's concerning is the number of writers and activists for whom "crackdown" is the new normal....

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Mission tells Nepal: No excuse for deferring press freedom

May 31, 2012 10:34 AM ET

As Nepal's constituent assembly failed to meet Sunday's deadline for the passage of a new constitution, a new report released this week on the risks to Nepal's media should remind political parties that peace and stability are not prerequisites to media freedom but rather that a strong, independent press operating...

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Rising violence in Pakistan's warring Baluchistan

May 30, 2012 2:26 PM ET

The murder of a part-time journalist and a gunfire attack on the house of the president of the Turbat Press Club, both on May 28, underscore the nature of the escalating violence in Baluchistan. According to the Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management, which monitors violence across South Asia, at least...

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Sina 'information credit score' restricts Weibo users

May 29, 2012 4:10 PM ET

Sina's Twitter-like microblog service Weibo has released new guidelines to restrict users who share banned content, according to international news reports. It's the first time such guidelines target users who adopt puns, homonyms, and other veiled references to discuss censored news stories without using keywords on the propaganda department's...

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One year later: Saleem Shahzad's case is buried

May 29, 2012 3:01 PM ET

On May 21 this year, a military court convicted three Pakistani naval officers of negligence and dereliction of duty for their actions during an attack on the main naval airbase in the heart of Karachi on May 22, 2011. After the incident had ended, the military said 10 security...

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Solidarity, a key to security, eludes Salvadoran press

May 25, 2012 10:16 AM ET

No other journalists are remembered quite like this. Visitors looking through the glass display at the Monsignor Romero Center & Martyrs Museum in San Salvador see the pajamas and other clothes that three Jesuit university priests were wearing when they were shot down by automatic rifle fire. A series...

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At CPJ Debrief, Gettleman cites Somalia danger, reward

May 24, 2012 5:57 PM ET

Jeffrey Gettleman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent, says he travels with "a small militia" whenever he reports from Somalia, the East African country afflicted by armed insurgency, poverty, and hunger. As intrusive as the security detail might be, he feels far more fortunate than the local reporters...

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Even by Pakistani standards, a terrible month for press

May 24, 2012 4:02 PM ET

May has been a terrible month for journalists in Pakistan, a country that has ranked as the world's deadliest place for the press for two consecutive years. Two journalists have been killed, two more shot and wounded, and one attacked while in police custody, all in less than a month,...

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No joke: Moves to squelch Pakistani media, again

May 23, 2012 12:07 PM ET

With general elections approaching, the landscape is again bearing eerie resemblance to the final days of General Pervez Musharraf's reign. In November 2007 he banned selected TV channels for 88 days to stifle what he saw as "irresponsible journalism." Now, Pakistani electronic media might be chained again, this time...

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Anti-foreign attitudes bode ill for China correspondents

May 21, 2012 1:34 PM ET

The story of Al-Jazeera English correspondent Melissa Chan's expulsion from China has a disturbing coda. ...

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Don't get your sources in Syria killed

May 21, 2012 11:28 AM ET

Because foreign journalists have been virtually banned from Syria during the uprising against Bashar al-Assad's regime, news coverage has relied heavily on citizen journalists and international reporters working with sources inside the country. Syrians who communicate with foreign news media run the risk of being threatened, detained, tortured, or...

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Sorting out sanctions, censorship, sincerity in Burma

May 18, 2012 6:59 PM ET

On Thursday, the United States rolled back prohibitions against American companies doing business in Burma. The announcement marked the latest diplomatic reward given to President Thein Sein's quasi-civilian government for initiating reforms in what has historically been a military-run country. In making the announcement, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary...

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Signs of change in North Korea

May 17, 2012 5:56 PM ET

CPJ may have raised some eyebrows with this year's list of the world's 10 most censored countries. North Korea was relegated to the number two slot, behind Eritrea. In our last ranking, in 2006, we ranked North Korea as the worst, and many other organizations continue to do that....

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Sri Lanka Supreme Court slams door on websites

May 17, 2012 11:52 AM ET

On Wednesday, Sri Lanka's Supreme Court slammed the door on a case about the shutdown of four websites that had failed to register with the government. In handing down its decision, the Court appeared to rule that freedom of expression in Sri Lanka is not an absolute right and can...

