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.
Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of the assassination of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who reported on corruption and as part of the Panama Papers investigation. Impunity persists in Caruana Galizia’s murder, and CPJ continues to call on the Maltese government to carry out an independent inquiry and hold those responsible to account.
In Belarus, at least 49 journalists were detained while covering protests earlier this week; three remain in detention, bringing the total number of journalists in custody to eight, according to the Belarusian Association of Journalists. Of the 46 journalists detained and released, 16 face trial on charges of either disobeying the lawful order of a police officer or participating in the unsanctioned protests, or both.
In Turkey, press freedom continues to deteriorate as judicial independence shrinks and the government’s grasp on the internet tightens. In a mission to the country, CPJ and partner organizations found that Turkey’s press freedom crisis is worsening amid growing state media capture, a lack of independence of regulatory institutions, and a new social media law.
Global press freedom updates
- In Egypt, security forces detained Kamal el-Balshy, the brother of Darb editor Khaled el-Balshy. This is not the first time that Egyptian authorities have arrested a journalist’s relative in retaliation for their work
- Journalists and media offices threatened and attacked in Kyrgyzstan as post-election unrest continues
- Thailand issues emergency decree imposing nationwide press restrictions amid protests
- Journalists covering record-breaking wildfires in the western United States spoke to CPJ about the additional risks they face amid COVID-19 and misinformation
- Shelling injures two Russian journalists in Nagorno-Karabakh; Armenian government revokes journalist’s accreditation
- Iraqi Kurdish police arrest journalist Sherwan Amin Sherwani
- South African journalists attacked covering farmer protest
- Australia’s Northern Territory denies news website NT Independent access to government events
- CPJ condemns Montenegro High Court conviction of investigative journalist Jovo Martinović
A busy month of events is ahead and RSVPs are still open for most of these events, join us!
- Friday, Octocter 16: CPJ Emergencies Research Associate Lucy Westcott joins a panel at the 2020 DX Investigative Film Festival, “In the crosshairs: Doxxing, trolling, and the weaponization of social media,” at 3:30 p.m. EDT
- Wednesday, October 21, CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch will be speaking at two events: “The Double Threat: Pandemic & Persecution” panel at the One World Media Summit at 11:00 a.m. EDT (4:00 p.m. BST): From Face Masks to Free Press: Global Reporting in 2020; and at 7 p.m. EDT, she will join a panel discussion hosted by New York University on “Covering the 2020 Election: Truth Sandwiches, Bothsidesism and Threats Real And Imagined”
- Thursday, October 22: CPJ Deputy Advocacy Director Kerry Paterson will present a talk on “The Global Decline of Democracy, Human Rights, and Freedom of the Press,” hosted by World Without Genocide, 7-9 p.m. CDT
- Friday, Oct 23: Radsch will be speaking on a panel hosted by Carleton University on “COVID-19 and Media Freedom,” at 1:30 p.m. EDT, as part of their “Journalism in the Time of Crisis” research project
CPJ is looking forward to tuning in to the 2020 Aurora Prize Ceremony this coming Monday. The virtual event will be streamed 7 p.m. EDT and honor humanitarians around the globe doing critical work to create change. The inaugural Aurora Humanitarian Journalism Award will be presented to journalists Jane Ferguson and Nicholas Kristof. The award is inspired by the late journalist Gwen Ifill, and her PBS co-anchor Judy Woodruff, who was CPJ’s 2017 Gwen Ifill awardee. We are also honored to be the recipients of a generous grant from Aurora given in honor of the inaugural award.
What we are reading
- Content Regulation and Human Rights — Global Network Initiative
- A Look Into Viral North Macedonian Content Farms — Jack Cable, Isabella Garcia-Camargo and Renée Diresta, Stanford Internet Observatory, Graphika and the Election Integrity Partnership
- Journalism & the pandemic: A global snapshot of impacts — Julie Posetti, Emily Bell, and Pete Brown, International Center for Journalists and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism
- This is what it is like to travel as a stateless person — Abraham T Zere, Al-Jazeera English
- The Jailed Activist Left a Letter Behind. The Message: Keep Fighting.— Richard C. Paddock, The New York Times
- They are trying to make arrests an everyday affair: Jagisha Arora, Prashant Kanojia’s wife — Vishnu Sharma, The Caravan
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