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Press Freedom News and Views


Blog   |   France, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Turkey

Infographic: Islamic State's assault on the press

When Mosul fell to Islamic State on June, 10, 2014, it sparked one of the biggest attacks on press freedom in recent times. Newspapers were shuttered, TV channels were ransacked, radio stations disappeared from the airwaves, and dozens of journalists vanished. Within days, the militants had a monopoly on information output.

June 8, 2016 9:55 AM ET


Blog   |   Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Vietnam

On International Women's Day, CPJ recognizes nine female journalists jailed for their work

Syrians protest the killing and torture of women by President Assad's regime in 2011. The blogger Tal al-Mallohi remains in jail in Syria despite a court ordering her release. (AP/Mohammad Hannon)

Coverage of protests and riots. Revelations of official corruption and graft. Major natural disasters. Investigations into deplorable living conditions. These are some of the important issues journalists cover in their role as the Fourth Estate.

Blog   |   Syria, Turkey

For journalists fleeing Islamic State, Turkey 'is as dangerous as Syria'

Pictures of filmmaker Naji Jerf are held up at his funeral in Gaziantep in December. Syrian media activists based in Turkey say the murder of Jerf and two other journalists makes the country feels less secure. (STR/AFP)

For the past two years, activists and journalists seeking refuge from Islamic State repression in Raqqa would take sanctuary across the border in southern Turkey, setting up safe houses and offices, and darting back to Syria regularly with camera equipment and other vital supplies. But that sanctuary is now under threat.

Blog   |   Bangladesh, France, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Turkey

From Charlie Hebdo in Paris to bloggers in Bangladesh, extremists target press

Thursday marks one year since two gunmen burst into the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and opened fire. Over the following year, CPJ documented the deaths of 28 journalists who were killed for their work by Islamic militant groups such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. This StoryMap charts the deadly attacks that took place in eight countries in 2015.

Blog   |   Syria

The militarization of the press in Syria

A young Syrian journalist carries a camera and a gun on February 9, 2014, in Aleppo. (AFP/Aleppo Media Center/Mohammed Wesam)

Ahmed Abu al-Hamza, "Software" as he was known by his friends, stood behind the camera on November 6 as a gunman explained how rebel forces took Tel Sukayk, a strategic hilltop north of Hama, from government forces. Suddenly the camera's sound recorder picked up the faint thud of a mortar shell firing in the distance. A few seconds of confusion then turned to horror as the shell exploded right in front of the camera, killing Abu al-Hamza and the rebel fighter and injuring several others.

Blog   |   Syria

CPJ joins call for Syria to drop charges against press freedom activists

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined 16 other human rights and press freedom organisations calling on Syrian authorities to drop charges against Mazen Darwish, the founder of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, who was released from prison on August 10.

Blog   |   Syria, USA

Audio: James Foley on being a freelance war correspondent

In April 2012, Nicole Schilit, research associate in CPJ's Journalist Assistance program, interviewed James Foley about his experience working as a freelance journalist in conflict zones. The interview took place in New York between reporting trips to Libya and Syria. Foley was murdered in Syria in August 2014.

August 18, 2015 10:40 AM ET


Blog   |   Security, Syria

A year after James Foley and Steven Sotloff murders, more awareness of risks

A photograph of James Foley is seen during a memorial service in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan on August 24, 2014. (AP/Marko Drobnjakovic)

Journalists who regularly cover violence are considered a hard-boiled bunch. But a year ago this month, even the toughest were crying. There was no emotional body armor to deflect the horror of the beheading videos of freelancers James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and other Westerners held hostage in Syria by the self-styled Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL, or IS.

Blog   |   Syria

How Islamic State uses killings to try to spread fear among media

The militant group Islamic State may be trying to push Syria back into the dark ages, but it is fighting a very modern war. From slick propaganda videos to online surveillance and wide restrictions on Internet use, the Islamic State is trying to control media output and stamp down on dissent.

Blog   |   Security, Syria

Syria anniversary shows need for more news outlets to step up

People walk on rubble after what activists said were airstrikes and shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, February 9, 2015. (Reuters/Mohammed Badra)

It started as a street protest against President Bashar al-Assad. Ordinary citizens took out their smart phones to record the demonstrations that quickly spread. Four years and 220,000 dead later, the Syrian civil war is still raging, although the numbers of 'citizen' and professional journalists on hand to document it is woefully small.

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