Avi Asher-Schapiro

Avi Asher-Schapiro is CPJ's research associate for North America. He is a former staffer at VICE News, International Business Times, and Tribune Media, and an independent investigative reporter who has published in outlets including The Atlantic, The Intercept, and The New York Times.

CPJ Blog

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Puerto Rican journalists navigate street protests, police reaction

July 23, 2019 11:27 AM ET

In a Q&A with CPJ, broadcast reporter Jesús Rivera Martinez talks about the climate for journalists amid protests calling for the resignation of Puerto Rico's governor, Ricardo Rosselló....

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Tech journalists troubled by Assange computer intrusion charge

June 20, 2019 1:15 PM ET

The Trump administration's decision to charge Julian Assange with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act has generated significant controversy. One legal expert described it as "crossing a "constitutional Rubicon." CPJ warned that the indictment could be the opening salvo in a broader attack on First Amendment journalistic protections....

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Supreme Court could limit FOIA, curtail investigative reporting

April 18, 2019 3:32 PM ET

It's been over eight years since Jonathan Ellis, an investigative reporter at the Argus Leader, filed what he thought was a routine Freedom of Information Act request. He wanted five years of reimbursement data from the Agriculture Department (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)--a program that helps people with...

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NSO Group responds to spyware abuse allegations with spin

March 27, 2019 1:41 PM ET

Entering the terms "NSO Group," "journalists," and "spying" into a Google search from a workstation in New York City recently produced a sponsored search result at the top of the page. The NSO Group manufactures some of the world's most sophisticated and high-profile spyware, and its sponsored link invites...

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Leak prosecutions under Trump chill national security beat

March 6, 2019 3:08 PM ET

When President Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general, William Barr, was asked at his confirmation hearing in January whether he would ever consider jailing a journalist, Barr paused for about eight seconds, then said he could "conceive of a situation" where a journalist is jailed as a "last resort."...

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How the Saudis may have spied on Jamal Khashoggi

October 31, 2018 10:33 AM ET

Omar Abdulaziz, a 27-year-old Saudi Arabian dissident, can still remember the time Jamal Khashoggi, the storied Saudi journalist, unfollowed him on Twitter. It was in 2015, and Khashoggi had been tapped to head a new TV network called Al-Arab, a partnership between a member of the royal family and...

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Google complicity in Chinese censorship could endanger press freedom elsewhere

August 17, 2018 1:45 PM ET

In 2010, after four years of offering Chinese users a heavily censored version of its search engine, Google decided it would no longer block search results at the request of the Chinese state. "Our objection is to those forces of totalitarianism," Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder, told The New York...

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By suing WikiLeaks, DNC could endanger principles of press freedom

May 29, 2018 10:53 AM ET

In 1993, WILK radio host Frederick Vopper broadcast a conversation intercepted by an illegal wiretap and sent anonymously to the Pennsylvania radio station, in which two teachers union officials discussed violent negotiating tactics. The officials sued Vopper, arguing that he should be liable for the illegal wiretap that captured...

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Journalists covering US white supremacists must weigh risks to selves and families

March 15, 2018 11:04 AM ET

Michael Edison Hayden was one of the first foreign journalists on the ground after the Nepalese earthquake in 2015-- the "ground was still shaking" when he arrived, he said. He's reported from the disputed territory between India and Pakistan in Kashmir, and gone door-to-door in Phoenix, searching for a...

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Weinstein-BlackCube surveillance claim exposes aggressive tactics to kill a story

February 7, 2018 2:26 PM ET

Those with deep pockets can go to great lengths to push back against journalism they find objectionable. Billionaire Peter Thiel deployed a team of lawyers in a move that bankrupted the news site Gawker in 2016--and last month President Donald Trump's lawyers tried to block the publication of an...

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