Wearing an orange jacket and face mask, Li Zehua, a Chinese freelance journalist, can be seen filming himself
in a car. He is sure that state security agents have been pursuing him since he began documenting events in Hubei’s capital Wuhan, the first epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. A second YouTube video, circulating widely since he launched his appeal, ends abruptly when two men knock at his apartment. He has just reappeared online after two months, saying police interrogated him and put him in quarantine and that he was well looked after during this period.
May 3rd marks World Press Freedom Day
around the world. During this COVID-19 pandemic, a robust media environment is critical: access to life-saving information is key in the fight against the virus. As governments impose a range of restrictions in attempts to curb the pandemic, journalists help hold authorities to account by providing analysis, engaging in debate about government actions, and creating a space for dialogue about the future we all hope to see.
MEDIA WORLDWIDE is facing crises on multiple fronts, exacerbated by the COVID19 pandemic. Reporters without Borders released its 2020 World Press Freedom Index on April 21st, noting that the Coronavirus is being used by authoritarian governments to implement “shock doctrine” measures that would be impossible in normal times.
In 2014 my husband and I were arrested in my native country, Iran, for the crime of working as journalists. I spent 72 days in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, all of them in solitary confinement.
Censorship, smear campaigns and harassment. These are just some of the daily struggles that media professionals are facing in Hungary. And now the threat of jail time may be looming. In the context of World Press Freedom Day, there is little to celebrate in the Eastern Bloc region.
Journalists and rights activists have welcomed the jailing of a man for the murders of Slovak investigative reporter Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, but say others involved in the killings must be convicted too if justice is to be fully served.
Governments all over the world have been considering cellphone surveillance to help track and contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Growing intimidation and repression of journalists reporting on the coronavirus is threatening public health in some countries, press freedom monitors have warned.
Plans announced by Slovakia’s prime minister-elect to fund investigative journalists to act as corruption watchdogs on government and state bodies have been dismissed as “a road to hell” by local journalists.
After six months in prison, Tanzanian investigative journalist Erick Kabendera has finally been released at a cost of $118,000.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has long needed to overhaul his approach to human rights. Hopefully his call to action
announced in Geneva yesterday is the start of something new.
As reporters for Nigeria’s Premium Times
newspaper, Samuel Ogundipe and Azeezat Adedigba told CPJ they spoke often over the phone. They had no idea that their regular conversations about work and their personal lives were creating a record of their friendship.
Zimbabwe is making fresh commitments to open up its airwaves with government promising to issue licences to private television and community radio stations before the end of the year.
As four people appear in court in Slovakia over the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, both 27, the trial is being seen by many as a historic moment for not just press freedom in the country but public faith in its justice system.
Around 3 pm on 16 October 2017, Daphne Caruana Aruna Galizia was returning home when her Peugeot suddenly exploded 80 metres from her house outside of Bidnjia, a small town 15 km from Malta´s capital Valletta. Her son Matthew heard the violent blast and rushed out to find the smoldering wreck of the car on a field by the road: “I looked down and there were my mother’s body parts all around me”. Her scattered body had hit the ground 10 metres from the demolished vehicle.1
The news-media industry has long lamented how the digital revolution has broken its business models. Today, a majority of digital advertising money goes to Facebook and Google, and media companies are struggling to reinvent themselves through digital subscriptions.
Press freedom campaigners and journalists in Malta are hoping they could soon see justice for murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia – and that a powerful message will be sent across Europe that a free press can deny corrupt officials the power to act with impunity.
UNESCO has presented three reports concerning media issues to Member States meeting at the Organization’s Headquarters for the 40th session of its General Conference. The three reports, available online in English are: