CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Joel Simon

Joel Simon is the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. He has written widely on media issues, contributing to Slate, Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Review of Books, World Policy Journal, Asahi Shimbun, and The Times of India. He has led numerous international missions to advance press freedom. His book, The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom, was published in November 2014. Follow him on Twitter @Joelcpj. His public GPG encryption key can be found here.

2010


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CPJ Press Freedom Awardee: 'I always wanted answers'

November 18, 2010 5:55 PM ET

The last few weeks have been extremely busy for everyone at CPJ as we've been preparing for the 2010 International Press Freedom Awards. Today's press conference in Washington will be followed by a series of events culminating in our awards ceremony Tuesday in New York. As always, the awardees...

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Alfredo Corchado: 'Trust No One'

November 11, 2010 11:02 AM ET

On Monday, the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington hosted a panel discussion on the press freedom crisis in Mexico. Carlos Lauría and I spoke about CPJ report "Silence or Death in the Mexican Press" and the results of our meeting in September with President Felipe Calderón. Dolía Estevez described the...

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Help journalists in need: An appeal

November 9, 2010 10:55 AM ET

Mikhail Beketov is lucky to be alive, although I'm sure there are days when he doesn't think so. On November 13, 2008, the environmental reporter who campaigned against a highway that would have destroyed a forest in Khimki, a town outside Moscow, was beaten nearly to death by men...

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Remembering Philippine prosecutor Leo Dacera

November 8, 2010 12:22 PM ET

Leo Dacera, a senior state prosecutor and head of the witness protection program for the Philippine Department of Justice, died suddenly on November 4. Initial news reports said Dacera, 54, left, was the victim of an apparent heart attack. Dacera's untimely death is a tremendous blow to all those...

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Obiang prize suspended indefinitely

October 21, 2010 12:55 PM ET

The Obiang prize, named for and funded by one of Africa's most notorious dictators, was a very poor idea from the start and our goal, bluntly, was to kill it. We didn't quite succeed in getting an outright cancellation, but the prize, while technically alive, is in a deep coma...

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Mission Journal: A visit to Russia's Supreme Court

October 19, 2010 12:33 PM ET

At the end of our recent mission to Moscow, our delegation squeezed in one final official meeting. Vyacheslav M. Lebedev, the chief justice of Russia's Supreme Court, had sent word only the night before that he would receive us. The meeting had been brokered by Aleksei Venediktov, the legendary...

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As with Norgrove, a need to probe Munadi death

October 11, 2010 3:03 PM ET

This morning, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that British aid worker Linda Norgrove, who died in a rescue attempt after she was taken hostage in Afghanistan, may have been killed by a U.S. grenade rather than by her Taliban captors, as originally reported....

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Mission Journal: Calderón sees a national threat

September 26, 2010 5:32 PM ET

Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa had a message to deliver and it wasn't about press freedom. After hearing the concerns presented by a joint delegation from CPJ and the Miami-based Inter American Press Association last week, the president wanted us to know something: He didn't go looking for a fight against...

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Attacks on the rise in India’s Orissa state

August 3, 2010 9:09 AM ET

Everything, it seems, is growing in India. Bucking global trends, India’s media are expanding rapidly, reaching into the hinterlands following a wave of development and growing literacy. Industrial development is expanding, with explosive growth of mining and natural resource extraction. In Orissa state, historically poor and restive, these two trends are...

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Three hikers in Iran, one year on

July 27, 2010 3:27 PM ET

On July 30, three American hikers in Iran will have endured an entire year in custody, held without charge or a modicum of due process. This is obviously a terrible injustice, so much so that it surprises me when I mention their situation to skeptical friends or colleagues who believe that...

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UNESCO's dictator prize put on hold

June 16, 2010 12:09 PM ET

Irina Bokova, UNESCO's director-general, delivered a firm message on Tuesday to representatives from UNESCO's 58-member executive board assembled at the organization's Paris headquarters: Bestowing the Obiang International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences, named for and financed by one of the most repressive leaders in Africa, would do...

