As press freedom becomes increasingly limited, journalists are frequently finding themselves in more dangerous predicaments than ever before.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has included eight staffers of the controversial Ugandan tabloid Red Pepper
in its 2017 global census of imprisoned journalists. Some may disagree with that decision.
Hopefully female journalists have read it by now “What if…? Safety Handbook for Women Journalists”. The handbook, written by renowned safety trainer Abeer Saady, an Egyptian, and published by The International Association for Women in Radio and Televison (IAWRT), provides hands on tips on what to do when caught in a crossfire , when stopped at checkpoints, arrested during coverage, or kidnapped and held hostage.
The government had an almost paranoid fear of protests. A square kilometer around the Supreme Court was barricaded and off limits to the public. In faraway provinces, roadblocks were erected to stop demonstrators. Some opposition members were under temporary house arrest. But it turned out to be unnecessary. Nobody dared to protest.
Ninety percent of cases concerning the killing of journalists remain unpunished, according to information Member States provided to the Organization in 2017. This is a slight improvement compared to last year, when countries’ answers to UNESCO’s written enquires indicated that only 8% of such cases led to a conviction.
A woman shopkeeper is standing on a plastic chair to avoid knee high swirling rainwater mixed with sewage. “I work with a women’s cooperative selling products made by Palestinian women in my shop. The sewage water has gone into the electric wires, so I have no electricity. Everything in the shop is destroyed. The metal door [that was] installed to protect the settlers prevents the water from flowing out into the main drain. . . . This means we suffer every time it rains. They [the settlers] want us to move from here. This is why they make our life hard,” she cries.
Civil society groups have called on the United States to reverse its decision to withdraw from a UN body, citing concerns for press freedom and journalists’ safety.
”Too many things happened. The police called me to the station almost every day. My whole working day was spent defending myself. I had no time to write articles. Then came the attempted coup d’etat and my name was on a list kept by the national security service. I was forced to flee the country.”
“Peace is not a one-day affair or event, it requires our collective effort,” said South Sudan’s Vice President, General Taban Deng Gai, while addressing the General Assembly at the UN.
After 15 long years of public campaigns and debates in which different political, social and business sectors held marches and counter-protests, Argentina finally has a new law that guarantees access to public information.
“For too long we have been afraid to speak out against injustices and all sorts of atrocities happening in Cameroon, thinking it [the silence] will protect us. If I were to repeat what I have done on Canal 2 English [television], I will do it again. I now stand ready for any eventuality,” says Cameroonian journalist Elie Smith.
Dauntlessly crusading against curbs on freedom of speech, fifty-five-year-old Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh was gunned down at her very doorstep in Bengaluru city on the evening of Sep. 5, taking three bullets of the seven fired in her lungs and heart. She was shot from just three feet away.
Freedom of the press is under attack in the United States and could incite further violence against reporters, said a UN official.
You have to pay six million dollars in tax! That was the message given to the Cambodian Daily the same week that Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly attacked the newspaper.
The internet for journalism is now like the air you breathe,” said Befeqadu Hailu, an Ethiopian journalist and a member of the Zone 9 blogger
collective who was arrested in April 2014 and charged with terrorism. “Without the internet, modern journalism means nothing.” Yet, the internet is something that journalists in multiple African countries are often forced to do without.
In an Information Society, access, and the ability to apply and re-use information is at the heart of individual fulfilment and social participation. Long before the idea of an Information Society came into use, libraries connected people to this, connecting them with literature and learning, and allowing them to improve their lives, and those of their families and communities.
The UN system and its member states must develop policies to protect journalists and end impunity for crimes against them, said key stakeholders during a meeting.
The Doha Centre
spoke to Farhana Haque Rahman, Director General of IPS about media development and defending press freedom, at the World Press Freedom Day Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Aimal Khan, 27, an airman in Pakistan's Air Force, warns the country will end up in the throes of mayhem if the state does not do something about the abuse of the blasphemy laws. "People will use it to settle personal scores," he said.
Abdulwahab Tahhan is a journalist and a refugee
. From his exile in London, he documents the war that is devastating his homeland of Syria
, monitoring airstrikes and assessing civilian casualties for the non-profit Airwars
This year’s theme for the 2017 World Press Freedom Day
“Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies
” is one of the most important days honouring press freedom.