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.
The EU traditionally has been considered among the world’s safest and freest places for journalists. However, reporters working in its 27 member states are under increasing pressure, with several killed because of their work. Others have been censored, spied upon, harassed online, overwhelmed with disinformation, subjected to vexatious lawsuits, charged with revealing state secrets, beaten while covering street protests, banned from public meetings, or publicly criticized by politicians.
In “Fragile Progress,” a new special report by CPJ, Jean-Paul Marthoz and Tom Gibson examine how these developments have forced EU institutions to find ways to push their 27 member states to uphold their commitments to freedom of expression.
Based on CPJ research and interviews with journalists, press freedom advocates, and EU insiders, the report finds that much progress has been made, but combating entrenched pressure on and threats to journalists in Europe—and setting an effective example for governments around the world—still requires improved and sustained action from Brussels.
📣 Read CPJ’s press release on “Fragile Progress”
🔎 Report prequel: Read “Balancing Act: Press freedom at risk as EU struggles to match action with values,” CPJ’s 2015 report on the European Union
📌 Consider CPJ’s full list of recommendations to EU institutions and member states on protecting independent media and journalist safety
Global press freedom updates
- Producer Bohdan Bitik killed, reporter Corrado Zunino injured by sniper fire covering Ukraine war
- Radio journalist Dumesky Kersaint shot and killed in Haiti
- Turkish police detain at least 10 journalists in Diyarbakır crackdown
- Russian authorities raid Arkticheskiy Obozrevatel office, two journalists’ homes
- Bulgarian authorities allege investigative journalists conspired with criminals
- Journalist Kayvan Samimi rearrested in Iran, held in undisclosed location
- Journalists detained and attacked in Iraqi Kurdistan
- More than 15 years after his killing in Myanmar, journalist Kenji Nagai’s camera returned to family
- CPJ says the shuttering of RFE/RL Kyrgyz service sends “chilling message”
- Belarus prosecutor requests lengthy prison terms for journalists Raman Pratasevich, Stsypan Putsila, and Yan Rudzik
- CPJ calls on British PM to press for Jimmy Lai’s freedom after Hong Kong report; Chinese authorities detain Taiwan-based publisher and radio host Li Yanhe on national security charge; Chinese journalist Dong Yuyu held since February 2022, facing espionage charges
Press freedom is your freedom. Each day, journalists around the world convey vital facts and information essential for democracy, personal freedom, and stability. Yet their ability to report freely and safely is under vigorous attack.
Explore our list of events below:
- 11:30 a.m.: Beyond the Crisis: Embedding safe refuge for journalists at risk. Key actors, including CPJ, will meet to discuss what action has been taken and what further needs to be done by governments to open their doors to those who are risking their lives to keep us informed.
- UNESCO special anniversary event at UN headquarters. CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg will participate in the 4:30 p.m. panel—available via livestream—called “Press freedom, the threats to journalists and the future of the media.”
- 8:30 a.m.: CPJ Nasdaq Bell Ringing Ceremony. CPJ will mark World Press Freedom Day with CPJ President Jodie Ginsberg ringing the opening Nasdaq Stock Market bell in New York City’s Times Square. The event will be livestreamed on Twitter.
- 9 a.m.: Washington Post live world press freedom index event. CPJ Senior Researcher Yegi Rezaian is speaking at this virtual event featuring Secretary of State Antony Blinken and key partners.
- 10 a.m.: Secret Surveillance: Countering spyware’s threats to freedom of the press and expression. CPJ is cosponsoring this event, which you can join in person or via livestream.
- 10:30 a.m.: Criminal Minded: Countering legal attacks on the free press. CPJ is hosting this event in collaboration with partners, which will spotlight governments’ abuse of legal structures to punish the press and present solutions for journalists’ legal protection. Please RSVP for the in-person event at our NYC headquarters by May 1, or watch our livestream on YouTube.
- 12 p.m.: Reddit Ask Me Anything with Jodie Ginsberg. Join us on Reddit to discuss the wrongful detention of Evan Gershkovich. The Wall Street Journal will host the event on r/worldnews, and you can submit questions here.
- 12 p.m.: World Press Freedom Day: Defending human rights in the digital age. CPJ Board Member Jon Williams is speaking in this webinar.
- 3:30 p.m.: Imprisoned in Hong Kong: Jimmy Lai and the fight for democracy. CPJ is hosting this urgent discussion on press freedom in Hong Kong and the persecution of imprisoned media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai at our headquarters in NYC. Please RSVP for the event by May 1.
- 4 p.m.: Investigative Journalism: A conversation with Colombian journalist Ricardo Calderón. CPJ Program Director Carlos Martínez de la Serna is leading this discussion, which you can join via Zoom or livestream.
- 10:30 a.m.: Dismantling the independent media through systemic restrictions. CPJ President Ginsberg is speaking at the event, which you can join in person or virtually.
🎙 Listen to a podcast about three Haitian journalists who were murdered in Miami during a period of extraordinary hope for the establishment of democracy in Haiti. Veteran investigative journalist Ana Arana first reported on these murders in the early 1990s for CPJ and is returning to the investigation in hopes of finding the masterminds behind the murders and having them held accountable.
Published today by Kaleidoscope studio, “Silenced: The Radio Murders.”
Listen on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
- New: ‘Weaponising the Law’ – first ever global overview of attacks on media freedom identifies eight key threats – amid general impunity — Lucinda Jordaan, World Association of News Publishers
- Hybrid media navigates these challenges in authoritarian countries — Devin Windelspecht, IJNet
- Amid the Taliban’s worsening crackdown on journalists, news in Afghanistan is forced to adapt — James O’Donnell, Frontline
[Editors’ note: This article has been updated to include more events featuring CPJ.]
Do you have an Amazon Alexa-enabled device? Enable CPJ's flash briefing skill to stay up to date with the latest press freedom news from around the world.