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.


Blog   |   Afghanistan, Russia, Somalia

Press freedom in the news 12/01/08

South Africa's Mail & Guardian has more coverage of the Mikhail Beketov case today. Beketov, an editor of a Moscow-based newspaper, was brutally beaten and left for dead more than two weeks ago and remains in a coma. The Houston Chronicle also has a story on Beketov, as well as the dangers of reporting in Russia for all journalists.

December 1, 2008 11:41 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 10/29/08

The launch of the Global Network Initiative, a set of principles outlying how Internet companies should conduct themselves in countries that stifle free speech, is making news this morning with the official Web site, Globalnetworkinitiative.org, going live today. Forbes.com, TechNewsWorld, and PCMag.com are all running stories about three major tech companies and human rights organizations agreeing to the "Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy."

October 29, 2008 12:34 PM ET



Press freedom in the news 10/27/08

The New York Times has updated coverage of the alleged poisoning of human rights lawyer Karinna Moskakleno in France. The article reports that French authorities have declared the poisoning a result of an accident, despite the fact that Moskalenko fell ill only days before she was set to attend pre-trail hearings in the murder case of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

CPJ released an alert on October 14 expressing concern about the incident.

October 27, 2008 12:41 PM ET



Press freedom in the news 10/24/08

The deaths of two Croatian journalists, killed when a bomb exploded beneath their car Thursday in Zagreb, is getting extensive coverage across the region today. 

October 24, 2008 12:36 PM ET



Press freedom in the news 10/23/08

The Web site Wired PR News has more coverage of Afghan journalism student Parwez Kambakhsh's 20-year jail sentence for blasphemy. The story cites our October 21 alert condemning the sentence.

October 23, 2008 12:43 PM ET



Press freedom in the news 10/22/08

Yesterday's 20-year jail sentence of Afghan journalism student Parwez Kambakhsh is getting additional coverage today. 

October 22, 2008 12:09 PM ET



Press freedom in the news 10/21/08

In the Philippines today, the news that charges have been brought against the alleged masterminds in the murder of Philippine journalist Marlene Garcia-Esperat is running in many of the country's major news outlets. 

October 21, 2008 11:05 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 10/17/08

The jailing of Vietnamese journalist Nguyen Viet Chien continues to be in the news today with the legal Web site Jurist and the South Korean-based news site Digital Chosun both running stories about the two-year sentence the journalist has received.

October 17, 2008 11:28 AM ET


Press freedom in the news 10/16/08

Coverage of the arrest and jailing of Nguyen Viet Chien, a journalist with daily Thanh Nien, for breaking news on a state corruption scandal is making news today. Taiwan's The Straits Times is running the Agence France-Presse wire story on the incident, and Radio Australia has a short news item about the jailing on their Web site today. Both articles cite CPJ's condemnation of the incident in an alert released yesterday.

Also this morning, RFE/RL's Russian Service has posted an interview with CPJ's Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova about the poisoning of lawyer Karinna Moskalenko, who fell ill only days before she was to appear at a preliminary hearing in the 2006 murder trial of Anna Politkovskaya

October 16, 2008 11:07 AM ET


Press freedom in the news 10/15/08

The attempted poisoning of Russian human rights lawyer Karinna Moskalenko, who is representing the family of Anna Politkovskaya, is the focus of a story in The New York Times this morning. The article cites our alert on the incident and raises concerns about the poisoning, which sickened Moskalenko only days before pretrial hearings in the Politkovskaya murder case.

October 15, 2008 11:05 AM ET


Press freedom in the news 10/10/08

The Associated Press has coverage today of the detention of two journalists working for the Jordan Times who had been detained by Syrian officials when they tried to enter the country from Lebanon. The Wall Street Journal is also running the AP story.

Also today the Web site of the Philippine newspaper The Mindanao Examiner is running CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney's report "A California Dream" about Iraqi cameraman Jehad Ali. Ali was shot 11 times in 2005, and has finally arrived in the U.S. for medical treatment.

October 10, 2008 10:35 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 10/08/08

The Associated Press has coverage today of our letter to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez expressing concern at the growing violence Venezuela. The Spanish-language Web site of Univision is also running the AP story.

The South Africa-based Web site Daily Dispatch Online has a story today about the troubled Zimbabwe media.

