CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Americas

Blog   |   USA

How US Espionage Act can be used against journalists covering leaks

Earlier this week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly joked about Trump using a saber on the press and U.S. Senator Jim Risch told CNN the press should be questioning the Washington Post about its sources. Then, on May 16, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump allegedly asked former FBI director James Comey to consider putting journalists in prison for publishing classified information. If the request, which is allegedly detailed in a memo from Comey, is true it represents a serious risk to reporters, according to First Amendment attorneys.

Blog   |   Mexico

Javier Valdez Cárdenas, brave and beloved Mexican journalist

The author interprets Javier Valdez Cárdenas's acceptance speech at the 2011 International Press Freedom Awards in New York. Valdez 'combined the grit of the most battle-hardened reporter with the elegiac soul of a 19th century Romantic poet.' (CPJ)

When Mexican journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas arrived in New York City in November 2011 to accept CPJ's International Press Freedom Award, he and his staff had already suffered a grenade attack on the offices of their weekly, Ríodoce. Weeks after receiving the award, they were the victims of a denial of service (DOS) attack that would take the publication's website offline for days. The death threats against Javier in reprisal for his reporting on organized crime and corruption continued until his brutal murder today in his home city of Culiacán, but he refused a life in exile or a life without journalism. "To die," he said in an interview with CPJ, "would be to stop writing."

Blog   |   USA

With press freedom under attack worldwide, US is setting wrong example

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after their meetings at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 7, 2017. (AP/Alex Brandon)

For decades if not longer, repressive leaders around the world have defended restrictions on freedom of the press by citing examples of Western governments failing to live by their own professed standards.

Blog   |   USA

CPJ joins Fly Don't Spy campaign to protect journalists and their sources

(Access Now)

Over the past several months, the Committee to Protect Journalists has raised concerns over U.S. border agents' use of secondary searches of journalists and their devices at U.S. borders, and government proposals to require travelers to hand over social media account passwords as a condition of entry to the U.S. That is why today CPJ joined with 29 organizations to launch the Fly Don't Spy campaign. CPJ supports the rights of journalists to protect confidential information when traveling and is concerned about proposals that could undermine these values.

Blog   |   Brazil

In Brazil, outdated defamation laws and costly court cases used to pressure critics

Brazilian journalist Erik Silva never imagined that printing information from a municipal government website would see him accused of defamation and lead to a drawn-out court case. But almost a year after writing about the size of salary earned by a municipal accountant in Corumbá, a city of just under 100,000 people on Brazil's western border with Bolivia, he is still fighting to clear his name.

Blog   |   China, Germany, Internet, Russia, USA

Deciding who decides which news is fake

White House press secretary Sean Spicer talks to the media during the daily briefing. President Trump and his administration have accused critical outlets of being fake news. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Authorities decry the proliferation of misinformation and propaganda on the internet, and technology companies are wrestling with various measures to combat fake news. But addressing the problem without infringing on the right to free expression and the free flow of information is extremely thorny.

Blog   |   USA

CPJ calls on Homeland Security secretary to reject password proposal

A traveler arrives at New York's JFK airport. Suggestions by the Homeland Security Secretary that passengers be asked for social media passwords would impact journalists. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly's suggestion to a committee hearing that the U.S. could request social media profile and password information as a condition to entering the country. Such requirements would have an impact on journalists by undermining their ability to protect sources and work product, and would represent an escalation of the press freedom challenges journalists face at U.S. borders.

Blog   |   USA

Journalists covering Standing Rock face charges as police arrest protesters

A banner is unveiled near a camp of Dakota Access pipeline protesters. Several journalists covering the Standing Rock protests are facing charges. (AP/David Goldman)V(AP Photo/David Goldman)

For months, environmental protesters have clashed with police and private security companies over plans for the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.7 billion project that opponents say will destroy Native American sites and affect the region's water supply. While mainstream media have covered flashpoints in the protests, a core of mostly freelance, left-wing, and Native American outlets have remained at the site to provide daily coverage.

Blog   |   Canada

Surveillance of journalists and court orders puts Canada's press freedom at risk

VICE News reporter Ben Makuch is appealing a court order to make him hand over details of his communication with a source. (VICE News)

On February 6, VICE News reporter Ben Makuch is due to appear in court to appeal an order requesting that he hand over details of his communication with a source. The hearing comes ahead of a day of action being planned in Canada for February 25, when press freedom and privacy activists are due to lobby the government over issues including surveillance powers and an anti-terrorism bill.

Blog   |   USA

Transition to Trump: When a president-elect tweets, the trolls take aim

As a new presidential administration prepares to take over the U.S., CPJ examines the status of press freedom, including the challenges journalists face from surveillance, harassment, limited transparency, the questioning of libel laws, and other factors.

Crowds record Donald Trump on their phones during a rally in April. Journalists say they have been targeted by online trolls for their coverage of Trump. (AP/Steven Senne)

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