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Chinese microblog regulates, suspends users--again

May 10, 2012 3:40 PM ET

Pity those of us who monitor the ups and downs of China's popular microblog platform, Sina Weibo. For every story its users spread in defiance of local censorship, there follows a clampdown. Whether it's the latest strike against rumors, or real name registration, or newly banned keywords, there's always...

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Should J-School grads just get up and go overseas?

May 10, 2012 1:05 PM ET

The guidance is hardly clear. At a Columbia University event last week pegged to the release of the new CPJ Journalist Security Guide, one journalism student said he and his classmates are getting contradictory advice. Many J-school professors, he said, have encouraged him and others to just get up,...

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Attack shows all reporters at risk in Vietnam

May 9, 2012 10:57 AM ET

Recent physical assault on two state media reporters in Vietnam underscores the risks of reporting on increasingly sensitive land issues in the communist-ruled country. The attack on the reporters signals a potential extension of the media crackdown that until now has targeted mainly unsanctioned journalists and bloggers....

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China ducks questions about Al-Jazeera expulsion

May 8, 2012 5:50 PM ET

"The Beijing branch of Al-Jazeera is still functioning normally." This was not an auspicious reaction to the news that Al-Jazeera English has closed its Beijing bureau after being refused journalist visas. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Hong Lei's responses at today's press conference did not improve from there, according...

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In UK talks, some practical solutions for Pakistani press

May 8, 2012 2:36 PM ET

Amid political tumult in Islamabad, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and a team of six ministers are in London for far-ranging meetings today through May 13. The Pakistan-U.K. Enhanced Strategic Dialogue will review education, health, defense, security, and cultural cooperation. CPJ has written a letter to Prime Minister...

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China's media footprint in Kenya

May 7, 2012 4:17 PM ET

Will China's quickly expanding media presence in Africa result in a fresh, alternative, and balanced perspective on the continent--much as Al-Jazeera altered the broadcast landscape with the launch of its English service in 2006--or will it be essentially an exercise in propaganda?...

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In digital security, knowledge and simplicity are keys

May 3, 2012 3:02 PM ET

Governments and criminal organizations are stepping up digital surveillance of journalists, but the press is not keeping pace in meeting the challenge, a panel of experts said Wednesday at an event marking the launch of the CPJ Journalist Security Guide. Reporters are using unsecure consumer electronic products for sensitive...

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Most censored nations each distort the Net in own way

May 2, 2012 4:00 PM ET

One big reason for the Internet's success is its role as a universal standard, interoperable across the world. The data packets that leave your computer in Botswana are the same as those which arrive in Barbados. The same is increasingly true of modern mobile networks. Standards are converging: You...

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China's media conditions threaten Chen Guangcheng

May 2, 2012 3:18 PM ET

The battle over blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng's freedom and well-being is a battle over information. Both Chinese and U.S. officials are trying to spin the story their way. A few activists and media claim to speak for Chen, and in China's anti-press environment they are putting themselves at risk....

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China not most censored, but may be most ambitious

May 2, 2012 2:10 PM ET

China didn't make the cut for our 10 most censored countries. While the Chinese Communist Party's censorship apparatus is notorious, journalists and Internet users work hard to overcome the restrictions. Nations like Eritrea and North Korea lack that dynamism....

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Safer mobile use is key issue for journalists

May 2, 2012 2:00 PM ET

As the Internet and mobile communications become more integrated into reporters' work, the digital threats to journalists' work and safety have increased as well. While many press reports have documented Internet surveillance and censorship--and the efforts to combat them--mobile communications are the new frontline for journalist security....

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New film "High Tech, Low Life" on Chinese bloggers

May 1, 2012 5:36 PM ET

"High Tech, Low Life," a new documentary about Chinese bloggers directed by Stephen Maing, debuted at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival in New York on April 19. It documents the lives of Zola (Zhou Shuguang) and Tiger Temple (Zhang Shihe), as they blur the lines of citizen journalism and...

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For conflict journalists, a need for first-aid training

April 30, 2012 4:41 PM ET

Stop the bleeding. It's a critical and fundamental step in aiding a journalist or anyone wounded in conflict. Hemorrhage is the number one preventable death on the battlefield. And yet large numbers of journalists covering wars and political unrest all across the world are untrained in this life-saving skill....

