CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views


Blog   |   Ethiopia, Journalist Assistance, Kenya

Mission Journal: Ethiopian journalists must choose between being locked up or locked out

Journalists who fled to Nairobi over security fears perform a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony in one of the cramped apartments they share. (CPJ/Nicole Schilit)

A sharp increase in the number of Ethiopian journalists fleeing into exile has been recorded by the Committee to Protect Journalists in the past 12 months. More than 30--twice the number of exiles CPJ documented in 2012 and 2013 combined--were forced to leave after the government began a campaign of arrests. In October, Nicole Schilit of CPJ's Journalist Assistance program and Martial Tourneur of partner group Reporters Without Borders traveled to Nairobi in Kenya to meet some of those forced to flee.

December 29, 2014 10:01 AM ET


Blog   |   Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Egypt, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mexico, Myanmar, Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine

Slideshow: Journalists killed in 2014

In 2014, at least 60 journalists and 11 media workers were killed in relation to their work, according to CPJ research. Local and international journalists died covering conflicts, including in Syria, Iraq, and Ukraine, while many others were murdered reporting on corruption and organized crime in their own countries.

Here, CPJ remembers some of the journalists who gave their lives to bring us this year's headlines.

Blog   |   Kenya

In Kenya, press curbed as government seeks to fight terrorism

Police arrest one of the protesters who gathered in Nairobi on December 18 to oppose the security bill. (AFP/Simon Maina)

The Kenyan press is being caught in the crossfire as authorities seek to strengthen defenses against terrorists. On December 19, Kenya's president signed into law a security bill that has the power to stop the press covering terror attacks. The government has also recently criticized the media over allegations that special units are carrying out extra-judicial killings, and a local journalist who reports on security issues has gone into hiding after receiving threats.

Blog   |   South Sudan

Mission Journal: As South Sudan conflict continues press still suffers

Members of the public visit the office of The Patriot. The paper's former chief editor says critical journalists risk being labeled rebel supporters. (CPJ)

On December 15 last year, fighting that broke out between supporters of South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar--who had been vice president until Kiir fired the entire Cabinet--escalated into a civil war that has increased pressure on an already fragile independent press.


Accounting for impunity is obligation for all states

This week, members of UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication will meet to discuss the director general's biannual report, which examines the cases of nearly 600 journalists killed around the world from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2013. The report, and lacklustre response from member states who had been asked to provide status updates to the cases, highlights why the campaign to end impunity is so vital.

November 18, 2014 4:22 PM ET


Blog   |   Zambia

Mission Journal: In Zambia, Sata never fulfilled promise of greater transparency

Taxi drivers read the news of President Michael Sata's death in The Post special edition on October 29, 2014 in Lusaka. (AFP/Chibala Zulu)

"We'll see for ourselves on Friday," was a refrain on the lips of most journalists I met in Lusaka in mid-September, as they speculated on the health of President Michael Sata ahead of their country's opening of parliament, where the leader was due to speak.

Blog   |   Rwanda

BBC's Rwanda documentary leads to illogical, illegal suspension

A screenshot of the BBC Two documentary Rwanda's Untold Story, which led to the BBC's Kinyarwanda radio service being suspended in Rwanda.

When the BBC released in early October its televised documentary "Rwanda's Untold Story," which questioned official accounts of the 1994 genocide, a massive outcry inside and outside Rwanda's borders ensued. Locals and foreigners alike protested the documentary's findings, parliamentarians demanded a ban and legal action, and authorities summarily suspended BBC's vernacular Kinyarwanda news service, the Kinyarwanda Great Lakes Service, indefinitely on October 24. While some local journalists denounced and others applauded the BBC's conclusions, few supported the ban on the nationwide news service.

October 28, 2014 4:33 PM ET


Blog   |   Liberia, Sierra Leone

In Ebola-stricken countries, authorities and journalists should work together

Liberians wash at an Ebola information station in Monrovia. The government has implemented restrictions on journalists reporting on the outbreak. (AFP/Pascal Guyot)

The Ebola crisis in West Africa is unrelenting, and journalists on the frontline of reporting on the virus are caught between authorities wanting to control how the outbreak is reported, and falling victim to the disease themselves.

October 17, 2014 4:14 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burundi

Burundi's journalist union takes repressive press law to court

Alexandre Niyungeko, of the Burundi Union of Journalists, speaks out about the restrictive press law. (IWACU)

If the state decides that a journalist's article in Burundi jeopardizes someone's "moral integrity" under the country's Media Law it can demand that the journalist reveals sources, and it can suspend the publication. "It's a backwards, freedom-killing law," said Alexandre Niyungeko, the founder and head of the 300-member Burundi Union of Journalists. Despite the press fraternity's best efforts, including an appeal replete with 15,000 signatures from organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, urging the president to desist from signing it, President Pierre Nkurunziza passed the bill into law on June 4, 2013.

Blog   |   Liberia

In attempts to contain Ebola, Liberia censors its press

Security forces guard a checkpoint in an area of Monrovia that was in quarantine for several days as part of government efforts to try to contain Ebola in Liberia. (Reuters)

With the Ebola epidemic predicted to get worse, the Liberian government has taken action to silence news outlets critical of its handling of the health crisis which, according to Liberia's Information Ministry, has claimed more than 1,000 lives in the country since March. Publishers have been harassed and forced to cease printing, and journalists were initially not exempt from a curfew, making it difficult for them to work, according to the Press Union of Liberia (PUL).


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