CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Bob Dietz

Bob Dietz, coordinator of CPJ’s Asia Program, has reported across the continent for news outlets such as CNN and Asiaweek. He has led numerous CPJ missions, including ones to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Follow him on Twitter @cpjasia and Facebook @ CPJ Asia Desk.

Blog   |   Pakistan

Pakistani journalist Muhammud Rasool Dawar under threat

We get a fairly steady stream of journalists in Asia asking for assistance. The majority of the requests come from journalists who have been threatened, and the threats can come from just about anywhere: militant groups, the military, government officials, powerful local politicians, arms runners, and drug dealers.

Blog   |   India

Five-day ban for Al-Jazeera in India, one year after map error

Viewers wanting to watch Al-Jazeera in India this week are greeted with a message, above, explaining the news outlet has been banned for five days. (AFP/Chandan Khanna)

On Wednesday, Al-Jazeera was forced off the air in India after the government demanded the Qatar-based news broadcaster be suspended for five days for broadcasting images of maps between 2013 and 2014 that did not display Pakistan-controlled Kashmir as separate territory.

April 23, 2015 4:48 PM ET

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Blog   |   China

Jailed journalist Gao Yu saw what was coming. So should the IOC

Gao at a press freedom conference in Paris, in April 2008,(AP/Jacques Brinon)

Gao Yu was right, I was wrong. Gao, who was handed a seven-year prison sentence in a Beijing court on Friday, and I met at a conference organized by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers in Paris in April 2008, a few months before the Beijing Olympic Games were to get underway. CPJ had worked hard to publicize the mistake made by the International Olympics Committee in awarding China the Games in the first place.

Blog   |   China

Veteran Chinese journalist Gao Yu awaits her fate

Chinese journalist Gao Yu, pictured at a Hong Kong press conference in 2007, is expected to be sentenced in China on April 17. (AFP/Mike Clarke)

A verdict is expected Friday in the case of veteran journalist and staunch government critic Gao Yu. The 71-year-old freelance journalist, who writes about politics, the economy, and social trends for Chinese media in Hong Kong and overseas, was tried in November for disclosing state secrets.

April 15, 2015 12:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

One year later: Hamid Mir on the attempt to kill him and what came next

(Geo News)

Hamid Mir and I last saw each other in Islamabad in late January at a meeting of the Pakistan Coalition on Media Safety. Mir, a senior anchor for Geo News, seemed as if he was on the road to recovery, but he was obviously still in pain from injuries he sustained during an assassination attempt on him last year. On April 19, 2014, Mir was shot multiple times as he left Karachi's main airport.

Blog   |   Pakistan

Evolution of Pakistan's proposed cybercrime law

Journalists browse the Internet in Peshawar. Pakistan's draft cybercrime bill includes a section seeking to justify government censorship of Web content. (AFP/A Majeed)

A pointer to our colleagues at Bolo Bhi, Pakistan's independent Internet freedom and electronic privacy watchdog (it's involved in gender issues too). The watchdog has been tracking the evolution of Pakistan's attempts at cybercrime legislation since 2007.

April 1, 2015 2:30 PM ET

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Blog   |   Indonesia

Media restrictions in Papua underscore Indonesia's wider problems

A rally in Jakarta for the Free Papua Movement. Restricted media access to the Indonesian region has left the ongoing fight for secession under reported. (Reuters/Pius Erlangga)

With more than 50 years of restricted media access, one of the least covered armed conflicts in the world is the long-simmering struggle between Indonesia's military and the secessionist Free Papua Movement. Under Indonesia's seven successive post-independence governments--the early ones led by autocratic strongmen, the recent ones more or less democratically elected--the world has been deprived of details of the persistent low-intensity battle for autonomy playing out in the Papuan provinces.

Blog   |   Pakistan

A year after Raza Rumi attack, little change for Pakistan's beleaguered press

Raza Rumi, pictured in Washington, D.C. in March at a rally for a murdered Bangladeshi blogger, has been living in the U.S. since gunman attacked him last year. (Raza Rumi)

One year ago Raza Rumi, a TV anchor and widely-respected analyst in Pakistan, narrowly escaped death when gunmen opened fire on his car in an attack that killed his driver, Mustafa. When I wrote about the March 28 attack, the fourth on the Express Group in eight months that had left four people dead, I highlighted the lack of a police investigation.

Blog   |   Singapore

Lee Kuan Yew's legacy

What to make of Singapore's first and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died Monday morning in the city-state? Under the banner of the People's Action Party, Lee held government power for three decades. After stepping away from the prime minister's office in 1990, he held positions of senior minister and later "minister mentor" until 2004, when his son, Lee Hsien Loong, became prime minister. Under their rule (and the interregnum of Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong--not a Lee family member, but hand-picked for the role, with the elder Lee looming over his shoulder for 14 years), Singapore emerged from Southeast Asia's post-Second World War tumult as its most successful economy, a combination of authoritarian government, democratic trappings, and free markets that some predict will be the next century's model for growth and stability. And Singapore's media policies are being replicated across much of Southeast Asia.

Blog   |   Burkina Faso, China, France, India

Ban of India's Daughter and other films silences debate on key issues

A poster advertises a screening of Timbuktu at the Pan-African Film Festival in Burkina Faso. The Oscar-nominated film on Islamic militancy was barred from a Paris suburb. (AFP/Ahmed Ouoba)

What do Delhi, Beijing, and Villiers-sur-Marne have in common, but Ouagadougou does not? The first three recently banned access to films their governments deemed inappropriate. But a film festival in the fourth, the capital of Burkina Faso in West Africa, is stepping up security to show an acclaimed but controversial movie about Islamic militancy in neighboring Mali.

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