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Blind lawyer spurs news blackout in China

April 30, 2012 4:20 PM ET

News of blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng has been censored for months. International news reports of his escape last week from incarceration in his home in Linyi, Shandong--apparently to U.S. protection, although his whereabouts remain unclear--has only intensified that censorship. That is unlikely to stop discussion among those familiar with...

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Verdict postponed in landmark Thai Internet freedom case

April 30, 2012 1:53 PM ET

Earlier today, press and human rights groups from around the world heard that the decision in the case of Chiranuch "Jiew" Premchaiporn, the manager of Thai online news site Prachatai, was being delayed yet another month. Chiranuch is charged under Thailand's Computer Crime Act for 10 counts of not deleting...

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Why journalists need new ways to stay safe

April 26, 2012 6:00 PM ET

After the Salvadoran online newsmagazine El Faro exposed a secret government deal with criminal gangs last month, its staff faced repercussions that illustrate the new and complicated risks facing journalists worldwide. El Faro's report, which said the government provided more lenient treatment of imprisoned gangsters in exchange for the...

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Afghan journalist's death must lead to better combat rules

April 25, 2012 3:05 PM ET

Wednesday, the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) released its report, "Death of an Uruzgan Journalist: Command Errors and Collateral Damage," by Kate Clark on the July 2011 shooting death of journalist Omaid Khpalwak. Clark's details on how Khpalwak died corroborate and then go beyond the investigation already conducted by the U.S.-led...

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French former hostage ready to go back to the front line

April 25, 2012 12:25 PM ET

"Of course you have to go to Afghanistan or to Syria," said French TV reporter Hervé Ghesquière, who was held hostage for 547 days in Afghanistan together with his cameraman, Stéphane Taponier, between December 2010 and June 2011....

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In Sri Lanka: Protecting Peiris, hounding victim's family

April 25, 2012 12:00 PM ET

The magistrate's hearings into the January 24, 2010, disappearance of opposition journalist and cartoonist Prageeth Eknelygoda continue at a tortuously slow pace. A correspondent in Colombo shared the details of the April 24 hearing, where Eknelygoda's wife, Sandhya, and the couple's two teenage sons continue to press for any news of...

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Another Pakistan attack, this one online

April 20, 2012 4:00 PM ET

The Friday Times in Lahore has come under cyberattack. Earlier Friday, its website could not be accessed. Najam Sethi, the paper's editor, told CPJ that someone has "launched an attack on the websites of both The Friday Times and Vanguard Books [the book publishing and distribution company that owns the...

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Indian justice grinds slowly, but not so finely

April 20, 2012 1:25 PM ET

First, a bit of history: In 2008, CPJ reported: The high court in the western state of Gujarat defended the media, rebuking a prosecutor for demanding state regulation of newspaper content. The prosecution sought restrictions after the Ahmedabad police commissioner filed sedition charges against a Times of India editor and...

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Murtaza Razvi, and what should come next

April 20, 2012 12:12 PM ET

The ceremony for Murtaza Razvi was held in Karachi Friday. Even as more details of the killing of one of the Dawn Media Group's most senior journalists emerge, it's difficult to discern a motive. Several Pakistani media quoted an anonymous police official as saying, "We are investigating into the...

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Pakistani court says website blocking violates constitution

April 19, 2012 11:13 AM ET

When CPJ covered the Pakistani government's attempt to build a massive censorship system for the country's Internet in February, we noted a key problem with such huge blocking systems: they are, at heart, democratically unaccountable....

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Internet giants submit to external free expression scrutiny

April 18, 2012 4:46 PM ET

Journalists and bloggers in authoritarian countries have their work cut out thwarting governments that try to restrict their writing and reporting. The last thing they need to worry about is the provider of their publication platform helping authorities with censorship or surveillance. Cue the Global Network Initiative (GNI), a voluntary...

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Brazil, Pakistan, India fail test on journalist murders

April 17, 2012 12:00 AM ET

Brazil, Pakistan, and India--three nations with high numbers of unsolved journalist murders--failed an important test last month in fighting the scourge of impunity. Delegates from the three countries took the lead in raising objections to a U.N. plan that would strengthen international efforts to combat deadly anti-press violence....

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Pakistan's response to UNESCO shows true colors

April 17, 2012 12:00 AM ET

In case there was any doubt about the stance of Pakistani authorities on the murder of journalists, UNESCO's 28th biennial session offered an instructive insight. In addition to discussing the U.N. Draft Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity during the meeting, held...

