CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views


Blog   |   USA

CPJ testimony on threats to press freedom at Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Today, at a hearing before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney C. Radsch gave testimony on the threats to freedom of expression.

July 14, 2016 3:38 PM ET


Blog   |   Security, USA

Be prepared: steps to staying safe while covering US political party conventions

A confrontation outside a Trump rally in San Diego in May. Journalists covering the Republican and Democratic conventions are advised to take security precautions. (AP/Lenny Ignelzi)

The U.S. political party conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia this summer carry the risk of civil unrest. While protests have long occurred both inside and outside of convention venues, security experts and political commentators have said this year's gatherings have the potential for unrest not seen since in the U.S. since the Vietnam war-era clashes in Chicago during the Democratic Party convention in 1968

Blog   |   Gambia, Iraq, Russia, USA

Global Magnitsky Act could be powerful weapon against impunity in journalist murders

The funeral of Sergei Magnitsky is held in Moscow on November 20, 2009. The lawyer died in state custody after exposing official corruption. (Reuters/Mikhail Voskresensky)

Last week, the proposed Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act emerged from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee with approval. The bill was passed by the Senate last year. If passed by the full House of Representatives and signed into law by the president, it has the potential to offer partial redress to one of the most chilling truths facing journalists today: in 90 percent of cases, the murders of journalists go unpunished.

Blog   |   USA

Why Trump's insults of journalists must be taken seriously

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to journalists in Nashville, Tennessee, in August 2015. (Reuters/Harrison McClary)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called the mainstream media "crooked" "unfair" "troublemakers" and The New York Times a failing, "SAD!" newspaper "full of boring lies." Individual reporters are "liars" and "bimbos," according to his tweets.

Blog   |   Canada, China, USA

China's overseas critics under pressure from smear campaigns, cyber attacks

"I think my actions ... have harmed the national interest. What I have done was very wrong. I seriously and earnestly accept to learn a lesson and plead guilty," said Chinese journalist Gao Yu during a televised confession on the state-run channel CCTV in May 2014.

Blog   |   Security, USA

Journalist groups urge Kerry to make good on media safety pledges

The Islamic State beheadings of journalists shook up the media industry. The safety of reporters generally and conditions for freelancers in particular became a news story. Politicians responded.

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.

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   |   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.

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.

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