CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Frank Smyth

Frank Smyth is CPJ’s senior adviser for journalist security. He has reported on armed conflicts, organized crime, and human rights from nations including El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Cuba, Rwanda, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Jordan, and Iraq. Follow him on Twitter @JournoSecurity.

Press Club honors jailed Iranian Kouhyar Goudarzi

November 11, 2010 4:53 PM ET

The National Press Club next week will honor an Iranian journalist who is languishing in prison. Kouhyar Goudarzi, an online reporter and human rights activist, was pursuing an aerospace degree at Sharif Industrial University when security agents put him behind bars, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights...

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In U.S., dangerous misconceptions from TSA poster

October 1, 2010 10:11 AM ET

Back in 2004, Iraqi gunmen loyal to the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr abducted U.S. freelance photographer Paul Taggert because, as they later told The Associated Press, they thought he was a spy. Now, a new poster from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration reinforces dangerous misconceptions by depicting a photographer...

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Jammeh 'award' coverage reflects chill in Gambian press

September 24, 2010 3:26 PM ET

"President Jammeh bags 4 awards," trumpeted a September 17 headline of the Daily Observer, a pro-government newspaper in the Gambia, a West African nation whose idyllic façade as "the smiling coast of Africa" is maintained in part by President Yahyah Jammeh's brutal repression of the independent press. ...

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Hollman Morris, labeled 'terrorist,' finally Harvard-bound

July 27, 2010 4:35 PM ET

For a month, U.S. officials in Bogotá told Colombian journalist Hollman Morris that his request for a U.S. visa to study at Harvard as a prestigious Nieman Fellow had been denied on grounds relating to terrorist activities as defined by the U.S. Patriot Act, and that the decision was...

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Global Media Forum cites risks of environmental reporting

July 1, 2010 10:33 AM ET

He's young, unemployed and carries himself with the innocence of a man who hasn't spent much time outside his own village. But Egyptian blogger Tamer Mabrouk is the real deal. Appearing at an international media conference in Bonn, Mabrouk's description of chemical dumping into a brackish lagoon on the northern...

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‘Crude’ filmmaker’s raw footage subject to subpoena

May 7, 2010 3:01 PM ET

A filmmaker’s raw footage is much like a photographer’s unedited images or a reporter’s notebooks—a private record of their reporting that is rarely disclosed to others. On Thursday, a federal judge in New York ruled that a private firm could subpoena the unedited footage used to make a news...

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Press freedom has a good day: WPFD, the Daniel Pearl Act

May 4, 2010 12:47 PM ET

Yesterday was a good one for press freedom. “The United States joins the international community in celebrating World Press Freedom Day,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a statement. “Wherever independent media are under threat, accountable governance and human freedom are undermined.” She went on to defend harassed or jailed bloggers in...

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FOIA needs new muscle behind it, not just promises

April 26, 2010 10:51 AM ET

These are busy days for Freedom of Information. On April 5, the watchdog Web site that knows no borders, WikiLeaks, posted a classified U.S. military video showing U.S. forces firing on Iraqi civilians, killing many, including two Reuters journalists, as well as wounding children. Two days later, the Pentagon posted a redacted U.S. military assessment of the same...

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