 Also making news today is the institution of a telephone hotline to help endangered journalists in IraqReuters has coverage of this story and reports that many journalists in Iraq are still working in fear despite this new attempt by the government to help protect them.

The New Times, a magazine, has Russian-language coverage of the letter we sent on September 26 to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev urging him to stop barring critical international journalists from entering the country.

Finally this morning, the Lebanese Web site Menassat is running CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney's report "A California Dream" about Iraqi cameraman Jehad Ali's brush with death and subsequent journey to the U.S. to seek medical treatment. 

October 8, 2008 1:59 PM ET



Press freedom in the news 10/07/08

The Web site of news channel France 24 is reporting that today, on the two-year anniversary of the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, more than 200 people gathered in Moscow for a vigil. The story cites our alert from yesterday that criticized Russia's decision to try three men accused in the murder case in a military, rather than civilian, court.

Web site Monsters & Critics has a long piece today about media issues in Zimbabwe as the country transitions into a new era of power-sharing.

The Venezuela-based papers El Universal and Tal Cual  have coverage of our letter to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez expressing concern at the growing violence in the South American country. Also, our special report on Mexico, "The Disappeared," is covered today in Spanish daily ABC

October 7, 2008 11:54 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 10/06/08

Agence France-Presse has coverage of the arrest and subsequent release of Ali Ilyas Abdullahi, a Somali radio journalist. Abdullahi was detained by police in the Somali capital Mogadishu over the weekend after reporting on a mortar attack at the home of a government official.

Also making news today is an interview with recently released Yemeni journalist Abdulkarim Al-Khaiwani. The Yemen Times article recounts his five-month ordeal in prison as well as Al-Khaiwani's outlook on the current state of press freedom in Yemen

October 6, 2008 12:09 PM ET


Press freedom in the news 10/03/08

Voice of America takes an extensive look at free speech in Malaysia on its Web site this morning. Focusing on the recent sentencing of high profile blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, the article looks at how the government is using various laws, including the Internal Security Act, to silence critics. CPJ reported on Raja Petra's case on September 23. The blogger was sentenced to two years in prison.

October 3, 2008 11:05 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 10/02/08

Fox News reports today that the U.S. government has given visas to two Cuban journalists who had been barred from re-entering the country despite holding accreditation for the United Nations. The Web site Caribbean Net News carried our alert, which we released earlier this week.

Also in the news, The Associated Press has updated its ongoing "Iraq: Key Figures since the war began" feature and uses CPJ's numbers on journalists killed.  

October 2, 2008 2:42 PM ET


Press freedom in the news 10/01/08

Our special report on press freedom in Mexico, "The Disappeared," has received a great deal of coverage in the Spanish-language press since its release yesterday. The report is covered in the Mexican dailies Excelsior, El Financiero, Tabasco Hoy, and La Cronica de Hoy. It was also covered in the Argentina-based Pagina12 as well as the Colombian news site Semana.

The International Herald Tribune is running AP's coverage of the news that the U.S. government has refused visas to two United Nations-accredited Cuban journalists who tried to return to New York after visiting Cuba for a short vacation.

Also today, The Compass blog has a posting examining press freedom in Russia and Putin's adoption of Soviet style tactics for suppressing free speech.

October 1, 2008 11:57 AM ET


Press freedom in the news 9/30/08

CPJ's September 26 letter to Russian President Dmitry Mededev is receiving additional coverage in both the English and Russian press today. The Institute for War and Peace Reporting has a story posted to their Web site and the Russian daily newspaper Novye Izvestiya is also reporting on the letter.

The Huffington Post is featuring a blog post this morning by Magda Abu-Fadil, who writes about the continued danger Iraqi journalists face in light of the recent murders of four TV journalists. Despite recent moves by the government to try to protect reporters, Abu-Fadil writes that violence and intimidation still threatens true freedom of the press in Iraq.

Also making news today is the detention of controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin in Malaysia. CPJ reported on September 23 that Raja Petra was sentenced to two years in prison by the Malaysian government under the country's Internal Security Act. The Singapore-based Web site ZDNetAsia has an article examining the blogger's arrest, the culture of blogging in Malaysia, and why arrests like this may backfire on the government. 

September 30, 2008 11:48 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 9/29/08

CPJ's letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, which raised our concern over Russia's denial of admittance to international journalists, received coverage in various news outlets today. The English edition of The Moscow Times is running an article and the Russia-based Web site Lenta News has coverage of the letter in Russian.

