On March 16, Cameroon's Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma Bakari, denounced French online news outlet Le Monde as unprofessional at a press conference after it reported on allegations that President Paul Biya was in hospital in Geneva. The incident is symbolic of the growing problem in Cameroon, which has a growing but poorly funded independent press and a government resistant to criticism.
"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.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, along with 35 human rights groups, today joined a call for member states of the U.N. Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran at the council's 28th session.
Je suis Charlie. Two months after that phrase was used around the world to show solidarity with the victims of the January 7 attack against French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, flowers are still left at the site of the killings on Rue Nicolas Appert in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. The street has reopened to traffic but the magazine's premises are still under police protection. The satirical weekly has not surrendered. Despite the deaths of its iconic cartoonists Charb, Wolinski, Cabu, and Tignous, it is back in the newsstands with its caustic tone intact.
Journalists and professional press organizations were given just one day's warning on February 25 that Zoran Zaev, leader of Macedonia's opposition party the Social Democrats, would be revealing what he described as a "bomb"--conversations of journalists allegedly wiretapped by the government--at his weekly press conference.
Dear President Sirisena, As your government's post-election 100-day agenda nears completion the Committee to Protect Journalists, an international press freedom organization, recognizes your early endeavors in keeping promises to ensure media freedom. CPJ would like to request a meeting with you and your government to discuss the problems that persist for the country's media.
In an effort to counter extremists and militant groups who use a mix of violence and social media to spread their message, a summit was held in Washington, D.C. this week to discuss how to counter violent extremism. While there is little denying that these groups must be tackled, an approach must be found that will not justify restricting the press.
For journalists to work safely they must be able to protect themselves and their sources, which is why encryption is such a vital tool. On February 10, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press submitted a joint letter to the U.N. urging it to ensure that long-standing freedom of expression and privacy principles also protect reporters' use of encryption and anonymity-protecting technologies.
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.