Journalists from around the world have been going to Collioure, France, twice each year since 1993. They do not go to see where Matisse and Picasso painted, nor to visit the historic sites that span the past 13 centuries. This picturesque town, on the Mediterranean Sea a little north of the Spanish border, attracts writers and reporters who have just one thing in mind: to learn how to cover assignments in a high-risk zone such as a war.
May 3 is not just another day. This first Friday of the month will mark the 20th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day. There are hundreds of reasons why we need to pause and reflect. Here are 10 reasons taken from the recent headlines at Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
He was young, only 28, and full of life. You can tell from the online pictures and videos that he loved his work as a broadcaster and was good at it. At 9 p.m. Dec. 5, Kazbek Gekkiyev was shot three times in the head in North Caucasus, Russia.
The violence is so bad in Honduras that politicians running for office provide free coffins to families of murder victims. Perhaps you read part of this Oct. 2 Associated Press story: “Charities organized by politicians scour poor neighborhoods in search of families of murder victims who cannot afford funeral services or even a simple casket to bury their beloved.
Whether you call the nation Burma or Myanmar, the situation is the same for its journalists: confusing and frustrating. News media have experienced almost everything possible since a military junta took over in September 1988. Now they are involved in a political tug of war with the government as they fight for full and unconditional freedom of the press.
Journalists in South Africa say that new legislation, popularly called a secrecy bill, will threaten freedom of the press. Government officials contend it will protect the country and its citizens. On the surface, the bill seems simple: “To provide for the protection of certain information from destruction, loss or unlawful disclosure; to regulate the manner in which information may be protected; to repeal the Protection of Information Act, 1982; and to provide for matters connected therewith.”
The grass is not so green in Mongolia By Bruce C. Swaffield There is a Mongolian proverb that says, “Times are not always the same; the grass is not always green.” The times these days are not so good for journalists in Mongolia.
The recent headlines concerning Iran are downright frightening: “EU Urges Iran to Stop Execution of Web Designer Saeed Malekpour”; “German reporter describes Iran jail torture”; “Iran: Death for blogging”; “Journalists’ Families Targeted In Iran”; “Iran: Journalists Threatened by Email ‘You Will be Punished.’”
Even if you are the most ardent journalist and observer of world affairs, you probably haven’t heard about the new media bill that was passed Dec. 14 in Algeria. It is not good news. Just how bad it is, though, is unclear.
There are myriad monuments in Bishkek commemorating all sorts of people: dancers, soldiers, politicians, poets, common laborers, even a 7-foot, 5-inch man. In the entire capital of Kyrgyzstan, however, no statue is more important to me than the one of Gennady Pavlyuk.
By most accounts, the Dominican Republic is a lovely place. In fact, 4 million tourists — a new record — visited the country last year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. If you look deeper, past the white-washed resorts with their clear-blue pools, you will discover an unattractive side to all this beauty.
It is difficult enough for journalists in Pakistan, but what about those who are women? They seem to be fighting a double battle, to be recognized by both their male counterparts as well as the rest of society. But there is a group that has taken on the challenge of helping women who want to pursue careers in journalism.
Between 145 and 150 journalists are in jails around the world, as of early May. China and Iran have the most: 34 in each country, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Figures from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) are slightly lower: 30 in China and 27 in Iran.
How would you like to be a journalist in Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung or Medan? Sure, the weather and scenery are great. But don’t count on getting rich or even living comfortably. Journalists in some parts of Indonesia make as little as 55 cents per story.
Imagine my excitement when I read this startling headline recently: “First Friends of Cuba Journalist Association Created in Argentina.” Finally, I thought, an official group has been organized to help the struggling and imprisoned journalists in Cuba. According to the story by Kaloian Santos Cabrera in Juventud Rebelde, “Some 40 Argentinean journalists from different media outlets took part in the founding ceremony of the Argentinean Friends of Cuba Association of Journalists (CAPAC), held in Buenos Aires on October 12.”
A fellow journalist is dead. She was our neighbor to the north and a colleague in the profession, reporting from Afghanistan for the Calgary Herald in Alberta, Canada. Michelle Lang, 34, died in December 2009 when an IED destroyed the armored vehicle she was riding in.