On Saturday, the African Web site Afrik.net ran a news brief on the arrest of Hossam Al Wakeel, an Egyptian journalist who had been covering a demonstration in Alexandria. We released an alert raising concerns about his arrest on Friday.

CPJ's letter to Spanish President Zapatero urging him to pressure Cuba on jailed journalists received Spanish-language coverage on the Cuba Matinal Web site over the weekend.

September 29, 2008 10:53 AM ET


Press freedom in the news 9/25/08

The Canadian Press has coverage of the release of CTV reporter Jawed Ahmad, who was freed from U.S. detention on September 22. The article quotes Ahmad as saying that he believes the Canadian military "told them I was a risk." The piece also mentions our alert urging the U.S. military to reveal the evidence against Ahamd when he was initially detained in February. Legal blog The BLT posted an article about his release late yesterday.

The Media Line Web site has an article about the Iraqi government's new movement to help protect journalists working in the volatile region. The Iraqi Interior Ministry has developed a plan that will help train journalists on safety measures as well as instruct them on how to better approach conflict zones while they are covering dangerous events.

Also of note in the news today, the Lusaka-based newspaper Zambia Daily Mail has a news brief about a controversy over editorials printed about Zambian presidential candidate Rupiah Banda.

September 25, 2008 10:39 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 9/24/08

CPJ's letter to Spanish President Zapatero urging him to pressure Cuba on jailed journalists received significant coverage in the Spanish language press. Radio Marti ran a piece on the letter and the Spanish Web site PR Noticas has a story online. Cubaencuentro also has news coverage of the letter.

Also today, the Web site of MarketWatch has additional coverage of Jawed Ahmad's release from U.S. detention in Afghanistan on September 22.

Filmmaker Andrew Berends, now safely back in the U.S. after being released from authorities in Nigeria, has a post on The Film Panel Notetaker blog about his ordeal and calls for support to help his translator Samuel George, who is still being questioned by Nigerian Security Services.

September 24, 2008 11:00 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 9/23/08

Reuters is reporting that Iraqi Kurdistan's Parliament has passed a revised media law that protects the rights of journalists in the region and abolishes criminal defamation. CPJ travelled to the region in May to protest a much harsher version of the media law, and presented recommendations to Kurdish President Masoud Barzani.

Also making news this morning is the release of Afghani freelance journalist Jawed Ahmad from U.S. detention at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. The Canadian Press reports that Ahmad, who has worked for CTV, was freed yesterday after 10 months in detention as an "enemy combatant."  The legal Web site Jurist and the Canada-based Edmonton Sun have coverage of his release. CPJ called for the U.S. military to reveal the evidence against Ahmad or release him when he was initially detained in February.

Finally today, the Web site of the World Association of Newspapers reports that 79-year-old Burmese journalist U Win Tin has been released from prison after 19 years. According to reports gathered by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, the journalist was released by Burma's military junta along with 9,000 other prisoners earlier today.

September 23, 2008 11:25 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 9/22/08

The failed assassination attempt against Iraqi Journalist Syndicate head Muaid al-Lami is the topic of various news stories today. Reuters reported that a bomb exploded as al-Lami left the front entrance of the syndicate's headquarters in Baghdad on Saturday. The San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Voice of America, and the India based-Web site The Hindu all have coverage of the explosion that failed to kill al-Lami, but did injure him along with five of his colleagues.

Over the weekend, The Associated Press had coverage of the arrest of Hanoi Bureau Chief Ben Stocking in Vietnam. The CBS Iowa-based affiliate KGAN had coverage of Stocking's arrest, which occurred while he was taking pictures at a religious ceremony in Hanoi. We released an alert on the arrest last Friday.

The Spanish-language newspaper El Universal based in Mexico City ran an op-ed piece co-authored by CPJ's Americas Program Coordinator Carlos Lauria and Executive Director Joel Simon on Saturday. The piece, headlined "De la voluntad a los hechos," examines the need for Mexico to federalize crimes against journalists. 

