Hong Kong media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai pauses next to a copy of Apple Daily's July 1, 2020, edition during an interview in Hong Kong on July 1, 2020. (AP/Vincent Yu)

A devastating loss for press freedom in Hong Kong

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In recognition of his sustained commitment to press freedom, CPJ will honor Jimmy Lai, the imprisoned founder of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaperand the paper’s parent company, Next Digital, with the 2021 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award.

However, in deeply troubling developments, the Chinese government has ramped up its efforts to stomp out critical voices in Hong Kong, and Apple Daily was forced to cease publication and shut down this week. Using the national security law, authorities also arrested Apple Daily editorial writer Yeung Ching-kee. Over the past year, authorities have arrested the newspaper’s executives, raided its offices, ordered it to surrender information, and sentenced Lai to 14 months in prison.

Global press freedom updates

  • The murderer of Mexican journalist and 2011 IPFA awardee Javier Valdez was sentenced to 32 years in prison, yet the country remains deadly as Mexican reporter Gustavo Sánchez was shot and killed in Oaxaca this month
  • Nicaraguan police detain journalist Miguel Mendoza for alleged treason.
  • CPJ joins call for U.S. to investigate Egypt’s alleged role in Khashoggi murder
  • Arab Israeli journalist Hassan Shelan’s home bombed in Israel
  • Iraqi Kurdish court sentences freelance journalist Omed Baroshky to one year in prison
  • Kurdish authorities in Syria revoke Kurdistan 24 license, close offices
  • Cuban journalist Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca held by police since June 15
  • Armed men rob, threaten to kill Congolese journalist Parfait Katoto in his home
  • West Africa court orders Nigeria to refrain from sanctioning media for using Twitter
  • Salvadoran court orders Revista Factum to take down reporting on murder case
  • Czech president’s office bans communications with five outlets for alleged “misinformation”
  • Police investigate The Intercept Brasil editor Leandro Demori over reporting on police killings
  • CPJ joins call with members of the #KeepItOn Coalition, urging Ethiopia to maintain internet access during elections
  • CPJ calls on the EU to uphold Burundi human rights commitments


The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, in collaboration with the Committee to Protect Journalists, recently launched the Journalist Trauma Support Network (JTSN) to ensure that journalists experiencing trauma through work can receive the help they need. The program provides training for experienced trauma psychologists on the unique challenges journalists face. The network will also provide a pathway for journalists to receive referrals to JTSN-trained therapists, with therapy costs covered by the program.

The pilot program will initially serve only U.S. journalists from select states. Journalists interested in more information should visit JTSN’s website.

A closer look | CPJ’s most-read features in June

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