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Blog   |   China, Germany, Internet, Russia, USA

Deciding who decides which news is fake

White House press secretary Sean Spicer talks to the media during the daily briefing. President Trump and his administration have accused critical outlets of being fake news. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Authorities decry the proliferation of misinformation and propaganda on the internet, and technology companies are wrestling with various measures to combat fake news. But addressing the problem without infringing on the right to free expression and the free flow of information is extremely thorny.

Letters   |   Germany, Turkey

CPJ asks German Chancellor Merkel to raise press freedom on Turkey visit

Ahead of her visit to Turkey, the Committee to Protect Journalists requests German Chancellor Angela Merkel to ask Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to free the dozens of journalists imprisoned in the country and to urge him to allow the more than 100 media outlets closed since failed July 2016 military coup to reopen and to operate without harassment.

January 30, 2017 1:31 PM ET

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Letters   |   Germany, Kyrgyzstan

CPJ calls on Merkel to use Kyrgyzstan visit to secure Askarov's release

CPJ calls on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to use her upcoming visit to Kyrgyzstan to call on officials there to release the imprisoned journalist and human rights defender Azimjon Askarov. The U.N. Human Rights Committee found in April 2016 that Kyrgyzstan is obligated to free Askarov, quash his conviction, and pay him compensation for unjust imprisonment. Chancellor Merkel is scheduled to visit Kyrgyzstan on July 13 and 14.

July 8, 2016 3:02 PM ET

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Blog   |   Belgium, France, Germany, Internet, Luxembourg, Spain, UK

EU rulings on whistleblowers and right-to-be-forgotten laws puts press freedom at risk

The EU flag hangs in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. A series of votes on legislation could impact journalists in member states. (AFP/Patrick Hertzog)

European journalists were reminded today that their freedom to report is not only determined by national laws, but increasingly by European institutions. Today, after years of political battle, the European Parliament adopted the Passenger Name Record directive, the Data Protection Package, and the Trade Secrets Protection Act. The stakes were immense and the debates long and heated, leading to dissent and divisions within many political groups-and campaigns about the potential impact from journalists.

Blog   |   France, Germany, Greece, Hungary

Journalists not welcome: Across Europe, press and migrants increasingly barred

Hungarian police try to stop a young migrant with a baby in September 2015. Journalists covering the refugee story report being harassed, blocked and sometimes attacked. (Reuters/Marko Diurica)

"The press is not allowed in refugee centers." The message from the Greek government could not have been clearer. "No permission will be given to television crews and reporters to enter such premises that hosts refugees," Yannis Mouzalas, the minister in charge of immigration policy, said in a February 29 statement. In protest the Pan-Hellenic Federation of Journalists' Unions, one of Greece's most important media professionals' organizations, responded by underlining that "the need for awareness of society requires showcasing all aspects of the refugee crisis, including the conditions in refugee hosting areas."

Reports   |   Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, UK

Balancing Act

Press freedom at risk as EU struggles to match action with values

The European Union strives to be a global leader in press freedom but faces challenges from member states that have criminal defamation and blasphemy laws, and have introduced counterterrorism measures, including mass surveillance. The EU has made press freedom imperative in negotiating with candidate countries, but has been accused of failing to take strong action when member states renege on their press freedom commitments. Journalists working in the region are also affected by EU laws and policies, such as the trade secrets directive and access to information regulations. A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists

September 29, 2015 4:00 AM ET

Reports   |   Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK

Balancing Act

Summary

The European Union describes itself as a model for press freedom and an exemplary global power. Although many of its 28 member states feature at the top of international press freedom rankings, there are significant challenges that undermine press freedom and new threats are emerging.

Blog   |   Germany, Internet

Germany scores against the surveillance state

It all went very fast. On Tuesday morning August 4, Germany’s chief federal prosecutor, Harald Range, was ordered by Justice Minister Heiko Maas to withdraw an independent expert from the investigation of two journalists from Netzpolitik. The investigator had concluded that leaked documents quoted by the news website amounted to a disclosure of a state secret, one of the required criteria to pursue a treason case. The prosecutor protested: “To meddle with an internal review on the basis that the results might be inopportune is an intolerable interference with the independence of the judiciary .” A few hours later on Tuesday evening Maas asked for the prosecutor to be granted early retirement. In plain words, Harald Range was sacked.

Statements   |   Germany, Internet

Germany investigating news website, journalists for treason

New York, July 31, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned by the allegations of treason against two journalists affiliated with the critical German news website Netzpolitik. German authorities on Thursday opened an investigation into the website's bloggers, Markus Beckedahl and Andre Meister, as well as an unidentified third party, accusing them of treason, according to news reports. In February and April, Netzpolitik had reported on plans to expand Germany's domestic surveillance of online communications, news reports said.

Statements   |   Egypt, Germany

Al-Jazeera journalist detained while headed to Qatar

New York, June 21, 2015--An Al-Jazeera journalist was detained on Saturday in Berlin while headed to Qatar, according to news reports. Ahmad Mansour, a British-Egyptian TV host for the Qatar-based broadcaster, was detained in connection with an Egyptian arrest warrant dating back to a 2014 conviction in Egypt on politically motivated charges, news reports said. Mansour, who was convicted in absentia, denied the allegations. Mansour's arrest comes just months after the release of three Al-Jazeera journalists who were imprisoned in Egypt for more than a year.

June 21, 2015 12:33 PM ET

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