CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Courtney C. Radsch

CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney C. Radsch, PhD, is a journalist, researcher, and free expression advocate. She previously worked for UNESCO's Section for Freedom of Expression and as senior program manager for the Global Freedom of Expression Campaign at Freedom House, where she led advocacy missions to more than a dozen countries. She has also worked for Al-Arabiya in Dubai, the Daily Star in Lebanon, and The New York Times. Follow her on Twitter @courtneyr.

Blog   |   CPJ

On World Press Freedom Day and journalists' safety

Last week, I met a Cameroonian journalist who worked in the Congo until he fled following a series of threats and an attack on his home by armed men who assaulted his sister. Elie Smith, a TV host who documented alleged abuses by police and was outspoken in his criticism of the government, said he thought he had been under surveillance and that he had received multiple threats via text message.

Blog   |   Internet, Security, USA

CPJ joins call for meaningful reform of US surveillance

Mass surveillance and the bulk collection of metadata by the U.S. government pose serious threats to journalists in the U.S. and around the world, which is why the Committee to Protect Journalists today joined a wide coalition of privacy, human rights, technology, and trade groups calling on Congress and the Obama Administration to include certain elements in U.S. surveillance reform.

Blog   |   Internet, USA

In fight against extremism, press freedom must not be compromised

President Obama speaks at the summit to counter violent extremism in Washington, D.C. on February 19. (AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

In an effort to counter extremists and militant groups who use a mix of violence and social media to spread their message, a summit was held in Washington, D.C. this week to discuss how to counter violent extremism. While there is little denying that these groups must be tackled, an approach must be found that will not justify restricting the press.

Blog   |   Egypt

Mission Journal: In Egypt, glimmer of hope in bleak press environment

Mohamed Fahmy holds an Egyptian flag on February 12 after a court ruled he and Al-Jazeera colleague Baher Mohamed could be released on bail. (AP/Hassan Ammar)

After a series of high-level meetings to discuss press freedom concerns with Egyptian officials in Cairo this week, it was heartening to hear that journalists Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed had been granted bail after more than 400 days in prison.

Blog   |   CPJ, Iran

Rosewater: An Iranian journalist's journey from prison to silver screen

In 2009, the sketch comedian Jason Jones traveled to Iran to interview Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari for "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. Shortly after the disputed June 12 elections, the series of reports aired amid a brutal crackdown on Iranian journalists and the opposition. Bahari was among those arrested. Among the "evidence" presented by his interrogators--one of whom smelled like rosewater--was his interview with the fake news show, which they claimed was proof he had spoken with an American spy. When they could not get those charges to stick they made up a new one: "media espionage."

November 4, 2014 1:57 PM ET

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Blog   |   Kyrgyzstan

CPJ meets with Kyrgyz prosecutor-general, calls for reopening Askarov case

This photo of Askarov was taken at the start of the trial in September 2010. (Nurbek Toktakunov)

This month, the prosecutor-general of Kyrgyzstan, Aida Salyanova, told the Committee to Protect Journalists that her office is working hard to fight corruption and ensure transparency in government activities.

We are not convinced.

Blog   |   Egypt

Press freedom is now el-Sisi's choice

Egypt's newly elected leader, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, will have to face many challenges as president, including the real crisis that confronts freedom of the press in the country. Things were never good for the press in Egypt, but they have worsened significantly since former President Mohamed Morsi was ousted last summer. As CPJ wrote in a letter before the election to el-Sisi and his now defeated opponent, Hamdeen Sabahi, at least six journalists have been killed since Morsi's ouster and 16 journalists are currently imprisoned. Dozens more have been detained and released, creating a climate of fear and repression that has dampened the ability of journalists to cover political developments and the most recent election.

June 3, 2014 2:02 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ

Little progress on journalist safety despite more attention

Late in 2013, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 68/163 on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, in an effort to stem the killings of journalists and ensure that perpetrators of deadly violence against journalists are brought to justice. The resolution was a recognition that it has never been a more dangerous time to be a journalist, and that states have a responsibility to take action.

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