The new year brought bad news for press freedom on the African continent with the brutal murder of one journalist and the suspicious death of another.
Practicing journalism in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador is becoming increasingly difficult in the face of the persecution of independent media outlets by neo-populist rulers of different stripes, intolerant of criticism.
Governments are determined to control information and are prepared to imprison journalists to achieve this mission, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said following the release of their annual global census tracking journalists who were imprisoned and killed in 2021.
“If I fall into the hands of the Taliban, not only me but my family will be killed,” said AB, 23*, who worked as a broadcast journalist for the past seven years and is a well-known face on the television screen.
The family of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has called for “lessons to be learnt” after an independent inquiry found that the Maltese state bore responsibility for her death.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most hostile and dangerous regions for journalists. A complex conflict, deeply rooted in the country’s past, allows very little freedom, both movement and the press.
International correspondent Jeffrey Moyo, who was a released from detention today after being arrested for breaching Zimbabwe’s Immigration Act by helping two foreign journalists work in the country, says press freedom is undermined when journalists cannot work undeterred.
As international correspondent Jeffrey Moyo was denied bail for allegedly breaching a section of the Zimbabwe Immigration Act by helping two foreign journalists work in the country without proper media accreditation, local organisations have called for his release and for him to be accorded a fair trial.
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.
is all that you can't say.
Years gone by and still
words don't come easily,
like forgive me, forgive me.
The World Press Freedom Day
on the 3rd of May is an occasion for celebrating humanity. Language enables us to transmit our thoughts in sound – a means of communication developed through our unique brain, combined with our capacity to control lips, tongue and other components of the vocal apparatus. Over time, humans have also acquired skills to commit our language to writing.
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.
Two human rights groups have called on the military in Myanmar to release journalists arbitrarily jailed and allow them to work without harassment and prosecution.
Amnesty International and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) told IPS that they will double down on those demands until all journalists are released and the operating licenses of newsgroups are restored.
“Email and social media access attempts, extremely aggressive comments, photo montages, massive defamation and intimidation campaigns on WhatsApp. This is what women journalists are facing for doing our job,” said Brazilian journalist Bianca Santana.
A long-running gag says “in Zimbabwe there is freedom of speech, but no freedom after the speech”. But for journalists and activists who have been forced to endure nights in the country’s overcrowded and filthy holding cells, this is no laughing matter as prison inmates have no personal protective equipment to guard against COVID-19.
While Mozambique was recently rattled by an arson attack on a local media organisation, experts say that it’s only a part of a worrying pattern of continuous attacks on the media in the country.
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.
Governments have made the media “a scapegoat” across Asia, targeting journalists who are simply reporting on the failures or shortcomings of their leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, press freedom experts have warned.
has designated at least 170 specific days of the year as occasions to mark particular events or topics to promote the objectives of the Organization. 2
This might be considered as yet another sign of a supersaturation caused by the internet revolution. However, it cannot be denied that certain issues need to be globally recognized and amended. UNESCO has declared that the 3rd of May will be a day to remind us that media are in several parts of the world under attack, their independence are denied, critical thinking is considered as a threat and journalists seeking the truth are harassed, threatened, roughed up, or even killed. I would like to add that it is also an opportunity to acknowledge that communication, critical thinking, and imagination are essential parts of human existence and culture, if this is suppressed the entire humanity will suffer.
This year’s World Press Freedom Day on 3 May falls during COVID-19 lockdowns in many of our countries. Restriction on movement means journalists all over the world are facing obstacles in getting interviews and data, and verifying stories before publishing.
Andrew Sam Raja Pandian, a digital journalist and founder of a news portal in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, was arrested for running two news articles related to COVID-19.
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.