CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Jason Stern

Jason Stern is a research associate for CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program. He has a master’s in Middle East Studies from George Washington University and a bachelor’s in government from Cornell University.

Blog   |   Syria

Behind the numbers: Researching Syria's killed journalists

Mourners carry the coffin of Yasser Faisal al-Jumaili, who was killed on assignment in Syria, at his funeral in Falluja, Iraq, on December 8. (Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani)

This year, CPJ researchers confirmed that at least 29 journalists died while covering the Syrian conflict. How did we arrive at that number?

Blog   |   Syria

Unprecedented response to kidnappings in Syria

In an unprecedented step, more than a dozen international news organizations have signed a joint letter to the Syrian armed opposition about the "disturbing rise in the kidnapping of journalists" in Syria, which has led many outlets to reduce their coverage of the conflict out of safety concerns. The organizations urge the Syrian armed opposition leadership "to assist in identifying those groups currently holding journalists and take the steps necessary to bring about their release."

December 11, 2013 9:01 AM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq

Too many triggermen, too little justice in Iraq

The Iraqi city of Mosul is once again one of the world's deadliest places for journalists. In the past two months, the capital of Nineveh province has witnessed a series of targeted assassinations that, according to local press freedom groups, have led to an exodus of journalists from the city fearing for their safety.

Blog   |   Iran

CPJ joins call for passage of Iran resolution in UN

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined two dozen human rights organizations in signing a letter calling on all member states of the U.N. General Assembly Third Committee to vote in favor Tuesday of resolution A/C.3/68/L.57 on the promotion and protection of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Blog   |   Syria

More hope in Syria as two more journalists freed

Italian journalist Domenico Quirico was released after being held captive for five months. (AFP/Andreas Solaro)

Just two weeks ago, I wrote that the recent escapes of American Matthew Schrier and French-American Jonathan Alpeyrie after months of captivity should give hope to all missing journalists in Syria. We now have two more reasons for hope.

Sunday, the Italian and Belgian governments announced that missing Italian journalist Domenico Quirico and Belgian academic writer Pierre Piccinin were freed. They had been missing for five months.

Blog   |   Syria

Escapees give hope in cases of journalists missing in Syria

The parents of Austin Tice hold a press conference in Beirut. Tice has been missing for a year. (AFP/Anwar Amro)

It has now been an entire year since Al-Hurra correspondent Bashar Fahmi, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, and freelancer Austin Tice, of the United States, went missing in Syria. But the recent liberation of two freelance journalists held for months gives us some reason to hope.

Blog   |   Syria

Attacks on Orient News illustrate Syria's many threats

Obaida Batal, correspondent for Orient News, has been taken hostage in Syria. (Orient News)

It is increasingly difficult to document violations against the press in Syria, let alone hold those responsible to account. It has always been hard to verify facts within the country. But now, the sheer number of violations and the expanding list of violators have become admittedly overwhelming. 

Blog   |   Iran

Iran restricts international coverage of election

Authorities are cracking down on election coverage by censoring the press. (AFP/Behrouz Mehri)

Some authoritarian governments try to hide their targeting of the press, but not the Islamic Republic of Iran. Officials there brag about it. Ahead of Iran's presidential election Friday, they have much to brag about.

Blog   |   Bahrain

Bahrain's "Blogfather" emerges from hiding

Ali Abdel Imam (AP/Hasan Jamali)

For two years, Bahrainis have been asking "Where is Ali Abdel Imam?" And now finally, they have an answer.

The prominent opposition blogger suddenly emerged from hiding last week, announcing he had been granted asylum in the United Kingdom, news sources reported. 

He had not been heard from since March 17, 2011, when he cryptically tweeted, "I get tired from my phone so I switched it of no need for rumors plz." The Bahraini government had just declared a state of emergency, as massive reform protests rocked the island country. Abdel Imam, who had already been arrested twice before for his work, feared the government would arrest him again in an impending crackdown. So when they came for him the following day, Abdel Imam made sure he wasn't there. He had not been heard from since--until last week.

Blog   |   Iran

Jon Stewart, Maziar Bahari, and #FreeIranPress

CPJ joined with the PEN American Center and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on Wednesday night to host a film screening and panel discussion on the deterioration of press freedom in Iran. Moderated by political satirist Jon Stewart, the panel featured Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari and CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. CPJ and our followers live-tweeted the event, which we have curated below using the social networking tool Storify.

2013

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