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On Philippines' canvas of injustice, anything goes

April 17, 2012 12:00 AM ET

Romeo Olea's unsolved murder is tragically typical of media killings in the Philippines. Before his death, the radio commentator had received anonymous threats over his reports on local government corruption....

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With impunity, more danger ahead for Pakistani press

April 17, 2012 12:00 AM ET

Pakistani journalists are under threat, and the public is paying the price. The most recent report from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan includes a detailed chapter on freedom of expression, which ties growing suppression to rising incidence of violence and threats against news media. Not coincidentally, Pakistan sits...

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Chinese censors target tomatoes amid Bo Xilai scandal

April 11, 2012 2:42 PM ET

Chongqing hotpot = King of the Southwest = King Who Pacifies the West = Minister of Yu = Tomato What do these words have in common? They are all coded references to Bo Xilai, the disgraced former Communist Party leader in southwestern Chongqing, and they were all censored in China...

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A Pakistani 'sword of Damocles' in the making?

April 2, 2012 4:45 PM ET

Given that it is usually punishable by death, "treason" is a dangerous word to bandy about. When it is applied to journalists, it is even more worrisome. We've seen that in Sri Lanka, which is in the throes of a backlash against a U.N. resolution on past human rights abuses....

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Wary about Burma? So are others

April 2, 2012 1:57 PM ET

Amid the rush to see changes in Burma as an inexorable move toward full democracy--Aung San Suu Kyi's electoral victory over the weekend is certainly cause for hope--CPJ has maintained a healthy skepticism about media reform in Burma. Shawn Crispin's "In Burma, press freedom remains an illusion," posted on Friday,...

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In Burma, press freedom remains an illusion

March 30, 2012 11:16 AM ET

Just ahead of this weekend's highly anticipated Burma by-elections, opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi today denounced the vote as not "free and fair." Indeed, Thein Sein government's harassment of opposition media in the run-up to the polls raises disturbing questions about the country's reputed new democratic direction after...

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Mumbai police, media have failed Jyotirmoy Dey

March 29, 2012 2:32 PM ET

New Delhi-based Tehelka weekly news magazine has published a scathing indictment of the police investigation into the 2011 killing of Mumbai crime reporter Jyotirmoy Dey--and of the Indian media's coverage of it. Beneath the allegations and the rumors, we still don't know exactly why he was killed, while the...

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In the Philippines, two murders that should be solved

March 28, 2012 2:47 PM ET

The investigation into the notorious murder of muckraking Philippine journalist Marlene Garcia-Esperat in Mindanao is now seven years old. A separate hunt for conspirators in the January 2011 killing of Palawan radio journalist Gerardo Ortega is just getting started. The Regional Trial Court in Puerto Princesa City issued arrest...

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How to stop rumors in China: Stop censorship

March 27, 2012 2:09 PM ET

The sacking of Chongqing party leader Bo Xilai has sparked some entertaining gossip this month, leaving journalists covering China with the difficult task of reporting on unconfirmed reports. The Chinese government blames the international media, not its own lack of transparency and comprehensive censorship apparatus, for the burgeoning rumors. ...

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Eknelygoda's wife latest victim of Sri Lankan intolerance

March 26, 2012 2:04 PM ET

On Thursday and Friday, we wrote about the ugly government backlash to last week's U.N. Human Rights Council resolution calling for an investigation into Sri Lanka's alleged abuses of international humanitarian law during its war with Tamil separatists....

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Amid Sri Lankan denial, threats rise for journalists

March 23, 2012 2:15 PM ET

In the wake of the U.N. Human Rights Council resolution calling for an investigation into Sri Lanka's alleged abuses of international humanitarian law during its war with Tamil separatists, the government has resorted to outright threats of violence against journalists who might dare to return home after taking part...

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Ahmed Rashid on U.S. policy in South Asia

March 22, 2012 10:00 AM ET

At Columbia University on Monday evening, CPJ board member Ahmed Rashid held forth to a full house in a conversation with Steve Coll about U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If you're reading this blog, there's most likely no need to explain who Rashid is--or Coll, for that matter....

