A Voice of America crew reports in front of the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa where President of China Xi Jinping will stay in Manalapan, Florida U.S., April 5, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Xi Jinping on April 6 and 7 at his nearby Mar-a-Lago estate. REUTERS/Joe Skipper - RC1530A59520

Head of US Agency for Global Media ignores request to testify

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Michael Pack, head of the United States Agency for Global Media, which oversees Voice of America and several other outlets, has decided to ignore a bipartisan request to testify in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the dangers journalists face under his leadership. CPJ spoke with former VOA staffer Al Pessin about how Pack’s behavior endangers journalists, and CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon posed 10 questions Congress should ask Pack.

In Belarus, authorities continue to arrest and detain journalists amid widespread protests. CPJ and other free expression and digital rights groups called on the California attorney general to investigate Sandvine Inc., a company that developed censorship technology used in Belarus.

In Peru, journalist Paola Ugaz has faced a series of criminal defamation suits in the years after she co-authored a book on alleged abuse within a Peruvian Catholic organization.

In Colombia, journalists Catalina Ruiz-Navarro and Matilde de los Milagros Londoño face a criminal defamation inquiry for reporting on assault allegations against director Ciro Guerra Picón. Pressing charges against journalists reporting on sexual violence “sends a terrible message to investigative journalists and to women who have been sexually abused,” Ruiz-Navarro told CPJ.

Global press freedom updates

  • Iraqi Kurdish police arrest journalist Bahroz Jaafer over criminal defamation suit filed by Iraq’s president
  • Liberian journalist beaten, robbed while covering pre-election events
  • Ukrainian journalists threatened with gun, police in Kyiv refuse to intervene
  • Journalists attacked while covering alleged vote fraud in Nigeria’s Edo state
  • Argentinian radio journalist assaulted after reporting on local corruption
  • Canada denies entry to journalist covering Indigenous land rights
  • Verdict due in Montenegro retrial of journalist Jovo Martinović
  • Turkey threatens to seize assets of exiled journalist and CPJ 2016 IPFA awardee Can Dündar
  • CPJ spoke with the Bertha Foundation about the arrest of Moroccan journalist Omar Radi
  • Bulgarian reporter Martin Georgiev summoned for questioning over request for comment on police brutality


CPJ is excited to participate for the fifth time in the annual Photoville Festival, with the exhibit “Journalists Under Fire: U.S. Press Freedom Edition.” This year, against the backdrop of a dramatic uptick in attacks on journalists in the U.S., the display will showcase photographers covering civil unrest throughout the country, and will be mounted outside of St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn for the next two months.

Created in collaboration with United Photo Industries and St. Ann’s Warehouse, “Journalists Under Fire” is part of CPJ’s #SafetyInFocus campaign, which highlights the needs and experiences of photographers and provides tailored safety resources. 

At Photoville, CPJ Emergencies is also co-leading a series of safety clinics for photographers.  Journalists unable to attend the clinics can also explore our safety resources, including our updated risk assessment template, as well as advice on covering COVID-19 and elections. Learn more about Photoville here.

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