Press freedom

Why it’s getting harder to report on Syria

“There has never been a more important, or a more difficult time to report on Syria,” writes Jared Malsin. However, rebel-held Syria is increasingly dangerous and risky territory for foreign journalists and the Syrian state is moving to restrict access to what used to be the only other way into the country — a visa […]

Is it time to end media blackouts?

Joel Simon, head of the Committee to Protect Journalists, asks whether the practice of “media blackouts,” where news organizations suppress information about the abduction of journalists, is effective. “Initially, I supported the use of media blackouts in selective cases,” writes Simon. “[But] going forward I believe the best course of action would be for media […]

Pengpai or “The Paper”: The new website that has china buzzing

The Paper has tens of millions of dollars in funding, and everyone in journalism is talking about it. But no one seems pleased. Much of the discussion surrounding the new venture has involved trying to classify it, a hybrid with a clean new-media style gloss but, some argue, a conservative and self-censoring core. “The Paper […]

Thai junta’s gag on media raises alarm, criticism

Critics and journalists raised concerns about the Thai military government’s latest move to tighten its grip on the media by banning them from criticizing the junta’s operations and threatening to immediately suspend the broadcast or publication of content that defies the order. The National Council for Peace and Order also asked media operators and “any […]

The shooting of a famous journalist exposes a worrying trend in Pakistan

The assassination attempt on Hamid Mir, Pakistan’s most famous journalist, who survived the assault, came three weeks after a similar attack in Lahore on the car of Raza Rumi, a print and television journalist known for his liberal views. More than a dozen other media personalities have been warned their names are on a kill […]

Max Fisher addresses the many ways the U.S. could have fallen in press freedom ranking

The U.S. fell 13 spots from 2012 to 2013 in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index, a report released annually by Reporters Without Borders. Max Fisher takes a look at how the rankings were determined, cautioning that reports that say the ranking is “plummeting” are misreads and over-interpretations.

U.S. falls in press freedom ranking, down to spot #46

After a year of surveillance revelations and news about antagonism against whistleblowers, the U.S. fell 13 spots from 2012 to 2013 in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index. The report by Reporters Without Borders highlights negative impact of conflicts on freedom of information. The drop is described as “one of the most significant declines” in […]

The state of journalism in China, 25 years after Tiananmen

The Communist Party has long striven to control freedom of speech in China and frequent orders are issued telling news organizations what they can and can’t publish, a system that has been dubbed “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.” Although the international media can’t be censored, foreign journalists face various forms of government intimidation, harassment, […]

Journalism becomes a crime in Egypt

Joshua Hersh writes about the increasingly dire situation in Egypt for journalists after the government announced that it would bring 20 journalists to trial. “The new military-led regime has subjected journalists to months of passive-aggressive treatment (obtaining press credentials has become a bureaucratic nightmare) and a few episodes of outright aggression (arresting several reporters on […]

Russian press authorities censoring their media’s coverage of Sochi Olympics

“In the run-up to the Sochi Winter Games, official repression and self-censorship have restricted news coverage of sensitive issues related to the Olympics, such as the exploitation of migrant workers, environmental destruction, and forced evictions,” write Elena Milashina and Nina Ognianova. “The information vacuum comes amid a generally poor climate for press freedom across Russia.”