Press Freedom

Internet Freedom Rapidly Degrading in Southeast Asia

Researchers recently evaluated 65 countries which represent 87 percent of internet users globally. Half of them experienced a decline of internet freedom. China, Syria and Ethiopia are the least free. Estonia, Iceland and Canada enjoy the most freedom online.

Automated Digital Tools Threaten Political Campaigns in Latin America

The use of technological tools in political campaigns has become widespread in Latin America, accompanied by practices that raise concern among academics and social organisations, especially in a year with multiple elections throughout the region.

Ethnic Violence in Ethiopia Stoked by Social Media from U.S.

In Ethiopia social media is a double-edged sword: capable of filling a sore need for more information but also of pushing the country toward even greater calamity.

As Peace Talks Resume, South Sudan Continues Assault on Press Freedom

A ceasefire agreement signed on December 21 between the South Sudanese government and opposition forces has revived a 2015 peace process and brought hope that the conflict will not persist into its fifth year.

Truth & Nothing But the Truth: Impact of Media & Communication on Democratic Participation

In recent years, technological developments and the liberalization of media markets have fueled an explosive change in media and communication, with profound implications for how people are informed, how they interact with each other, and how they participate in public life.

Press Crucial to Nation-building and Must Be Protected Vs Foreign Meddling

What I found very sad in the controversy over the website Rappler is that there really has been little outrage over its vile deed, which is indisputably as follows:Its profit-hungry owners, influence-seeking foreigners, and its fame-lusting editor-in-chief were so willing to violate the Constitution’s provision that is intended to shield media from foreigners and ensure its freedom to help develop our people’s consciousness as a nation.

Why Release of Two Journalists in Ethiopia Does not Signal End to Press Crackdown

On January 10, radio journalists Darsema Sori and Khalid Mohammed were released from prison after serving lengthy sentences related to their work at the Ethiopian faith-based station Radio Bilal. Despite their release and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn's promise earlier this month to free political prisoners, Ethiopia's use of imprisonment, harassment, and surveillance means that the country continues to be a hostile environment for journalists.

Closure of Ethiopia’s Most Notorious Prison: A Sign of Real Reform or Smokescreen? 

Ethiopia’s most notorious prison lurks within the capital’s atmospheric Piazza, the city’s old quarter popular for its party scene at the weekend when the neon signs, loud discos and merry abandon at night continue into the early hours of the morning.

Philippines Most Dangerous Country in Southeast Asia for Journalists

It’s not just suspected drug users and dealers at risk of targeted killing in the Philippines. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) reported last week that the Philippines is the most dangerous country in Southeast Asia for journalists. Globally, the island nation came sixth on the list of most murderous countries.

Ethiopia’s New Addiction – And What It Says About Media Freedom

On a Saturday afternoon in one of Addis Ababa’s khat houses, a group of men and women chew the mildly narcotic plant while gazing mesmerized toward a television featuring a South Korean soldier stripped to his waist and holding a young lady’s hand while proclaiming his undying love—somewhat incongruously—in Amharic.

“We Need to Be Strong” – Award Spotlights Courageous Journalists

As press freedom becomes increasingly limited, journalists are frequently finding themselves in more dangerous predicaments than ever before.

In Defense of Uganda’s Imprisoned Journalists

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.

New Safety Handbook by IAWRT

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 Birth of a Dictator

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.

Stop Attacking the Media

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.

US Withdrawal from UNESCO: Abandonment of Principles

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.

Press Freedom Groups Condemn U.S. Withdrawal from UNESCO

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.

A Thorn in the Side of the Regime

”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.”

Need for Inclusive Peace Efforts in South Sudan: No More ‘Compassion Fatigue’

“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.

Finally, Argentina Has a Law on Access to Public Information

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.

Crisis in Cameroon Spurs Govt Crackdown on Press

“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.

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