Stories written by Ed Holt

Calls to Halt Construction of Massive Oilfield in One of Africa’s last Wildernesses

Wildlife and environmental campaigners have called for international action as concerns grow over a project to create a massive oilfield in one of Africa’s last wildernesses.

Kuciak Case Retrial An Opportunity to Break Global Cycle of Impunity in Journalist Killings

A ruling last week ordering a retrial in the murders of a Slovak journalist and his fiancée has led to a “unique” opportunity to break a global cycle of impunity in journalist killings, press freedom groups have said.

Q&A: If China had a Free Press COVID-19 Pandemic ‘May not Have been so Severe’

China is one of the worst places in the world for media freedom, according to the global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) which ranked the country 177 out of 180 in its latest World Press Freedom Index. In the report, the group warned that Beijing is taking “internet censorship,  surveillance and propaganda to unprecedented level,” and had “taken advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to enhance its control over online information even more”. China is also the world’s biggest jailers of journalists with more than 120 journalists and what the group calls “defenders of press freedom” currently detained.

Large Corporations Cash in on COVID-19 Relief Funds

Poverty and income inequality are being deepened as COVID-19 relief funds are handed out to large corporations instead of social protection programmes in developing countries, groups involved in a new study of COVID-19 bailouts have said.

Refugee Children Explain How Education Helped Put Their Trauma Behind Them

Eighteen-year-old Chuol Nyakoach lives in the Nguenyyiel Refugee Camp in Gambella, Ethiopia. Chuol is grateful that despite the trauma she has already experienced in her young life, she is able to continue her education in the refugee camp. Learning has given her a reason to wake up every day.

Press Freedom under Lockdown Across Two-Thirds of the Globe

Independent journalism is facing a growing crackdown one year into the COVID-19 pandemic as governments around the world restrict access to information and muzzle critical reporting, media and rights watchdogs have warned.

Questions Remain over Botswana’s Mass Elephant Deaths

When hundreds of elephants died in the space of a few months in Botswana earlier this year, conservationists were shocked. Wildlife experts said it was one of the largest elephant mortality events in history.

Not Guilty Verdict in Kuciak Killing – a Chilling Message for Journalists

A Slovak businessman with alleged links to organised crime has been found not guilty of ordering the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak in a ruling that has left press freedom campaigners and politicians shocked.

HIV Services Take a Backseat to COVID-19 in Russia

In Russia, which has one of the world’s worst HIV/AIDS epidemics, an already fragile healthcare system is buckling under the pressure of dealing with COVID-19.

Ensuring Russia’s Sex Workers’ Rights Essential for Wider Gender Equality

Despite seeing a shift in attitudes towards them in recent years, Russian sex workers say they continue to struggle with marginalisation and criminalisation which poses a danger to them and the wider public.

Killer of Slovak Journalist Sentenced as Rights Groups Await further Convictions

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.


Harassment of Journalists Jeopardises Keeping Public Safe amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Growing intimidation and repression of journalists reporting on the coronavirus is threatening public health in some countries, press freedom monitors have warned.

Why Rich Countries must Protect Developing Nations from Coronavirus Pandemic

Governments in wealthy, first world countries must not ignore the plight of poorer nations battling the coronavirus or the disease will not be brought under control, global development experts have said.

Journalists Tell Slovakia’s PM-elect: ‘Thanks, but No Thanks’

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.

Slovak Journalist’s Trial a Fundamental Moment to Prove if Country can Punish Crimes Designed to Silence Journalists

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.

Net Closes on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s Killers, Sending a Powerful Signal of No Impunity for Corruption

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.

Net Food Importer Turkey Grapples with Challenges of Food Self-sufficiency

Despite latest research showing Turkey lagging in overall food sustainability, progress in sustainable agriculture appears to be a bright spot in the country’s troubled agriculture industry.

Q&A: How Europe has Moved Away from Being a Sanctuary for Journalists

Rising populism, anti-media rhetoric from politicians, cyber-harassment of journalists and physical attacks are among the reasons why press freedom in Europe is on the decline, according to the global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).


Q&A: A New Model for Independent Journalism in Slovakia

In 2014, worried about editorial independence after local businessmen bought a substantial stake in the major Slovak daily newspaper they worked at, a small group of journalists left in protest and set up their own paper run solely by the journalists themselves to ensure impartiality.

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.

‘Antimicrobial Resistance Knows No Boundaries’

European Union officials and global health bodies have called for help for poorer countries as growing resistance to antibiotics threatens to become a ‘global health tragedy’ and jeopardises Sustainable Development Goals in some parts of the world.

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