CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Robert Mahoney

Robert Mahoney is CPJ’s deputy director. He writes and speaks on press freedom, and has led CPJ missions to global hot spots from Iraq to Sri Lanka. He worked as a reporter, bureau chief and editor for Reuters around the world. Follow him on Twitter @RobertMMahoney.

Blog   |   Burundi

Mission Journal: Behind bars in Burundi

Kavumbagu (AFP)

"They like me in here," editor Jean-Claude Kavumbagu said of his fellow prisoners. But sub-Saharan Africa's only jailed online journalist still pays protection money to stay safe in Bujumbura's Mpimba Prison.

The Net Press editor has been here since police arrested him on July 17. He was charged with treason over an article that questioned the competence of Burundi's security services.

December 13, 2010 2:15 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ

A reporter's war through the lens of Broadway

Laura Linney and Brian D'Arcy James play  journalists pulled apart by their wartime experiences in "Time Stands Still." (Joan Marcus)

It takes a certain kind of person to cover a war up close and personal, day after day. One such journalist is Sarah Goodwin, the photographer in "Time Stands Still" by playwright Donald Margulies.

October 21, 2010 1:40 PM ET

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Blog   |   Canada, Iran, USA

Derakhshan case: When keeping quiet does not work

Creative Commons

The severity of the nearly 20-year jail sentence handed down to veteran Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan, left, has shocked many exiled Iranian journalists and bloggers with whom I've spoken. It's also reinforced their belief that the best way to help jailed colleagues is not through quiet diplomacy but by making a lot of noise.

October 5, 2010 2:56 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

European Court may fault Turkey in Dink murder case

More than three years after Dink was slain, people are keeping vigil in hopes for justice. (Reuters)

Turkish journalists are hoping a ruling next week by the European Court of Human Rights will bring justice for slain editor Hrant Dink at least one step closer. Prosecutors have dragged their feet in this case, which goes to the heart of the debate over Turkish identity. 

September 9, 2010 4:58 PM ET

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Blog   |   Saudi Arabia, UK, USA

U.S. Senate passes 'libel tourism' bill

This week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill shielding journalists and publishers from “libel tourism.” The vote on Monday slipped past the Washington press corps largely unnoticed. Maybe it was the title that strove chunkily for a memorable acronym: the Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act. Journalists and press freedom defenders outside the United States did, however, pay attention to the legislation, which they hope will spur libel law reform in their countries.

July 23, 2010 5:56 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, France, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Niger

50 years on, Francophone Africa strives for media freedom

A Congolese man removes a portrait of Belgium's king in Leopoldville on July 22, 1960, at the end of colonial rule. (AP)

CPJ has joined with African press freedom groups to urge African leaders to end repression of the media as they celebrate 50 years since the end of colonial rule. We will publish a series of blogs this week by African journalists reflecting on the checkered history of press freedom over that period.

This year is the 50th anniversary of independence for many countries in sub-Saharan Africa from colonial powers France and Belgium. To mark the event, French President Nicholas Sarkozy has invited African leaders to Paris for the July 14 Bastille Day celebrations. One thing that hasn’t changed much in the last half a century is that the presidents and prime ministers on the Champs Elysees reviewing stand can rest assured that media back home will dutifully report on their speeches and appearances.

July 13, 2010 2:22 PM ET

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Blog   |   Italy

Chilling Google verdict in Italy

David Drummond is one of three Google executives given a suspended prison term. (Reuters)

Italy was already the Internet freedom bad boy among western European democracies with its plans to extend broadcast TV licensing requirements to video sites. But the conviction today by a Milan judge of three Google executives is more than a one-off case of antisocial cyber behavior. It could end the protection that Web platforms now enjoy for user posted content. Potentially, that would mean that every video posted on the company’s YouTube site would have to be pre-screened for compliance with the law. That’s impossible for a site that is uploading almost a day’s worth of video every minute worldwide.

Internet freedom defenders had been expecting the worst for months, and Judge Oscar Magi didn’t disappoint. He gave six-month suspended prison sentences to David Drummond, Google's senior vice president and chief legal officer, Peter Fleischer, global privacy counsel, and George Reyes, a former chief financial officer. 

February 24, 2010 5:49 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Iran, USA

Columbia J-students learn the price of reporting in Iran

Maziar Bahari (Newsweek)

The two venues for the launch of Attacks on the Press in New York couldn’t have been more different. On Tuesday morning I was joined by Newsweek’s Maziar Bahari, and CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz in the hushed auditorium of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library at United Nations headquarters. The event was so well attended by the U.N. press corps that we ran out of copies of the book. The press conference went for more than an hour until I was slipped a note saying the U.N. spokesman needed the podium for the U.N. daily briefing.