Yevgeny Zamyatin's strikingly original 1920s Russian novel We gets read far less than its canonical English-language descendants, Brave New World and 1984. Yet George Orwell knew of and clearly drew from Zamyatin's book in creating 1984. The homage-paying is obvious: A solitary hero struggles to define himself in relation to society; a state and its mysteriously cultish leader control privacy, information, and thought; love is prohibited and freedom is categorically rejected; the violence and brutality of power lurk beneath a seemingly clean and mechanized society; common words are redefined and propaganda is pervasive in daily life; and, in total, reality is rejected in favor of myths and lies.
Cuba's media landscape has begun opening up in recent years, transformed by a lively blogosphere, an increasing number of news websites carrying investigative reporting and news commentary, and an innovative breed of independent reporters who are critical of, yet still support, socialist ideas.
Russia has embarked on an ambitious social experiment. Just a few years ago, Russians had a mostly free internet. Now Moscow is looking toward Beijing, trying to imitate the Chinese model of internet control. Yet the Kremlin will likely find that once you give people internet freedom, it isn't so easy to completely take it away.
On July 10, 2016, Ecuadoran journalist Bernardo Abad tweeted that the former vice-president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, had not paid income taxes for the year before. A week later, Abad received a message from Twitter saying his account had been blocked for violating its terms of service. Within 24 hours, at least five others' accounts were temporarily suspended after they tweeted about Moreno's taxes. By the end of the week, nine accounts had been temporarily suspended, according to the freedom of expression advocacy group Fundamedios. Twitter declined to comment on the suspensions.
New York, April 12, 2017--Venezuelan authorities should ensure that journalists can cover protests safely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Several reporters have been detained, injured, or had equipment seized while covering ongoing protests over a Supreme Court ruling to strip the opposition-led National Assembly of its lawmaking powers, according to news reports and local press freedom organizations. Access to at least three independent news websites that broadcast footage of the protests is blocked in Venezuela, according to reports.
Lagos, Nigeria, January 5, 2017--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Gambian authorities to allow three independent radio stations to resume full broadcasting. Taranga FM, Hilltop Radio, and Afri Radio stopped broadcasting on January 1 on the orders of national security agents, who did not give any explanation for the measure, according to news reports.
Sri Lankan regulators blocked access to a Tamil-language news website on October 26, 2016, over allegations that the website carried false information and incited ethnic hatred, according to news reports and the website's editor, who is based overseas and who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal. The order to block the site inside Sri Lanka was issued by the Ministry of Parliamentary Reforms and Mass Media.
Restrictions against the press continue in Egypt, with ongoing trials of journalists, some of whom have been in detention for more than three years, allegations that a TV station was ordered to drop a planned broadcast of an interview with a former official, and a reporter detained while trying to cover a sensitive story. Egypt has been a leading jailer of journalists for more than a year, and the country's press is regularly harassed. CPJ has documented the following press freedom violations in the past week:
On October 4, I heard that my friend Natnael Feleke had not returned home even though it was approaching midnight in Ethiopia. Family and friends were discussing where to search for the blogger, who had only been released 11 months earlier from the notorious Kilinto prison, where he was held for 16 months over his blogging. As Ethiopia responds to months of anti-government protests, the fear of bloggers and social media activists being targeted again seemed real.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.