The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.
On Thursday, the Committee to Protect Journalists released its annual prison census–a snapshot of the number of journalists behind bars as of December 1, 2018. For the third consecutive year, at least 251 journalists are behind bars for their work, as authoritarian regimes increasingly use imprisonment to silence dissent. Read their stories here.
Global press freedom updates
- Militant group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham threatens to execute Syrian journalist Amjed al-Maleh
- CPJ staff stands in solidarity with Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, who have been imprisoned for one year in Myanmar simply for reporting the news. Reuters offices in New York’s Times Square displayed their images on Wednesday
- News fixer deported from Thailand to Cambodia on ‘false news’ accusation
- Serbian investigative journalist targeted with arson attack
- CPJ welcomed the news that Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas has finally been released after nearly seven months in jail
- Read the latest Turkey Crackdown Chronicle, CPJ’s weekly round-up of press freedom violations in the country
- Israel raids Palestinian news agency, detains journalist in the West Bank
This year, TIME magazine recognizes “The Guardians and the War on Truth” as Person of the Year, including slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, imprisoned in Myanmar; Rappler editor and Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award winner Maria Ressa; and the newsroom staff at The Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Maryland, where four reporters and a sales assistant were murdered earlier this year.
The report also highlights CPJ’s 2018 International Press Freedom Award honorees Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (Vietnam)–known by her pen name “Mother Mushroom” or Me Nam–Luz Mely Reyes (Venezuela), Amal Habbani (Sudan), and 2016 awardee Can Dündar (Turkey).
A note for journalists
CPJ will release its annual list of killed journalists on December 19. The report will be available in eight languages. For those who wish to cover the report, embargoed copies are available upon request. Email: email@example.com
What we are reading
- Trump and the world’s autocrats want to silence journalists. But the truth will come out — Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, The Boston Globe
- The new autocrats: Leaders are turning democracy into a tool of oppression – Griff Witte, The Washington Post
- Film investigating Loughinisland massacre deserves a wider audience – Roy Greenslade, The Guardian
- Colonial and Apartheid-era laws still govern press freedom in southern Africa – CPJ Africa Program Research Associate Jonathan Rozen, Quartz Africa
- We Must Protect Journalists Shedding Light on Injustice, Not Attack Them – Amal Clooney, TIME
- Journalists belong in newsrooms not jail – Deutsche Welle
- The War on Truth Spreads – The Editorial Board, The New York Times
- ‘Can you imagine anyone other than Trump?’ Time magazine published a perfectly fitting answer – Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post
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