September 22, 2008 3:22 PM ET


Press freedom in the news 9/19/08

Our announcement of the 2008 International Press Freedom Award winners has gotten coverage today, with stories running in the Arab, African, and Asian press. The Philippine-based Pinoy Press has an article about the awardees, and The Zimbabwe Independent reports on the winners but leads with the news of Beatrice Mtetwa winning CPJ's Burton Benjamin Award

In the Arab press, the Lebanon-based Dar al Hayat Web site has Arabic-language coverage of the announcement. From Bahrain, Al Wasat News also has a story about the awardees in Arabic, as do Web sites WNA News, Anhri.net, PDP Info, CDFJ.org, and Gulf In The Media.
September 19, 2008 11:20 AM ET



Press freedom in the news 9/18/08

In the news today the Canada-based Web site Asian Pacific Post has a news brief about the imprisonment of Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Van Hai, also known as Dieu Cay. The brief cites CPJ's condemnation of the 30-month sentence given to him on September 11.

Also today, New York's Lower Hudson Valley Journal News has more coverage of press issues in Nigeria, and uses documentary filmmaker Andrew Berends' recent ordeal to outline a larger pattern of intimidation against members of the press working in the African country. Berends' translator, Samuel George, continues to be made to report for questioning by Nigerian State Security Services.

September 18, 2008 10:44 AM ET


Blog   |   Afghanistan, Cuba, Iraq, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Press Freedom Awardees draw attention

We announced the 2008 International Press Freedom Award recipients on Tuesday, and the news has been well-received worldwide. Bilal Hussein of Iraq, Danish Karokhel and Farida Nekzad of Afghanistan, Andrew Mwenda of Uganda, and Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez of Cuba will all be honored by CPJ on November 25 for their courageous work. Beatrice Mtetewa, of Zimbabwe will also be honored with CPJ's Burton Benjamin Award for her long service to the field of journalism.


Press freedom in the news 9/15/08

The kidnapping and subsequent death of four Iraqi journalists in Mosul on assignment for Al-Sharqia TV is the subject of numerous stories from the weekend and this morning. Both AP and Reuters released stories updating the situation. Voice of America also had coverage. The Los Angeles Times has an entry on its "Babylon and Beyond" blog about the deaths as well as the general dangers and difficulties facing journalists trying to cover the conflict in Iraq. CNN covered the story and highlighted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's call for the Iraqi military to fully investigate the case.

The New York Times has a story about filmmaker Andrew Berends' return to the United States after a 10-day detention in Nigeria. The article quotes CPJ's Tom Rhodes: "We work on cases like this in Africa every week. And I've never seen a response or reaction as impressive as Andrew's colleague Aaron Soffin."

A planned protest against the media crackdown occurring in Mayalsia is a major topic on the Hong Kong-based Asia Sentinel Web site this morning. The article quotes CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon's condemnation of the crackdown and the arrests of Malaysian journalists: "The Malaysian government has taken its repression of dissenting voices to a new level today. We call on the Malaysian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Tan Hoon Cheng. Malaysian newspapers should also be free to publish without threat of suspension," Simon said.

September 15, 2008 11:02 AM ET


Press freedom in the news 9/11/08

The Web site OneWorld has continued coverage of the release of filmmaker Andrew Berends, who is back in the United States after being detained in Nigeria since August 31. Berends is safely at home after a week of questioning by the Nigerian military; however his translator Samuel George is still under scrutiny from the authorities.

Also on the Web today, the Hit &Run blog at Reason has a posting about Russia's censorship of and continued violence against journalists and how it relates to the press situation in the United States.

September 11, 2008 10:51 AM ET


Press freedom in the news 9/10/08

The Web site Lower Hudson Journal has coverage of the release of filmmaker Andrew Berends, who had been detained in Nigeria since August 31. Berends flew from Nigeria to Germany last night after spending 10 days beign questioned by the Nigerian military on suspicion of espionage. His Nigerian translator, Samuel George, continues to face interrogation by authorities.

Also today, the Web site Electronic Iraq is re-running our alert from September 8 about the release of Iraqi cameraman Omar Husham, who was detained by U.S. forces last week.

September 10, 2008 10:28 AM ET


Press freedom in the news 9/9/08

The San Francisco-based Web site Indy Media has posted another article about the arrests of journalists at the GOP Convention last week, with specific attention paid to the case of Democracy Now! reporter Amy Goodman. CPJ reported on the arrest of Goodman and other journalists covering the RNC last week, and posted videos of the arrests here.