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As Chinese politician censored, exiled journalist triumphs

March 19, 2012 3:27 PM ET

The political ouster of Bo Xilai, Chinese Communist Party top dog in the major southwestern city of Chongqing, has been making headlines around the world. Bo notoriously silenced critics like investigative journalist Jiang Weiping, but the shoe is now on the other foot, at least for a while.Many China...

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Four years on, wife calls for Tibetan filmmaker's release

March 16, 2012 3:48 PM ET

Lhamo Tso has not spoken to her husband Dhondup Wangchen since March 17, 2008. She, their four children, and his elderly parents live in India, and hear of him only when his sister visits the Xichuan Prison in Qinghai province, western China, where he is serving six years. Through...

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Sri Lanka media restrictions come amid rise in abductions

March 15, 2012 1:45 PM ET

On March 9, Sri Lanka's military authorities told all news and media organizations that they would have to get prior approval before releasing text or SMS news alerts containing any news about the military or police....

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Arrest in bombing case prompts scrutiny in India

March 9, 2012 5:02 PM ET

To many in the Indian media community, the arrest of independent journalist Syed Mohammad Kazmi by the Delhi police's Special Cell on March 6 for his alleged involvement in a bombing brings back troublesome memories....

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Will China's new detention law matter? Ask Zhang Mingyu

March 8, 2012 6:09 PM ET

"Zhang Mingyu isn't out of danger yet." These words, posted at 7:37 p.m. Wednesday on the Sina Weibo account of Chongqing property developer Zhang Mingyu after his detention by police, mark the latest twist in a story of political intrigue leading up to this week's legislative meetings in Beijing. As...

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Journalists at work in China: Tibet and Beijing edition

March 7, 2012 6:00 PM ET

China media analysts are looking to two significant events to shape coverage this month: The anniversary of a failed uprising in Tibet, and the annual meetings of China's top political bodies, the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing. Journalists at work in both...

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On board the election bus in China's Wukan

March 2, 2012 2:24 PM ET

Village elections taking place this weekend in southern Guangdong province's Wukan illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of China's media control. Censorship measures have not prevented strong domestic and international coverage of the democratic process. But has official tolerance of dissenting views increased since leaders cracked down on the attempted...

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'Invisible Tibet' blogger elicits China's extra-judicial ire

March 1, 2012 4:07 PM ET

Beijing-based blogger Woeser reported on her website Invisible Tibet today that she has been confined to her residence by Beijing public security officers who are stationed outside her home. Woeser, an outspoken critic of Chinese government policies in Tibet, has written about a series of recent self-immolations among monks...

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Two years after Nepal murder, no progress, mission finds

March 1, 2012 2:31 PM ET

On the evening of March 1, 2010, Arun Singhaniya, owner of Janakpur Today newspaper and Janakpur Today Radio, stepped out of a prayer service during a holy celebration in Janakpur, Nepal's second largest city. A gunman on a motorcycle shot and killed the news proprietor, making him the second...

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Ethnic violence renews information clampdown in China

February 29, 2012 3:37 PM ET

Two months into 2012, all-too-familiar stories are emerging from China's troubled minority regions, Tibet and Xinjiang. Following riots against Chinese rule in 2008 and 2009, violence and its corollaries--increased security and censorship--have become commonplace. Independent bloggers and journalists who cover the unrest pay a high price: Over half the...

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Bangladeshi journalists call for justice in couple's murder

February 27, 2012 3:38 PM ET

On February 11, two Bangladeshi television journalists, Meherun Runi and her husband Golam Mustofa Sarowar, were murdered in their Dhaka home. Their 5-year-old son found their bodies. No arrests have yet been made and no motive has been publicly disclosed, although police claim they know why the couple was...

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No joke: Malaysian cartoonist stands up to government

February 27, 2012 3:19 PM ET

Tuesday marks the next step in a legal faceoff between Malaysian authorities and the well-known political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, also known as Zunar. Hearings will resume in civil lawsuit filed by Zunar that challenges the legality of his arrest and detention in September 2010. Malaysian police arrested him...

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Recalling Marie Colvin, the 'greatest of our generation'

February 23, 2012 3:41 PM ET

In her final hours, Marie Colvin gave this damning report to CNN's Anderson Cooper. Bravery, generosity, and commitment: These are the three characteristics of Marie Colvin that have surfaced, again and again, in the many tributes spoken and published since the veteran Sunday Times reporter was killed Wednesday in...

