Press Freedom

CPJ joins call for Nigeria to ensure internet and social media services remain connected during elections

(CPJ) – The Committee to Protect Journalists joined more than 15 rights organizations and the #KeepItOn Coalition to call for Nigerian authorities to ensure that internet and social media services remain connected during upcoming elections, and safeguard internet speeds of websites and messaging applications. In early February, Nigeria's federal government denied rumors of plans to shut down the internet during upcoming elections, according to the privately owned Guardian Nigeria and Quartz news outlets. Nigeria has two sets of elections scheduled in the coming weeks: federal elections on February 16 and state elections on March 2.

Philippines’ Maria Ressa detained and released over ‘political’ charge

(CPJ) – The Philippine government's legal harassment of the news website Rappler and Maria Ressa, its founder and executive editor, took an alarming turn Wednesday when officers from the National Bureau of Investigation arrested Ressa at Rappler's bureau in Manila and held her overnight over a cyber libel case filed against her by the Justice Department. Ressa's arrest was in connection to a story published by Rappler in 2012, before the law was enacted. Ressa told CPJ before her arrest that the charge was "political" and that the Philippines has "weaponized" its cybercrime law. Ressa was released on bail on Thursday morning. CPJ's Asia Program Coordinator Steven Butler explored the implications of Ressa's arrest for press freedom in an op-ed for CNN.

Ghana Won’t Have Press Freedom Without Accountability

Three bullets, fired at close range by two assassins on a black and blue Boxer motorbike on January 16, 2019, killed investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale Divela, according to Sammy Darko, a lawyer working on Divela's case.

From Fake News to Enemy of the People: An Anatomy of Trump’s Tweets

Since announcing his candidacy in the 2016 presidential elections to the end of his second year in office, U.S. President Donald Trump has sent 1,339 tweets about the media that were critical, insinuating, condemning, or threatening.

Q&A: Rodney Sieh on how Liberia’s press is faring under Weah presidency

(CPJ) - Rodney Sieh, editor-in-chief and publisher of Liberian investigative outlet FrontPageAfrica, knows first-hand the harassment and risks critical journalists in his country face. In 2013, CPJ documented how he was sentenced to prison over unpaid fines in a criminal defamation case.

As anti-Bashir protests continue, Sudan revokes credentials of foreign press

Sudanese authorities yesterday revoked the credentials of at least six journalists working for international news outlets, including Qatar-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera, according to news reports. The outlets have been covering demonstrations against President Omar al-Bashir. Bashir is due to travel to Qatar today for his first international trip since the protests began in December, according to reports.

Never Been a Worse Time to be a Journalist

“I’ve never known a time when it was as bad as it is now,” says Beata Balogova, the Vice-Chair of the International Press Institute (IPI) and Editor in Chief of the Slovak publication Sme. “In terms of what’s going on with journalists, we’re in a very unique period,” she adds.

Journalism in Nicaragua Under Siege

Eight months of social and political crisis in Nicaragua have hit the exercise of independent journalism in the country, with 712 cases of violations of the free exercise of journalism, one murdered reporter, two in prison and dozens fleeing into exile, in addition to several media outlets assaulted by the security forces.

Brazil Will Test a Government in Direct Connection with Voters

The government that will take office on Jan. 1 in Brazil, presided over by Jair Bolsonaro, will put to the test the extreme right in power, with beliefs that sound anachronistic and a management based on a direct connection with the public.

Ignoring the Murder of a Journalist in the Name of National Interest

A foreign citizen – well-known journalist, author, university lecturer and regime critic – with residence in the US is abducted by a group of professionals employed by a foreign Government – depicted as a stout US ally – and subsequently tortured and killed. In spite of the case being thoroughly investigated by both the CIA and the FBI, which verified that a crime had been committed, the US Government did not take any steps to rebuke the rulers of the allied country.

Shahidul Alam: Freedom at last

After 107 days in jail, acclaimed photographer Shahidul Alam was finally released last night, five days after he had secured permanent bail from the High Court.

Trump’s Anti-Media Rhetoric Resonates Worldwide

A former French president once remarked: Never pick a fight with a little kid or the press. The kid will throw the last stone at you and the press will have the last word.But that obviously does not apply to a teflon-coated Donald Trump because nothing apparently sticks on him – even as he survives a barrage of criticisms from the mainstream media while he continues to utter falsehoods and mouth blatant lies.

Climate of Repression a Dark Cloud over Upcoming Elections in Fiji

Powdery white beaches. Crystal clear turquoise water. Palm trees swaying in the breeze.This is the postcard picture of paradise that comes to mind when tourists think of Fiji. But for many citizens of the South Pacific’s largest island nation, and its media, the reality is anything but blissful.

Truth Never Dies: Justice for Slain Journalists

Violence and toxic rhetoric against journalists must stop, say United Nations experts.

Sudan’s Journalists Face Continued Extortion and Censorship by National Security Agency

The day before Amnesty International released a statement calling on the government of Sudan to end harassment, intimidation and censorship of journalists following the arrests of at least 15 journalists since the beginning of the year, the head of the National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) Salah Goush accused Sudanese journalists, who recently met with western diplomats, of being spies.

Editorial Changes at Cumhuriyet: the Loss of a Major Independent Voice in Turkey?

Censorship, controversial judicial proceedings and imprisonment: such is the current risk run by independently-thinking journalists in Turkey.

Keeping Journalists Safe Benefits Whole Societies

Safety of journalists has featured prominently in international news in recent weeks. And yet, while some cases grab the headlines, many more do not, and the scale of the issue often goes unremarked. On this International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, it is worth pausing to reflect on some facts.

Don’t “Whitewash” Khashoggi’s Murder

In the midst of international outrage over the alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, human rights groups have called for a United Nations investigation into the incident.

Journalism’s darkest hour and a roadmap to its survival

Director Steven Spielberg's 2017 newsroom thriller The Post, set in the 1970s America when a group of journalists try to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets about the Vietnam War, beautifully captures the tension between the press and a corrupt administration. It's a standard theme for a movie on journalism—defenders of truth vs enemies of truth—but there's a twist: The Washington Post faces an existential threat if it publishes the Pentagon Papers. So it must choose between a heroic stand to assert its right to publish and an about-turn to avoid threats of retributions. Tom Hanks, who plays the hard-charging editor of the newspaper, chooses the former: “The only way to protect the right to publish is to publish.”

Impunity and Harsh Laws Trouble Journalists in South Asia as Protesters March on the U.N. For Release of Bangladeshi Journalist

It has been six and half years since the killing of Bangladeshi journalists Meherun Runi and Sagar Sarwar in Dhaka. Runi, a senior reporter from the private TV channel ATN Bangla, and her husband Sarwar, news editor from Maasranga TV, were hacked to death at their home on Feb. 11, 2012.

The Shrinking Space for Media Freedom in Uganda

Last month, a horrifying video circulated on social media in Uganda. It shows Reuters photographer, James Akena, surrounded by Uganda Peoples Defence Force soldiers who beat him as he raised his hands in the air in surrender. He was unarmed and held only his camera. 

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