Reuters has coverage of the release of Iraqi cameraman Omar Hisham, who was detained by the U.S. military on Thursday. The story quotes our reporting on the release: "We welcome the release of Omar Hisham, but worry about the apparent uptick in journalist detentions," said CPJ's executive director Joel Simon. A second Iraqi journalist, Ibrahim Jassam, a freelance photographer for Reuters, was arrested last week during a raid at his home and is still in U.S. custody.

Also this morning, The Associated Press is running a story about the attempted bombing of an Arab TV correspondent's vehicle in Baghdad yesterday. The bomb was detected on the car as it waited to pick up Arab TV's chief correspondent Juwad al-Hattab, the apparent target of the foiled attack.

September 9, 2008 11:09 AM ET



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



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



News Wrap for 8/8/08

With the arrival of 8.8.08, the Olympics begin. But even with the fireworks and fanfare, China's human rights record is still the focus of many news reports today, including coverage from Agence France-Presse, an editorial in The Philadelphia Inquirer, reporting from The Chicago Tribune, and a blog as well as an article from The Wall Street Journal.

News outlets across Asia continue to cover the death of Philippine radio broadcaster Martin Roxas, who was shot and killed outside his Radio Mindanao office yesterday. The Philippines' GMA News has coverage of our alert on the shooting, the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Web site, Inquirer.net, is covering the story. The Associated Press has also reported on the incident.

August 8, 2008 10:40 AM ET



News Wrap for 8/7/08

The Bangkok Post has coverage of our alert from last night that called for a full government investigation into the killing of Thai journalist Athiwat Chaiyanurat.

Also out of Thailand, reaction to President Bush's speech in Bangkok takes center stage across the news media today. CNN.com outlines Bush's comments and China's response. The New York Times also weighs in with coverage of the president's trip as does England's The Independent. Bloomberg updates its coverage from yesterday. CPJ sent a letter to the Bush yesterday, urging him to push for the release of imprisoned journalists in China, which is still the world's leading jailer of journalists, with CPJ's research putting the total at 26.

In the Philippines, reports are surfacing about the death of another radio broadcaster. Agence France-Presse is reporting that Martin Roxas, program director of Radio Mindanao Network, was shot and killed yesterday in the city of Capiz. Colleague Dennis Cuesta, who was shot on Monday, is still in critical condition.

August 7, 2008 10:20 AM ET



News Wrap for 8/6/08

Yesterday's shooting of Philippine journalist Dennis Cuesta is still the focal point of a series of stories this morning. GMA News is running a follow-up piece, the Philippine Daily Inquirer's site, Inqurier.net, has a story outlining the international media's response to the incident, and The Macau Daily Times also has a news brief about the violent attack.

Also in the news today is widespread coverage of President Bush's planned remarks on human rights issues in Asia, specifically China, which he will deliver in Thailand on Thursday. The Associated Press has a full transcript of the remarks. The Washington Post, and Bloomberg both have extensive coverage of the president's trip to the region.

The Tehran Times is running yesterday's Reuters story about the detention of Iraqi Reuters cameraman Ali al-Mashhadani, who has been detained by U.S. forces for the third time without charge since 2005.

August 6, 2008 10:31 AM ET



News Wrap for 8/5/08

Reuters is reporting that an unnamed gunman fired on a Philippine radio broadcaster earlier today in Manila. The journalist, Dennis Cuesta, was not killed but is in critical condition in a local hospital. This continues an unfortunate trend in the Philippines, a country that we rank as the sixth most dangerous for journalists. The Sydney Morning Herald is also running a story on the shooting and the Philippine Web site Inquirer has a piece that updates the medical condition of Cuesta.

Also in the news are the deadly explosions in China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Agence France-Presse is reporting that the Chinese have apologized to two Japanese reporters who were attacked by police while trying to cover the story.

Late yesterday, Reuters picked up our alert calling for the release of their cameraman, Ali al-Mashhadani, who was detained by U.S. forces on July 26 while attempting to renew his press card inside the green zone. This is the third time al-Mashhadani has been jailed by U.S. forces without charge; in one instance, he was detained for five months beginning in August 2005. The Reuters story has been picked up by Web sites across the Internet, with ABS-CBN, The Mirror, and The US Daily running the piece.  

August 5, 2008 10:24 AM ET



News Wrap for 8/4/2008

With the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games only four days away, attention in the news media continues to center on the issues of openness and freedom in China. The Miami Herald has an editorial in today's edition of the paper that wonders if the Chinese government can escape the grip of "their old, restrictive practices."

