CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Nicole Schilit

CPJ Journalist Assistance Associate Nicole Schilit received her Masters of Public Administration from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. She has a background in documentary photography and focused her graduate work in human rights and international media, advocacy, and communications.

Blog   |   Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Journalist Assistance, Kenya, Somalia

Journalist Assistance helps record number in 2012

An increase in press freedom violations last year created a surge of need among journalists, driving a record number of assistance cases for CPJ's Journalist Assistance Program in 2012. More than three-quarters of the 195 journalists who received support during the year came from East Africa and the Middle East and North Africa, reflecting the challenges--including threats of violence and imprisonment--of working in these repressive regions. Here are some of the highlights of our work over the last year:

Blog   |   Syria, USA

Audio slideshow: A look at missing journalist James Foley

James Foley, a U.S. freelance journalist, was abducted in Syria in November. His colleague and friend Nicole Tung, a freelance photographer, spoke to CPJ about her experience working and traveling with Foley. A petition appealing for Foley's release can be signed here.

January 11, 2013 1:44 PM ET

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Blog   |   Security, USA

Author of Chauncey Bailey book: 'We had to do this'

AP/Crown

When Thomas Peele came into the CPJ offices last week to discuss Killing the Messenger, his book about the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey, he described a story that was layered with scandal, including a polygamous cult, bankruptcy, kidnapping, rape, a flawed confession, leaked evidence, and secret alliances--not to mention the aggressive attack on a free press. Peele, motivated in part by the blatant demonstration of corruption in the investigation into Bailey's death, intended to reveal the truth about the circumstances surrounding the case. Accompanying Peele at CPJ was our own senior adviser for journalist security, Frank Smyth, who became involved in the case as a CPJ representative.

June 22, 2012 3:11 PM ET

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Blog   |   Russia

Q&A: Nadira Isayeva on exile from Dagestan, in US

Nadira Isayeva (AP/Sergei Rasulov)

Nadira Isayeva, a 2010 CPJ International Press Freedom Award winner, has been living in exile since she left her native Dagestan, in Russia's volatile North Caucasus, in November 2011. Isayeva, the editor-in-chief of the independent weekly Chernovik, had been harassed by security forces for her relentless, critical coverage of their heavy-handed anti-terrorism operations in the region. Yet she was hesitant to leave, unable to imagine herself not reporting on these issues.

After fellow human rights advocates finally convinced Isayeva to leave, she came to New York, where she works as a fellow at Columbia University's Harriman Institute. (The interview has been edited).

June 19, 2012 12:02 AM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Italy

Artist's exhibit tells new stories about killed journalists

The "On Journalism #2 Typewriter." (Julian Koschwitz)

Julian Koschwitz is doing his part to ensure that the 918 journalists killed for their work since 1992 don't fade into mere numbers.

June 14, 2012 6:08 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Somalia

At CPJ Debrief, Gettleman cites Somalia danger, reward

Sebastian Junger, left, introduces fellow journalist Jeffrey Gettleman at the Half King. (Nicole Schilit)

Jeffrey Gettleman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent, says he travels with "a small militia" whenever he reports from Somalia, the East African country afflicted by armed insurgency, poverty, and hunger. As intrusive as the security detail might be, he feels far more fortunate than the local reporters who face sustained and often deadly risks, or the freelance journalists who don't have the extensive support system the Times can provide.

Gettleman spoke to a crowd of about 100 at the Half King pub in Manhattan on Tuesday in the first event in the new CPJ discussion series, "CPJ Debrief." Gettleman, the East Africa bureau chief for the Times, has worked in the region for six years. With East Africa's needs so acute, and the volume of international reporting on the decline, the assignment has given him a chance to have a profound impact.

May 24, 2012 5:57 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Security, USA

In digital security, knowledge and simplicity are keys

Panelists at the launch of the new CPJ Journalist Security Guide at Columbia University. (CPJ/Nicole Schilit)

Governments and criminal organizations are stepping up digital surveillance of journalists, but the press is not keeping pace in meeting the challenge, a panel of experts said Wednesday at an event marking the launch of the CPJ Journalist Security Guide. Reporters are using unsecure consumer electronic products for sensitive tasks such as note-taking and source management, the experts said, without sufficiently assessing the risks.

Blog   |   Liberia

Liberian journalist Mae Azango on cold threats, hot stories

Mae Azango compared going into a hiding with hanging in a bat cave. (CPJ/Sheryl Mendez)

Mae Azango was not surprised when the Liberian police failed to help when she began receiving threats of violence in response to an article she had written about female genital cutting that was published on in FrontPage Africa on March 8. She had previously reported critically on the police, including a case of police brutality against the mother of a rape victim. "I was doing hot stories on them so they were not happy with me," Azango proudly states.

April 27, 2012 5:00 PM ET

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