CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Andrew Levinson

Andrew Levinson served as CPJ's media officer from 2007 to 2010, promoting the organization's work on multiple platforms.


Press freedom in the news 9/8/08

In the news today, Reuters is covering the provisional weekend release of American filmmaker Andrew Berends in Nigeria. Berends was arrested on espionage charges by the Nigerian military along with his translator Samuel George on August 31. VOA News and The Lower Hudson News are also running stories about his release.

September 8, 2008 1:29 PM ET


Press freedom in the news 9/5/08

The Washington-based Web site One World is running a piece about CPJ's and other rights groups' condemnation of the arrest of journalists in St. Paul during the Republican National Convention. The article quotes CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon, who expressed his concern that "police in St. Paul prevented journalists from covering a breaking story."

Also today, the Sri Lankan news Web site TamilNet has a piece about the continued imprisonment of magazine journalist J.S Tissanayagam. He was indicted on terrorism charges for articles he published in 2006.

September 5, 2008 10:42 AM ET


Press freedom in the news 9/4/08

Killings and attacks on journalists in the North Caucasus region of Russia continues to be in the news today, with Philadelphia-based newspaper The Bulletin running a story about the violence.

Web site Reclaim the Media has reporting about the arrests of various journalists covering the RNC, and mentions our coverage. The Huffington Post also had a blog entry yesterday about the arrests in St. Paul and the lack of coverage on them.

Britain's The Telegraph online has a long piece analyzing Cuban life in the post-Castro era and cites our research on the continued repression of a free press there, pointing out that "Cuba is still one of the world's most censored nations."

September 4, 2008 12:10 PM ET



Press freedom in the news 9/3/08

The news of the arrest American filmmaker Andrew Berends in Nigeria is the focus of stories in The New York Times and the African Press Agency this morning. According  to CPJ's research, Berends and his Nigerian translator, Samuel Geroge, were both arrested by Nigerian authorities on August 31. 

Violence in Russia continues to be in the news today, with The Independent running additional coverage of the death of Magomed Yevloyev. Reuters' Web site AlertNet is also covering the death and subsequent protests at Yevloyev's funeral. The Associated Press is also reporting on more aggression against journalists in the North Caucasus region of Russia, where a TV journalist has been shot and killed and a reporter for an opposition paper has been beaten and seriously injured.

Also, AP has updated its monthly feature on key numbers from the war in Iraq, using our number of journalists killed there since 2003: 132.

September 3, 2008 11:03 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 9/2/08

Both the BBC and The International Herald Tribune have coverage of protests at the funeral of slain Russian journalist Magomed Yevloyev. We released a statement yesterday about the death of Yevloyev, the owner of Ingushetiya Web site, who was found dead after being taken into police custody. Roza Malsagova, the editor of the site, fled Russia in July after being beaten and harrassed by Ingush authorities.

CPJ reported on the kidnapping of Zurab Tsechoyev, editor of Mashr, a human rights Web site in Ingushetia, in late July.

Also in the news today, violence in Kashmir continues to prevent journalists from working. An article on the Web site Kashmir Newz contends that police attacks against the media were "probably deliberate designs of state agencies." CPJ has released two alerts on the violence and censorship in the region. Several other outlets covered this story over the weekend, including Kashmir Watch, the Associated Press of Pakistan, and The Daily Times of Pakistan.

September 2, 2008 12:25 PM ET



Press freedom in the news 8/29/08

Philippine blog The Mindanao Examiner has an open letter to President Gloria Arroyo that is critical of her approach to press freedom in the country, one of the most deadly for journalists. The Sun Star has an update on their blog Arroyo Watch that examines her comments critical of the media. CPJ's Global Campaign Against Impunity has focused on the Philippines. Two journalists were recently murdered there.

AllAfrica.com has posted an editorial from The Daily Observer, an independent newspaper out of Banjul, about the state of human rights in The Gambia. CPJ has been monitoring the case of Ebrima Manneh, a journalist who disappeared in 2006 in The Gambia. We published an update on his arrest in June when an ECOWAS court ordered his immediate release.

August 29, 2008 11:08 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 8/28/08

The International Herald Tribune has picked up an Associated Press report about the arrest of a Colombian politician in the murder of Nelson Carvajal, a broadcaster for Radio Sur killed in 1998.

The Pakistan Times and the Kashmir Observer are both covering the continued violence in Kashmir and mention our condemnation of the assaults and censorship of local journalists in the north Indian region.

Worldpress.org is covering the protests in Thailand calling for an end to the administration of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej. Protesters took control of the National Broadcasting Services, an action which CPJ denounced in an alert yesterday.

Finally this morning, the Web site AllAfrica has posted a story from The Daily Monitor, a government-run newspaper from Ethiopia, about our alert calling for the release of Amare Aregawi, editor-in-chief of the English- and Amharic-language newspaper Reporter, who has been detained since August 22.

August 28, 2008 10:18 AM ET


Press freedom in the news 8/27/08

The Washington Post has an column from Joe Davidson today that expresses concern about the CIA recruitment of journalists at a recent conference. Davidson discusses how the line between journalist and spy is often blurred abroad and how reporters like CPJ board member Terry Anderson have found themselves taken hostage when neutrality of journalists is not respected.

The Kashmir Media Service Web site has coverage of our alert from yesterday about the assaults and censorship of local journalists in the north Indian region. Pakistan's Daily Times is also reporting on our alert condemning the violence in Kashmir, as is the Associated Press of Pakistan.

August 27, 2008 12:04 PM ET


Press freedom in the news 8/26/08

Agence France-Presse is covering the abduction of two foreign journalists, their fixer, and driver in Somalia. Australian Nigel Brennan and Canadian Amanda Lindhout, along with their Somali support staff were kidnapped outside Mogadishu as they traveled to report on local humanitarian aid camps.

We released an alert urging their release yesterday. AFP quotes Africa Program Coordinator Tom Rhodes as saying, "Somalia continues to be the most dangerous place for local and foreign journalists in Africa."

On the blogs today, War Is Boring has a post about the kidnapped journalists, as does Not Ready for my Burqua. The CNN Wire blog is also posting updates on the story

The Sri Lankan Web site Lanka Business Online has coverage of the indictment on terrorism charges of Sri Lankan journalist J.S. Tissainayagam. CPJ released an alert yesterday condemning the court's decision.

August 26, 2008 10:40 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 8/25/08

As the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing came to an official close yesterday, many news outlets are looking at back what the Games mean for human rights in China. The Canadian Press has a piece arguing that nothing has changed, despite the pleasant face China put on for its international visitors.

The Ottawa Citizen  is running a story that questions whether the price paid by restricting press freedom was justified by a the completion of a highly successful Olympics. The News and Observer in North Carolina looks at the case of Shi Tao, a former CPJ IPFA winner and journalist still imprisoned in China, against the backdrop of China's Olympic triumph. Also, The Huffington Post has a look at the legacy of the Beijing Olympics.

In news out of Iraq today, The Associated Press has a story about Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, inviting the Iraqi press to his office to quash rumors that he had fallen ill. The cleric has been openly critical of the press in the past.

Tribune Magazine, published in the UK, has a detailed article that examines the dire situation for the press in Mexico. CPJ held a meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon in June  in which the president pledged his support to federalize crimes against freedom of expression.

August 25, 2008 11:04 AM ET



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