The Guardian also ran an editorial over the weekend discussing whether China's reversal on limiting Internet access is nothing more than the first small step in a very long journey toward unrestricted media freedom.

In a story on Sunday, The Associated Press reports on the news that Olympic protesters have been told they must register five days in advance to protect "national interests."

Also on Sunday, The Associated Press released the newest version of "Iraq by the numbers," a regular report that outlines various statistics from the war, including the number of journalists killed, which they put at 130--the same number tallied by CPJ.

August 4, 2008 10:29 AM ET


News Wrap for 7/31/08

The fallout continues from yesterday's revelation that China will not honor its promise to have unfettered Internet access. Sally Jean Kearney has a blog post about the issue on The Huffington Post this morning and Bloomberg updates their coverage as well with a news item called "Beijing Censorship 'Betrays' Olympic Values." The Toronto Star is also covering the censorship issue on their Web site today.

Other news outlets writing on the China censorship story today include The Age  and ABC Net in Australia, Agence France-Presse, The Macau Daily Times, and Editor's Weblog has a blog post online.

The Associated Press is running a story about the release of detained Afghani TV anchor Naseer Fayyaz. The story says that international outcry against his detention, including our on-the-record statements, played an important role in his release earlier today.

Also today, the Web site Axis Globe has is running a news brief about the arrest and subsequent beating of editor Zurab Tsechoyev in Russia's Ingushetia republic.

July 31, 2008 10:25 AM ET


News Wrap for 7/30/08

China's recent decision to reverse its pledge for open and uncensored Internet access during the upcoming Olympics is the topic of many stories around the world this morning.

Agence France-Presse is running a wire story outlining the concerns surrounding the controversial policy switch. The First Post, a Web-only magazine based in the UK, has a short piece called "The Great Firewall of China" and England's Daily Telegraph is also covering the story. The online edition of The South China Morning Post has an article stating that the IOC has apologized for "misleading foreign journalists" on the issue.

The Web site RaWa News follows up yesterday's coverage of the arrest of Naseer Fayyaz, discussing the outcry over his arrest from CPJ and other human rights groups.

In other news from early today, The Toronto Star is running an editorial about concerns surrounding police and military members impersonating journalists in hostage situations. The issue has come to the forefront since the July 2 hostage rescue mission in Colombia, in which members of the military concealed themselves as journalists and aid workers.

Reuters ran a story late yesterday that focused on our coverage of violence against a local editor in the Russian republic of Ingushetia. The attack occurred last Friday when Zurab Tsechoyev, editor of the website Mashr, was allegedly abducted, tortured, and interrogated for five hours.

Also late breaking was afrol News's coverage of the suspension of independent radio station "Harvest FM" in Lesotho. We released an alert condemning this action on July 28.

July 30, 2008 10:05 AM ET


News Wrap for 7/29/08

ESPN's "Olympics Photo Wire" highlights China's failure to meet basic press freedom standards with a shot of a foreign journalist working in Beijing. ESPN points out that despite promises to the contrary, many Internet sites will be censored or blocked, even for foreign reporters.

The Guardian's "Greenslade" blog takes a look at so-called tabloid journalism in England today, and discusses how it affects press freedom as a whole.

Afghanistan's RaWa News Web site has an article online about the arrest of TV anchor and writer Naseer Fayyaz. The reporter was arrested on July 28, allegedly in connection with criticism leveled against the Afghan government on his show "Haqeeqat."

Finally, this morning, Jossip has a news item about the appointment of CPJ board member Mark Whitaker as the new chief of NBC's Washington bureau.

July 29, 2008 9:52 AM ET


News Wrap for 7/28/08

The International Herald Tribune takes a looks at the recent murder of Cambodian journalist Khim Sambor, who worked for one of only two opposition papers operating in the Southeast Asian country. The article also examines the overall press freedom climate in Cambodia as the nation held presidential elections over the weekend.

The burning of a journalist's house in Brazil last week is the topic of discussion at Brazil Magazine. The journalist, Jeso Carniero, said he believes the attack was in retaliation for some critical coverage of local politicians that appeared on his show, "Opiniao."

The Wall Street Journal writes about China's continued inability to meet the promises made about press freedom as we approach the start of the 2008 Olympic Games.

July 28, 2008 10:28 AM ET