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Threats and menace: Pakistan's war on words

February 21, 2012 11:40 PM ET

In Pakistan, the term "a war of words" can take on a menacing dimension beyond the metaphorical. Words--written, spoken, or reported--regularly land journalists in trouble, a very literal, physical sort of trouble. Reporters have become accustomed to being threatened, and over the years they've seen threats sometimes build to...

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Threats to Pakistani journalists don't let up

February 14, 2012 5:05 PM ET

In the last few days, messages from two journalists in Pakistan have made me realize that I can't turn away from publicizing the threats they are facing, because they just keep coming. ...

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Archaic media policies make China a poor partner

February 14, 2012 3:25 PM ET

President Obama has promised to raise issues of human rights when he and his administration meet with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in the next day. After that, Xi, billed as China's next leader, is expected to make some speeches, visit a few factories, stop at the Pentagon, sign...

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Brazil set to test Twitter's selective blocking policy

February 10, 2012 4:52 PM ET

I've been telling reporters that Twitter's new national blocking policy was like Chekhov's gun. Its recent appearance inevitably prefigured its future use....

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Old issues, new debates on Internet freedom in India

February 10, 2012 3:09 PM ET

Just how free should the Internet be in India? And whose job is it to police the Web? Two recent court cases turn on these questions and, more specifically, whether Internet companies have a responsibility to filter content. In a country where Internet usage is growing exponentially, but where the...

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India: Let us in!

February 10, 2012 11:25 AM ET

In 2005, we deliberately violated the immigration laws of India. We broke the law by producing a documentary film even though we had entered the country on a tourist visa. We broke the law because we wanted to show that Scandinavian companies were in violation of many other laws...

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In high-tech China, low-tech media control works too

February 9, 2012 2:24 PM ET

China's investment in high-tech Internet surveillance technology is well known, and the byzantine rules of its Central Propaganda Department have inspired books and academic treatises. But among the many tools in the box for media control, there's one that's very simple and low-tech: Keep journalists away....

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Chinese media little help with Chongqing mystery

February 8, 2012 5:40 PM ET

The website of Xinhua News, China's state media flagship, leads today with EU's threats of sanctions against Syria. Elsewhere on their Chinese-language site, one can read about Wen Jiabao's remarks to the visiting Canadian prime minister, or look at photos of pretty white ladies lounging around, if that's your...

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What's behind India's Internet censorship?

February 8, 2012 5:35 PM ET

We have been posting a lot about the challenges facing the Internet in India recently--see Mannika Chopra's "India struggles to cope with growing Internet penetration." On Tuesday, Angela Saini, a guest blogger on The Guardian's Comment Is Free site, posted "Internet censorship could damage India's democracy," with the subhead "Google...

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Pakistan's Abbas: Journalists hostage to 'power of gun'

February 7, 2012 1:42 PM ET

CPJ award winner Mazhar Abbas penned a strong Sunday op-ed piece, "Death is the only news--Challenges of working in conflict zones," for The News. It's about conditions for journalists working in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Baluchistan. As Abbas says, "The killing of one journalist is a...

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Can selective blocking pre-empt wider censorship?

February 3, 2012 5:14 PM ET

Last week, Twitter provoked a fierce debate online when it announced a new capability--and related policy--to hide tweets on a country-specific basis. By building this feature into its website's basic code, Twitter said it hoped to offer a more tailored response to legal demands to remove tweets globally. The...

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Does the Internet boost freedom? We decide, book says

February 2, 2012 5:22 PM ET

The Internet doesn't bring freedom. Not automatically, anyway. That's one of the main messages of Rebecca MacKinnon's new book, Consent of the Networked, which had its New York launch at the offices of the New America Foundation last night. In a conversation with CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker, MacKinnon,...

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India's challenge: Intolerance vs. intellectual freedom

January 31, 2012 4:59 PM ET

Because of criticism from Hindu fundamentalists, the showing of a documentary by filmmaker Sanjay Kak at the Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce in Pune has been indefinitely postponed. The conservative student organization Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parisha protested Kak's film, "Jashn-e-Azadi" (How we celebrate freedom), which is critical of...

