CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Frank Smyth

Frank Smyth is CPJ’s senior adviser for journalist security. He has reported on armed conflicts, organized crime, and human rights from nations including El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Cuba, Rwanda, Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Jordan, and Iraq. Follow him on Twitter @JournoSecurity.

Blog   |   Iran, Security, USA

Press Club honors jailed Iranian Kouhyar Goudarzi

Goudarzi

The
National Press Club next week will honor an Iranian journalist who is languishing in prison. Kouhyar Goudarzi, an online reporter and human rights activist, was
pursuing an aerospace degree at Sharif Industrial University when security agents put him behind bars, according to the International
Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
. Goudarzi, left, was an editor for Iran's Committee
of Human Rights Reporters and a producer for Radio Zamaneh.


Blog   |   Security, USA

In U.S., dangerous misconceptions from TSA poster

Back in 2004, Iraqi gunmen loyal to the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr abducted U.S. freelance photographer Paul Taggert because, as they later told The Associated Press, they thought he was a spy. Now, a new poster from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration reinforces dangerous misconceptions by depicting a photographer as a terrorist.

October 1, 2010 10:11 AM ET

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Blog   |   Gambia, Security, USA

Jammeh 'award' coverage reflects chill in Gambian press

Jammeh may be a Nebraska "admiral," but he was not commended by Obama. (Reuters)

"President Jammeh bags 4 awards," trumpeted a September 17 headline of the Daily Observer, a pro-government newspaper in the Gambia, a West African nation whose idyllic façade as "the smiling coast of Africa" is maintained in part by President Yahyah Jammeh's brutal repression of the independent press. 

September 24, 2010 3:26 PM ET

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Blog   |   Colombia, Security, USA

Hollman Morris, labeled 'terrorist,' finally Harvard-bound

Courtesy Hollman Morris

For a month, U.S.
officials in Bogotá told Colombian journalist Hollman Morris that his request for a U.S.
visa to study at Harvard as a prestigious Nieman
Fellow
had been denied on grounds relating to terrorist activities as
defined by the U.S. Patriot Act, and that the decision was permanent and that there were no grounds for appeal. It was the first time in the storied history
of the Nieman
Foundation
that a journalist had been prohibited from traveling not by his
own nation, such as, say, South Africa’s apartheid regime back in 1960, but by
ours, noted
Nieman Curator Bob Giles
in the Los Angeles Times.

July 27, 2010 4:35 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Egypt, Haiti, Pakistan, Russia, Security, USA

Global Media Forum cites risks of environmental reporting

Fishermen on the Nile, where chemical dumping has been reported. (AP/Ben Curtis) He's young,
unemployed and carries himself with the innocence of a man who hasn't spent
much time outside his own village. But Egyptian blogger Tamer
Mabrouk
is the real deal. Appearing at an international media conference in Bonn, Mabrouk's description of chemical dumping into a
brackish lagoon on the northern Nile Delta near the Mediterranean Sea was
punctuated by photos of unmistakable filth. He won over the audience when, in
response to a question on how one travels with sensitive material, Tamer deftly
removed a memory card secreted in an electronic device and held it in the air.
That, he said, is where he had carried documents for this trip.

Blog   |   Security, USA

‘Crude’ filmmaker’s raw footage subject to subpoena

Ruling invokes Justice Brandeis in a surprising way. (AP)

A
filmmaker’s raw footage is much like a photographer’s unedited images or a
reporter’s notebooks—a private record of their reporting that is rarely
disclosed to others. On Thursday, a federal judge in New York ruled
that a private firm could subpoena the unedited footage used to make a news
documentary. The reason? To help the company defend itself against a lawsuit.


May 7, 2010 3:01 PM ET

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Blog   |   Security, USA

Press freedom has a good day: WPFD, the Daniel Pearl Act

Yesterday was a good one for press freedom. “The United States joins the international community in celebrating World Press Freedom Day,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a statement. “Wherever independent media are under threat, accountable governance and human freedom are undermined.” She went on to defend harassed or jailed bloggers in nations from Cuba to BurmaClinton further noted that 71 journalists, citing CPJ figures, were killed last year, many murdered with impunity.

Blog   |   Iraq, Security, UAE, USA

FOIA needs new muscle behind it, not just promises

The White House says it wants to improve transparency. Greater access to information could prevent deaths of journalists in the field.These are busy days for Freedom of Information. On April 5, the watchdog Web site that knows no borders, WikiLeaks, posted a classified U.S. military video showing U.S. forces firing on Iraqi civilians, killing many, including two Reuters journalists, as well as wounding children. Two days later, the Pentagon posted a redacted U.S. military assessment of the same incident concluding that U.S. troops fired “in accordance with the law of armed conflict and rules of engagement.” The very same day President Obama hailed the scheduled release of a new Open Government Initiative by all Cabinet agencies to improve transparency and compliance with information requests.

April 26, 2010 10:51 AM ET

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