CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views


Blog   |   Internet, Security, USA

Save Crypto: CPJ joins call for Obama to back strong encryption

The Committee to Protect Journalists has signed a petition organized by digital rights groups Access and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, urging President Barack Obama to publicly commit the U.S. to a policy of supporting strong encryption. Since the Save Crypto petition's launch on September 29, it has gathered nearly 18,000 signatures, including about 30 from press freedom and digital rights groups.

October 2, 2015 5:12 PM ET


Blog   |   Internet, Security, USA

Has White House finally got the message about strong encryption? Welcome shift seen in speeches and policy memo

The west wing of the White House in July. The Obama administration is debating whether to support stronger encryption. (Geoffrey King/CPJ)

Yesterday, during a panel on encryption policy hosted by Just Security, an online forum covering national security law and policy, top U.S. intelligence lawyer Robert S. Litt pressed the case for engineering backdoors in encryption without undermining computer security as a whole. As CPJ has documented, leading security and policy experts consider this impossible.

Blog   |   Ecuador

Firing of critical newspaper editor raises concern in Ecuador

When the Quito daily El Comercio was sold in December to a Latin America media tycoon known for avoiding editorial conflict, press freedom advocates feared the newspaper would soften its coverage of the Ecuadoran government. Those concerns have now increased with last month’s firing of Martín Pallares, one of El Comercio’s most prominent journalists and a fierce government critic.

Blog   |   Mexico

'Pedro Canché Law' obscures the real problem in Quintana Roo

Roberto Borge, governor of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, says a new law is meant to protect journalists, but they say it is a joke. (AP/Israel Leal)

Mayan journalist Pedro Canché spent 271 days in prison on charges of sabotage. Authorities alleged Canché organized protests one year ago against rising water bills in the Zona Maya south of Cancún, in Quintana Roo state, where demonstrators stormed the offices of the local waterworks, CPJ research shows.

September 1, 2015 2:00 PM ET

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Blog   |   Peru

Criminal defamation thwarts critical reporting in Ayacucho

When Wilfredo Oscorima, the governor of the southern Peruvian state of Ayacucho, was sentenced in June to five years in prison for official misconduct, independent daily La Calle viewed the ruling as vindication for its vigorous investigations into his administration.

Blog   |   Mexico

The murder of Mexican photographer Espinosa has touched a nerve

A protester holds up a photograph of Rubén Espinosa, a journalist who was killed after he fled Veracruz state. Hundreds of journalists, writers, and artists have signed on to a letter calling on the Mexican government to end the cycle of violence in Mexico. (Reuters/Henry Romero)

The July 31 murder of Mexican photographer Rubén Espinosa hit the press freedom community really hard. Espinosa, who was found in an apartment with four female victims--all of them shot in the head--had fled the state of Veracruz in June and sought refuge in Mexico City, where he thought he would be safe from threats and intimidation.

Blog   |   Syria, USA

Audio: James Foley on being a freelance war correspondent

In April 2012, Nicole Schilit, research associate in CPJ's Journalist Assistance program, interviewed James Foley about his experience working as a freelance journalist in conflict zones. The interview took place in New York between reporting trips to Libya and Syria. Foley was murdered in Syria in August 2014.

August 18, 2015 10:40 AM ET


Blog   |   Security, USA

In times of war, Pentagon reserves right to treat journalists like spies

A press briefing at the Pentagon in April. Worrying guidelines on how the military can categorize the press during conflict are contained in the Defense Department's Law of War Manual. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

The Pentagon has produced its first Department of Defense-wide Law of War Manual and the results are not encouraging for journalists who, the documents state, may be treated as "unprivileged belligerents." But the manual's justification for categorizing journalists this way is not based on any specific case, law or treaty. Instead, the relevant passages have footnotes referring to either other parts of the document or matters not germane to this legal assertion. And the language used to attempt to justify this categorization is weak at best.

Blog   |   Indonesia, Internet, Security, USA

Increased risks for filmmakers and sources in documentaries' Golden Age

A scene from Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary 'The Look of Silence.' (Courtesy of Drafthouse Films and Participant Media)

Joshua Oppenheimer travelled to New York for today's premiere of his documentary "The Look of Silence," but one place he won't travel is Indonesia, where he says his work on this and an earlier film puts him at risk. Earlier this week, Laura Poitras, the Academy Award-winning director of the documentary CITIZENFOUR, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government seeking information related to border interrogations to which she was subjected between 2006 and 2012. These two cases represent the increased and varied risks facing filmmakers and their sources in what many critics have dubbed the Golden Age of documentary film.

July 17, 2015 1:27 PM ET

Blog   |   Venezuela

In Venezuela, online news helps journalists get their voices back

After leaving Globovisión, Alberto Ravell, pictured in 2010, set up critical online news site La Patilla. (AFP/Miguel Gutierrez)

When Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was rumored to be gravely ill four years ago, his socialist government was tightlipped about the diagnosis. Then in June 2011 a source in Havana, Cuba, where Chávez was being treated, told Nelson Bocaranda, a veteran columnist for the Caracas daily El Universal, that the president had cancer.

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