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.


News Wrap for 8/22/08

The Philadelphia Daily News has a story this morning about two video bloggers arrested by police in Beijing this week. The New York Times also has coverage of the arrests, along with  details about overall press harassment during the Games. CPJ issued an alert on Thursday, protesting both the detentions and the harassment of two Associated Press photographers covering a pro-Tibet protest.

Also today, the Web site Truthdig has coverage of Iraqi cameraman Ali Al-Mashhanani's release from US detention.The Mirror out of England is following the story as well.

August 22, 2008 1:16 PM ET



News Wrap for 8/21/08

Topping the news this morning is the release of Iraqi cameraman Ali Al-Mashhadani, who had been held by US forces without charge for three weeks in Iraq. Reuters is reporting that Al-Mashhadani was released early Thursday after being held "because he has been assessed to be a threat to the security of Iraq and coalition forces," according to the US military. Agence-France Presse and Dow Jones are also covering his release. This is the third time that he has been held without charge by the US military in Iraq, and CPJ has petitioned for his release in each instance.

Also in the news today, Voice of America has a long report about the difficulties facing independent journalists in Senegal and The Gambia.

August 21, 2008 11:00 AM ET


News Wrap for 8/20/08

China returns to the forefront this morning as the Olympic Games are nearing an end. The Associated Press has a story about human rights groups' frustration at the lack of outcry, along with protests against myriad rights abuses. The story quotes CPJ's Asia program coordinator, Bob Dietz, who is working out of Hong Kong. "In the end, they pretty much defined the terms in which the media was going to operate," he said. "Those terms are not the same as in the Western world." Reuters is running a story about the crackdown against pro-Tibet protests, as well as the generally tight control Beijing officials have had on all demonstrations.

August 20, 2008 10:51 AM ET



News Wrap for 8/19/08

On a quiet news day, South African Web site Business Day has a story outlining the situation in Zimbabwe, and looks at how limiting press freedom has inhibited peace in the country.

In other news out of Africa today, the AllAfrica Web site is running an opinion piece about the state of newspapers in Sierra Leone.

August 19, 2008 11:01 AM ET


News Wrap for 8/18/08

All the major Philippine news outlets are covering the news this morning of the shooting death of another possible journalist. Inquirer.net, GMA News, The Mindanao Examiner, and ABS CBN are all covering the news that Ronaldo Anjo Julia, who may have been a part-time radio broadcaster, was shot and killed by gunman on a Manila street. The Web site 7DAYS out of Dubai also has coverage of the story and reports that the motive for the killing is still unclear, as Julia had also been doing work for his brother, a local politician. CPJ is currently investigating the case.

The Cebu Daily News, also based in the Philippines, has an editorial examining possible reasons for the drastic increase in violence against media workers in light of the recent deaths of Dennis Cuesta and Martin Roxas, both cases that CPJ has covered over the last 10 days.

Reuters is reporting that over the weekend two independent newspapers were attacked in the Sengalese capital of Dakar, increasing tension between the President Abdoulaye Wade's administration and the media. CPJ sent a letter to Wade at the end of June, expressing alarm at the worsening press conditions in the African nation.

August 18, 2008 11:14 AM ET


Blog   |   Azerbaijan

Frank Smyth on the FBI and shield laws

CPJ's Washington Representative Frank Smyth has a posting on The Hill Blog today about how the FBI went through back channels to obtain phone records of New York Times and Washington Post journalists in Indonesia in 2004. The news that the FBI director is set to testify in front of Congress on this matter in September has revived debate over the need for a federal shield law to protect journalists' First Amendment rights.

Read Smyth's post at The Hill Blog.

August 15, 2008 12:49 PM ET


News Wrap for 8/15/08

The Miami Herald is covering news out of Colombia that TV network Telesur has again been accused of having ties to FARC rebels. A journalist for the network has been fingered by the government after his name was allegedly found on confiscated FARC computers. CPJ is quoted in the story: ''The fact that Parra's name has supposedly been found on a FARC computer is not proof of any wrongdoing,'' said Americas Senior Program Coordinator Carlos Lauría. The Olympian in Washington is also running this story today.

AllAfrica has republished our alert on the disappearance of prominent Egyptian editor, Reda Halal, who vanished on his way home from work five years ago in Cairo. There has been no progress made in the case, and CPJ's repeated calls to the Egyptian government have been largely ignored. For more, read our special report on Reda Helal: "The Forgotten Man."

Lastly this morning, Islam Online.net has a story about the continued targeting of media in Iraq that cites our numbers of at least 130 journalists and 50 media workers killed since 2003.

August 15, 2008 11:19 AM ET



News Wrap for 8/14/08

BBC News has coverage this morning about the media's reaction to Israel's decision to clear the soldiers involved in the death of Reuters cameraman Fadel Shana. The "Editors' Blog" on British site Journalism talks about Reuters' "dissatisfaction" at the verdict and the Middle East Online Web site has a report that cites our alert on the ruling, and quotes the concerns of  CPJ's Middle East Senior Program Coordinator Joel Campagna: "These findings mean that a journalist with a camera is at risk of coming under fire and there's not that much that can be done. That's unacceptable."

Australia's Sydney Morning Herald also covers the IDF's ruling and quotes our statistic of eight journalist deaths in the West Bank and Gaza since 1992. The Lebanese Web site Menassat has republished our alert from yesterday as well.

The arrest of ITN reporter John Ray yesterday in Beijing has stirred up fresh concerns about press freedom during the Games and China's overall human rights record. From England, both The Telegraph and The Guardian have stories today about the IOC's unwillingness to admit China's failures, particularly in regard to freedom of the press. The International Herald Tribune is also covering the story, as is the Web site Monsters and Critics.

August 14, 2008 11:07 AM ET



News Wrap for 8/12/08

The conflict in Georgia is making headlines this morning with The Georgian Times Web site running a news brief on press casualties that quotes our alert from yesterday. RFE/RL also has a story online that quotes our coverage of the death of three journalists and the disappearance of two others in South Ossetia. The Web site Bloggernews has a post about the suspension of VOA's Russian service shortly before the conflict began. Also, the Institute for War and Peach Reporting has an article outlining the conflict and guarantees from Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to protect freedom of the press even as the violence continues.

Philippine Web site The News Today has an article about journalists taking to the streets in Roxas City to protest the death of their colleague Martin Roxas. Yesterday, the Southeast Asian Press Alliance's Web site re-posted an article from the Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility that lamented the death of broadcaster Dennis Cuesta, who succumbed to his wounds suffered on August 4.

CPJ board member Sheila Coronel blogs today from Manila on the deaths of these two journalists and the deepening crisis of impunity in the Philippines.

August 12, 2008 10:30 AM ET



News Wrap for 8/11/08

On The Huffington Post this morning, Magda Abu-Fadil has a blog entry that closely examines the situation for journalists in Mauritania and mentions our alert on the bloodless coup and how it might affect the domestic media.

Also this morning, the Web site The Editors Weblog has a short article about censorship in Dagestan, where we reported on a local editor being accused of "extremism" for publishing a quote by a former guerrilla leader in the independent weekly newspaper Chernovik.

And in news out of China, England's Times Online is running an article that questions whether the Chinese media is censoring the press in regards to the death of American tourist Todd Bachman.

Over the weekend, The Associated Press reported that Philippine journalist Dennis Cuesta died from the gunshot wounds sustained in an attack early last week. This sad development, coupled with last week's shooting death of Martin Roxas, a collegie of Cuesta's, is the focus of a story in the Sunday edition of The International Herald Tribune.

August 11, 2008 10:20 AM ET



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