A youth is seen waving the Nigerian flag during protests against police brutality in Lagos on October 13, 2020. CPJ called for journalists’ safety to be protected amid the protests. (AFP/Benson Ibeabuchi)

Violence hits journalists covering Nigeria protests

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.

In Nigeria, local media say journalists are experiencing violence during demonstrations against police brutality. CPJ calls on Nigerian authorities to ensure that the press is able to do its work freely and safely. In 2019 and 2020, at least two Nigerian journalists–Precious Owolabi and Alex Ogbu–were killed during protests, according to CPJ research.

The press has also come under threat in the run-up to elections in Tanzania, where the country’s media regulator has fined or shut down news outlets. Journalists spoke with CPJ Sub-Saharan Africa Representative Muthoki Mumo about how the regulator’s actions have undermined their ability to cover the vote independently.

Ahead of elections in the U.S., CPJ’s #PressSafety2020 page lists safety resources, including on physical safety, digital security, and the law. Bookmark and share our safety one-pager and other resources here.

Global press freedom updates

Illustration: Rash Brax
  • CPJ joins 64 other press freedom and human rights organizations in a statement calling for the immediate and unconditional release of four journalists with the independent Burundian outlet Iwacu, who were arrested one year ago
  • In Ghana, journalist David Tamakloe arrested on false news charge
  • Financial Times reporters Dan McCrum and Stefania Palma speak to CPJ about Wirecard and pressures on business journalists
  • Journalist Sergey Plotnikov abducted, beaten, then released in Russia
  • Unidentified attackers open fire on journalist Shkumbin Kajtazi’s car in Kosovo
  • Hungarian court gags investigative report, citing EU data protection law
  • Indian authorities seal Kashmir Times office in Srinagar
  • Swedish authorities charge documentary filmmakers
  • CPJ joins statement demanding justice for slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia


Today, CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch will join the international symposium, “Journalism in the Time of Crisis,” hosted by Carleton University. The panel, “COVID-19 and Media Freedom,” will be held online at 1:30 p.m. EDT. Register here.

CPJ is partnering with the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s 2020 Trust Conference to explore the challenges posed by the pandemic and the shaping of our recovery.  

CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon will join a discussion on the “COVID crackdown” on media freedom. Learn about the free virtual event on November 11 and register here.

CPJ will publish its annual list of countries where journalists are murdered regularly and their killers go free on October 28. The launch of the report, “Getting Away with Murder: CPJ’s 2020 Global Impunity Index,” marks the annual International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on November 2. Journalists interested in an embargoed copy can email [email protected]

CPJ will stand virtually with Al Jazeera on Monday, October 26, at 7:00 am EDT (2:00 p.m. Doha time) to mark 1,400+ days since Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein was imprisoned in Egypt. Join us in calling for his freedom by using the hashtag #FreeMahmoudHussein.

What we are reading

The “Misinformation Update” newsletter, by our friends at First Draft, will help you understand what you see and share online during the U.S. 2020 election season. Subscribe here

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