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Chinese press has impact, against the odds

January 30, 2012 4:06 PM ET

In China, state control over the media hasn't become more lax in recent years. Each year brings a new excuse for Communist Party censors to tighten the screws. The year of the rabbit brought the Arab Spring, and fears of a Jasmine Revolution. The year of the dragon brings...

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Can an Indian cartoonist be barred from mocking the state?

January 30, 2012 3:37 PM ET

The case of a cartoonist charged with treason and offending India's national sentiments reflects a growing debate over what constitutes freedom of expression in India. His accusers argue that while it is permissible to make fun of politicians, you cannot make fun of the state. Not everyone agrees....

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Black January? A foreign plot, says Sri Lankan government

January 25, 2012 3:46 PM ET

On Monday, I wrote about two demonstrations scheduled for Sri Lanka this week. Both were meant to commemorate the ugly string of anti-press attacks in recent Januaries, which has included journalists killed and abducted, television stations bombed, websites attacked, and media offices torched. But Wednesday's Black January effort, publicized...

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Mazhar Abbas: Shahzad was no Pearl

January 24, 2012 2:22 PM ET

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl in Karachi on January 23, 2002. On February 21 of that year, a video of his beheading was released. In the wake of the judicial inquiry into the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad, veteran...

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In Sri Lanka, Eknelygoda asks that humanity trump cruelty

January 23, 2012 5:28 PM ET

A couple of weeks ago, I described the terrible incidence of anti-press abuse that has come each recent January in Sri Lanka. Media activists have come to call the month "Black January" for good reason, as this email message details: ...

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Oprah's guards not only ones to assail Indian journalists

January 19, 2012 2:11 PM ET

Oprah Winfrey's first visit to India brought delighted coverage by the Indian media. Her meetings and tweetings with Bollywood stars, her bright orange sari, and her trips to slums and to the Taj Mahal were lovingly detailed by newspapers and TV outlets in that country. ...

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Mukarram Khan Aatif, a fearless reporter and friend

January 19, 2012 1:16 PM ET

It was in January four years ago that nearly 100 journalists from all over Pakistan got together to launch a new TV channel in Lahore, Dunya TV. That was where I first met Mukarram Khan Aatif, our reporter from Mohmand....

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Freedom with limits in Burma

January 19, 2012 11:21 AM ET

When President Thein Sein pardoned over 300 political prisoners last week in Burma, CPJ reported that at least nine journalists were among those released. Since then, the exile-run Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) has announced that all of its jailed reporters, including a group of eight who had remained...

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A deeper reading: Umar Cheema on the Shahzad report

January 18, 2012 3:47 PM ET

With the shooting of Mukarram Khan Aatif on Tuesday, the once high-profile case of Saleem Shahzad has almost been overtaken by events. The day before Aatif's death, Umar Cheema had sent me a link to his analysis of the judicial inquiry into the killing of Saleem Shahzad....

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One year on: Remembering Wali Khan Babar

January 13, 2012 1:12 PM ET

Today is the first anniversary of the killing of Geo TV broadcast reporter Wali Khan Babar in Karachi, a case that has almost been forgotten, particularly in the shadow of the release of the judicial inquiry into the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad. The report on Shahzad has been...

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Fiji's emergency ends, but media oppression continues

January 11, 2012 4:26 PM ET

Fiji's military leadership on Saturday lifted emergency regulations it had been using to stymie the country's press since 2009, according to local government websites. Good news? Maybe. Yet the regime still restricts the media, and anyone else who dares to question the legitimacy of the 2006 coup that brought its...

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No culprits named in Shahzad investigation, media reports

January 11, 2012 2:02 PM ET

About six months after it was launched, the commission investigating the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad submitted its report to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday. In the past, the government has not released results of such investigations into the deaths of journalists, but there might be an exception...

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The HRCP's call to address threats against journalists

January 10, 2012 2:23 PM ET

A quick pointer to a statement issued by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Monday: It said, in part, that "The HRCP is alarmed at reports of threats received by journalists on account of their work." The commission asked the government to ensure that threats to journalists end and...

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Sri Lanka's woeful January way-points

January 9, 2012 4:28 PM ET

For Sri Lankan journalists, January might be the cruelest month. In January 2011, Sonali Samarasinghe wrote about the death of her husband Lasantha Wickramatunga two years earlier on January 8, 2009. In January 2010 I reported in "Sri Lanka: A year later, still failing to fight media attacks" about the...

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