Press Freedom

Media Landscape Marked by “Climate of Fear”

Journalists around the world are increasingly seeing threats of violence, detention, and even death simply for doing their job, a new press index found.

‘You Cannot Muzzle the Media’: Nigerian Journalists on Press Freedom under Buhari

When Nigeria's incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari won re-election this year, he campaigned (as he did in 2015) on an image of good governance and anti-corruption. Billboards in the capital, Abuja, bore the smiling faces of the president--who first led Nigeria as military ruler from 1983-1985--and his vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, and called for voters to let them "continue" their work and take the country to the "Next Level."

Why the Prosecution of Julian Assange is Troubling for Press Freedom

After a seven-year standoff at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, British police last week arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange--a development press freedom advocates had long feared.

Hard Battle Ahead for Independent Arab Media

Sometimes a peak into the future reminds us just how stuck we are in the past and present. It was the talk of the Middle East’s largest annual media industry gathering: a robot journalist – the region’s first – that wowed some 3,000 industry leaders and practitioners at the Arab Media Forum (AMF) in Dubai recently.

Civil Society, Press Freedom & Human Rights Under Attack in Africa

The civic space in several African countries, including Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, Sudan, Mozambique, Somalia and Eritrea, is gradually shrinking – and mostly under authoritarian leaders and repressive regimes.

Shining a Spotlight on the Strengths & Challenges of Civil Society in the Balkans

It is an incredible privilege to welcome you all to the ‘International Civil Society Week’. I am going to remind us of the reasons that make it so important for us to be here in Belgrade this week.

Attacks on Media in the Balkans Sound Alarm Bells for Democracy

Anti-government protesters invading Serbia’s state-owned television station, demanding that their voices be heard. Journalism bodies writing to the Albanian prime minister over plans to censor online media outlets. A Belgrade corruption-busting reporter forced to flee his house that had been torched; a Montenegrin investigative journalist shot in the leg outside her home.

Rise in Cyberlaws Across Southeast Asia Spell Bad News for Human Rights & Democracy

Around the globe, cyberspace has become the new battleground in the fight for the heart and soul of democracy. And Southeast Asia is fast becoming one of the global hotspots where the screws are being tightened on freedom of expression online.

Two journalists held in pretrial detention since February in Comoros

(CPJ) – Authorities in the Comoros should immediately release journalists Abdallah Abdou Hassane and Oubeidillah Mchangama, who have been held in pretrial detention on an array of charges for over a month, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Communication, a Key Tool for South-South Cooperation

Communication can be a key tool for the development of cooperation among the countries of the global South, but the ever closer relations between them do not receive the attention they deserve from the media.

Zambia suspends independent TV broadcaster for 30 days

(CPJ) – Zambia's minister of information and broadcasting should grant an appeal requested by the privately owned Prime TV broadcaster and allow the station back on air after the country's media regulator suspended its license for 30 days for alleged unprofessionalism, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

How Many Journalists are Jailed in China? Censorship Means We Don’t Know

Reporting on China's harassment of journalists has never been easy. Lately it's been getting much harder, which suggests that conditions for the press could be worsening.

Free Stella Nyanzi, Demand Pan African Activists in Ghana

On Saturday 9th March, a small group of activists from Ghana, concerned by the continued incarceration of Ugandan feminist activist Dr Stella Nyanzi, rallied by the symbolic national independence Square to raise awareness on the dangers of remaining quiet to injustice.

On International Women’s Day, CPJ highlights jailed female journalists

On International Women's Day, CPJ has highlighted the cases of female journalists jailed around the world in retaliation for their work. At least 33 of the 251 journalists in jail at the time of CPJ's prison census are women. At least one of those--Turkish reporter and artist Zehra Dogan--was released in February after serving a sentence on anti-state charges. The four female journalists jailed in Saudi Arabia were detained over their criticism of the kingdom's ban on women driving.

South Africa elections 2019: Journalist safety kit

South Africa, one of the media freedom beacons in sub-Saharan Africa, will hold national and provincial elections on May 8. As the country celebrates 25 years of democracy, the press in South Africa faces old and new challenges, including physical harassment and cyber bullying. The press freedom environment, including the safety of journalists, will be one of the key indicators for the health of the country's democracy and the freeness and fairness of its polls.

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.

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