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Cano laureates say no to UNESCO Obiang prize

June 11, 2010 10:27 AM ET

Each year, UNESCO honors a courageous international journalist with the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, named in honor of the Colombian editor murdered in 1986 by the Medellín Cartel. The prize is chosen by an independent jury and over the years I've attended several moving ceremonies in which...

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Iran isn't laughing at The Daily Show

May 19, 2010 5:28 PM ET

The Daily Show’s Jason Jones mocks journalistic conventions to hilarious effect. But Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are not known for their sense of humor, and let’s just say they didn’t get the joke....

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Jon Lee Anderson on courage and journalism

May 12, 2010 10:00 AM ET

Last week, I attended an unusual event called the Courage Forum at which half a dozen speakers, from tightrope artist Philippe Petit and Sudanese rapper Emmanuel Jal to Virgin founder and chairman Richard Branson, talked about about overcoming fear....

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A distorted picture from Iraq

April 7, 2010 10:09 AM ET

The Iraqi government is keeping photographers away from scenes of suicide attacks, according to a piece published today by Stephen Farrell on The New York Times’ “At War” blog. CPJ has objected to government regulations promulgated in May 2007 barring photographers from the scene of such bombings for an hour...

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Circumventing India’s radio news ban

March 23, 2010 3:37 PM ET

Violence against provincial journalists, self-censorship, and the rise of paid news were the leading press freedom concerns cited by editors and journalists that I met with during my recent visit to India. But for Shubhranshu Choudhary, known as Shu, it’s the ban on radio news that most concerns him. He believes the...

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In India, news for sale

March 19, 2010 10:18 AM ET

I just returned from India, where I spent a week meeting journalists and discussing press freedom concerns. One issue that emerged during my visit is what is known euphemistically as “paid news.”  Many media outlets routinely sell political advertising dressed up as a news article....

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Burmese censorship at work

February 24, 2010 12:50 PM ET

At a Tuesday meeting of the International Freedom to Publish Committee (a publishing industry group dedicated to free expression) in New York, Maureen Aung-Thwin handed out pages from Flower News, a Rangoon-based newspaper that had been marked up by Burmese government censors. Burma is the world’s second most censored...

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Sean Penn and the paparazzi

February 23, 2010 11:25 AM ET

In a thinly disguised effort to distract me during a poker game on Saturday night, a friend asked if CPJ was planning to take up the case of the photographer who was attacked by Sean Penn. Frankly, this was the first time I’d heard of the incident that took...

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Press freedom, new media in Tokyo

February 16, 2010 8:56 AM ET

CPJ’s six-city launch of Attacks on the Press began today in Tokyo, where we hosted a panel discussion with Maria Ressa of ABS-CBN TV in the Philippines, Asahi Shimbun deputy foreign editor Nobuyoshi Sakajiri, NHK Middle East correspondent Nobuhisa Degawa, CPJ China expert Madeline Earp, and me....

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With new head, how will UNESCO fare on press freedom?

January 20, 2010 1:56 PM ET

Irina Bokova is the quintessential diplomat—elegant, gracious, and fluent in five languages. But she must have a sharp elbow or two to have emerged victorious in the rough-and-tumble battle last September to lead UNESCO, the Paris-based U.N. agency that promotes culture, education, science, and, occasionally, press freedom around the...

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How to help journalists in Haiti

January 15, 2010 2:25 PM ET

The scenes from Port-au-Prince are horrifying, and the needs are staggering. There is no food, no water, no place to bury the dead. And there is also no information. According to CPJ’s Senior Americas Program Coordinator Carlos Lauria, who spoke with Haitian journalist Guylar Delva today, only a handful of Creole-language radio stations are...

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Reaching out to CPJ’s award winner, imprisoned in Iran

January 4, 2010 12:15 PM ET

The relentless crackdown on the press in Iran is, well, relentless. In the last few days we have received word that 11 more journalists have been arrested, including former CPJ International Press Freedom Award winner Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, at left. There are 23 other journalists already in prison in Iran,...

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