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Blog   |   Ethiopia

With limited independent press, Ethiopians left voting in the dark

A rally for the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front in Addis Ababa. The general election is on May 24 but with a diminished press, many voters struggle to find independent information. (AFP/Zacharias Abubeker)

On Sunday Ethiopians go to the polls in the country's fifth general election since the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front came to power more than 20 years ago. Citizens are expected to choose the right party to lead them for the next five years. To do so, they need to have a clear understanding of their country's political, social, and economic situation. They need to know which parties have the candidates and policies best suited to their own hopes and aspirations. But in a country with limited independent media, many Ethiopians struggle to find the information needed to help them make informed decisions.

May 22, 2015 4:17 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso suspends live political broadcasts by media

Abuja, Nigeria, May 19, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Burkina Faso authorities to lift its suspension of live political broadcasts in the country. The three-month ban comes as Burkina Faso prepares to hold elections in October.

Blog   |   Mexico

In Mexico, reporters struggle to cover unrest over missing students

Graffiti referring to 43 students who went missing last September is spray painted on a wall in Mexico City as part of protests about their disappearance. Some journalists say they have struggled to cover the case. (Reuters/Tomas Bravo)

Veteran reporter Sergio Ocampo was having a late dinner on September 26 when his editor called about a shooting in the city of Iguala in Guerrero state. Students from the Ayotzinapa teacher training college were apparently among the victims. But when Ocampo, a correspondent for the newspaper La Jornada, called the then-mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, he was told, "Nothing happened." The mayor added, "They came from Ayotzinapa to do their destruction here," Ocampo recalled.

Alerts   |   Qatar

Qatar detains international journalists for the second time this year

New York, May 18, 2015--For the second time in two months, an international news crew was arrested and interrogated by Qatari security officials while they were reporting on the human rights situation in Qatar in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the detention and calls on the Qatari government to allow local and international journalists to report freely in the country.

Alerts   |   Burundi

Amid violence in Burundi, radio stations attacked

The damaged offices of African Public Radio, one of at least five Burundian stations attacked during violence over an attempted coup. (AFP/Jennifer Huxta)

New York May 15, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a series of attacks on Burundian news outlets and calls on all sides in the unrest to refrain from attacking or threatening journalists. In recent days, at least five radio stations were attacked during violence over an attempted coup in the capital, Bujumbura, and threats were made against a newspaper which caused it to stop publishing, according to reports.

Blog   |   Indonesia

Widodo's lifting of ban on foreign media in Papua is step in right direction

Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced over the weekend that his government would allow foreign journalists to report unrestricted from the country's eastern Papuan provinces, breaking a virtual 50-year blackout of international news coverage of the restive region. The announcement raises the prospect of an independent media check on one of Asia's most under-reported civil conflicts between the Indonesian state and Free Papua Movement rebel group.

Alerts   |   Singapore

Singaporean authorities shut down The Real Singapore news website

Bangkok, May 5, 2015--Singaporean authorities on Sunday ordered an independent news website to be shut down, citing the website's content as being objectionable to state interests, according to news reports. The Real Singapore is the first news website to be shut down under Singapore's licensing regulations, introduced in 2013, according to CPJ research.

Blog   |   Cameroon

In Cameroon, press struggles with financial and official constraints

President Paul Biya and his wife, Chantal, at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. in 2014. Cameroon's government is seen by some journalists as being sensitive to criticism. (Reuters/Larry Downing)

On March 16, Cameroon's Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakari, denounced French online news outlet Le Monde as unprofessional at a press conference after it reported on allegations that President Paul Biya was in hospital in Geneva. The incident is symbolic of the growing problem in Cameroon, which has a growing but poorly funded independent press and a government resistant to criticism.

Blog   |   Spain

Why Spain's new gag law is threat to free flow of information

A hologram of protesters is projected outside parliament in Madrid on April 10 in opposition to Spain's restrictive 'gag law,' which bans rallies near government buildings and threatens fines for photographing police. (Reuters/Susana Vera)

On July 1 a public security law is due to come into force in Spain amid an increasingly vocal chorus of concern among the media and press freedom groups. The bill--dubbed the "ley mordaza," or "gag law," by opposition groups--would define protests in front of parliament and other government buildings as a "disturbance of public safety," and ban the "unauthorized use" of images of law enforcement authorities or riot police. The punishment for either offense will be a €30,000 ($33,000) fine.

Blog   |   CPJ

On World Press Freedom Day and journalists' safety

Last week, I met a Cameroonian journalist who worked in the Congo until he fled following a series of threats and an attack on his home by armed men who assaulted his sister. Elie Smith, a TV host who documented alleged abuses by police and was outspoken in his criticism of the government, said he thought he had been under surveillance and that he had received multiple threats via text message.

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