CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Sumit Galhotra

Sumit Galhotra is the research associate for CPJ's Asia program. He served as CPJ's inaugural Steiger Fellow and has worked for CNN International, Amnesty International USA, and Human Rights Watch. He has reported from London, India, and Israel and the Occupied Territories, and specializes in human rights and South Asia.

Blog   |   India, Security

Amid claims of police beatings during Gujarat clashes, India should step up press protection

A policeman uses a baton to disperse protesters in Gujarat on August 25. Journalists were among those injured as police broke up the crowds. (AP/Ajit Solanki)

Images of police forcibly suppressing protesters, such as the one above, are seen in many places around the world. Too frequently, journalists trying to cover these events find themselves caught in the crosshairs, with news crews beaten by police batons, exposed to teargas or hit by water cannon. From race riots in Ferguson in the U.S. to clashes in India, journalists covering unrest risk finding themselves injured in the violence.

Blog   |   Bangladesh

Hasina government must do more to protect Bangladesh's bloggers

Bangladeshi activists protest the killing of secular blogger Niloy Neel in Dhaka on August 11, 2015. (AP/ A.M. Ahad)

Asif Mohiuddin's stab wounds are still visible two years on. In January 2013, the outspoken Bangladeshi blogger narrowly escaped death after he was attacked near his office by knife-wielding assailants. His attackers stabbed him nine times on his neck, head, and back, narrowly missing his spine.

Blog   |   Myanmar

More signs of Myanmar's toughening stance on media

Myanmar’s parliament yesterday voted against several constitutional amendments that keep the military’s veto power intact, dealing a blow to hopes for fuller democracy, according to the BBC. And outside the legislature authorities are accelerating the pace at which they undoing democratic reforms.

Blog   |   Singapore

Blogger in Singapore faces financial ruin following defamation suit

Singapore blogger Roy Ngerng addresses a crowd protesting website regulations in June 2013. The blogger faces damages in a defamation suit brought against him by the prime minister. (Reuters/Edgar Su)

"If we want our freedom, we have to fight for it," wrote blogger Roy Ngerng last year after he was sued for defamation by Singapore's prime minister. The case was sparked by a blog post in which Ngerng allegedly suggested Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had misappropriated funds in a state pension system. In November, the court ruled in favor of the prime minister.

Blog   |   Indonesia

In Indonesia, promising steps on Papua access but more work needed

President Joko Widodo, center, on a state visit to Abepura prison in Papua in May. The Indonesian leader has promised reporters access to the restive region. (AFP/Romeo Gacad)

Last month Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, announced his intention to allow international journalists access to restive regions including Papua and West Papua--an issue the Committee to Protect Journalists has long advocated for.

June 8, 2015 9:59 AM ET

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Blog   |   China

Chinese cartoonist Rebel Pepper struggles to survive in self-imposed exile

Wang Liming, pictured in 2013, says he fears he will be arrested if he returns to China. The political cartoonist is living in Japan but says he is running out of funds. (Reuters/Petar Kujundzic)

When calls for Wang Liming to be arrested were made on a forum hosted by China's state-controlled press last year, the satirical cartoonist who lampooned the Communist Party leadership decided it would be safer to stay in Japan, where he had been traveling. But while he may have avoided possible arrest, the cartoonist, known as Rebel Pepper, says he is struggling to make a living in his self-imposed exile.

May 29, 2015 5:28 PM ET

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Blog   |   Nepal

Mission Journal: In Nepal, finding solutions to better protect press

A woman clears rubble from her house outside Kathmandu. As Nepal recovers from the devastating earthquakes, local and international press can play a useful role in raising awareness of relief efforts. (Reuters/Ahmad Masood)

The devastation caused by the earthquakes in Nepal is a reminder of the indispensable role played by relief workers, medical teams, and other key actors on the front lines. Among them are many journalists who, on the most basic level, serve as witness to those affected and share their stories with the world.

Blog   |   India

Mission Journal: Challenges for India's press increase as Modi marks first year in office

Indian papers announce the election victory of Narendra Modi in May 2014. Journalists say reporting on government issues has become challenging in the past year. (AFP/Prakash Singh)

"Modi has tightened the screws on information." This statement from Bangalore-based journalist Subir Ghosh underscores a common challenge repeated to me by several of India's journalists, who say the space for criticism is shrinking under Narendra Modi's rule. Since a landslide victory made him leader of the world's largest democracy nearly one year ago, the prime minister has worked to distance his government from independent reporters, they said.

Blog   |   Bangladesh

Mission Journal: Bangladeshi press reined in as Hasina exerts authority

A 2007 election poster for Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Independent journalists in the country say the press is coming under pressure from her government. (AFP/Jewel Samad)

Matiur Rahman Chowdhury has been the host of "Frontline," a popular Bangla-language news show, for five years. Aired live three times a week, the show gained notoriety for bringing politicians, members of civil society, and journalists together to discuss current affairs. Chowdhury distinguished himself from many of his counterparts with his soft-spoken but firm demeanor as he led his guests in substantive discussion, rather than presiding over talking heads trying to drown one another out. At a time when much of the broadcast media in Bangladesh has become muted, talk shows like Chowdhury's were one of the last spaces for critical news coverage.

Blog   |   India, Internet

India's landmark online speech ruling is step toward greater press freedom

Aseem Trivedi speaks to the media after his arrest in 2012. Charges against the cartoonist have been dropped after India overturned part of its Information Technology Act. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)

In an historic decision, India's Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down part of a law used to silence criticism and free expression. While this marks a pivotal victory that has been welcomed in many quarters, many challenges remain for press freedom in the country.

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