Details

Report: Journalists Faced Intimidation, Prison in 2018

Salem Solomon

A multi-pronged crackdown on the press continued throughout 2018, the Committee to Protect Journalists concludes in a report published Thursday.

Imprisonment, intimidation and allegations that journalists produce “fake news” surged in 2016, when U.S. President Donald Trump won the election, CPJ found.

Trump has been a vocal critic of the press, often chastising journalists as “very dishonest people.”

Angela Quintal (Right) herself was targeted, along with colleague Muthoki Mumo, in Tanzania last month

The number of journalists in jail dipped 8 percent, from 272 in 2017 to 251 this year. But that doesn’t mean the situation has improved, Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, told VOA.

Cameroon Detains Journalists Reporting on Unrest for ‘Propagating False Information’

The numbers fluctuate and may not reflect every imprisoned journalist. They also remain markedly higher than just a half decade ago.

More importantly, targeting a single journalist can have far-reaching repercussions.

“The effects are not only, obviously, [on] the journalists themselves and their families and their colleagues, but we really are talking about the effect on citizens as a whole,” Quintal said.

CPJ’s report highlighted several bright spots.

In Ethiopia, which has experienced dramatic reforms under new leader Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, no journalists are currently known to be imprisoned, for the first time in 14 years.

Improvements in some countries, however, don’t necessarily rub off on others.

“Unfortunately, neighboring Eritrea remains the highest jailer of journalists in sub-Saharan Africa, with 16 journalists behind bars as we speak,” Quintal said.

Worldwide, report author Elana Beiser, CPJ’s editorial director, singled out China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia as troublespots, highlighting how wide-ranging efforts to silence journalists have become.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Quintal’s region of focus, Cameroon, where seven journalists are in jail, is a new country of concern. At least four of those journalists faced false news charges in what Quintal called “a huge, huge setback.

Overall, more than two dozen journalists have been charged with publishing false news, mainly in Africa.

Accusations and imprisonments can propel self-censorship, with profound effects on citizens’ right to information.

“When you see your colleagues being jailed, when you see them accused of so-called fake news, when they’re being arrested on false news charges,” Quintal said, “it does, obviously, have a chilling effect.”

Quintal herself was targeted, along with colleague Muthoki Mumo, in Tanzania last month.

Media Rights Group Indignant Over Detention of its Employees in Tanzania.

Despite having an invitation letter from the Media Council of Tanzania, the two, both former journalists, were detained and interrogated.

Quintal, from South Africa, and Mumo, from Kenya, were kept in custody for five hours.

“We were lucky because we were able to leave Tanzania,” Quintal said, contrasting her experience to journalists in the country who have gone missing or continue to face intimidation.

“The abusive nature of what happened to us showed the world the true nature of what is going on in Tanzania at the moment,” she added.

Quintal and Mumo’s case was unusual. Governments tend to target their own citizens, and journalists imprisoned by their governments make up 98 percent of cases, CPJ concluded. They also found that 13 percent of journalists in jail are women, an 8 percent increase from 2017.

Despite worrying signs, there is room for optimism, Quintal said.

When new leaders come to power, she said, human rights and press freedoms can improve very quickly.

Quintal pointed to The Gambia as one example, where the new president, Adama Barrow, has created space for journalists to work without fear of reprisal.

Tuesday, Time magazine selected journalists who have been targeted for doing their work, the “guardians” of truth, as their Person of the Year.

Slain Saudi Writer, Other Journalists Named Time’s ‘Person of the Year’ (VOA)

0

One Reply to “Report: Journalists Faced Intimidation, Prison in 2018”

  1. It is common to discover the ornamental painting and sculptures with shapes depicting an appealing
    mixture of different elements from the artist’s religious, physical and
    cultural background. Leonardo Da Vinci was created in the Florentine Republic on April 15th, 1452.
    Then it is not important whether it is heads or tail, one can possibly predict the last results.

    0

Comments are closed.

Related Article

Posted on: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - Copy Editing Desk

Nepal Orders ‘Investigation’ of Reporters Who Wrote About Dalai Lama

Nepal shares a long border with Tibet and is home to around 20,000 exiles who began arriving in 1959 when a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule forced Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama into exile in Dharamsala in India’s Himalayan foothills

Posted on: Saturday, May 4, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - Copy Editing Desk

Ethiopia Cautiously Embraces New Era of Press Freedom

Ethiopia’s historic strides toward democracy and openness have given journalists in the country hope for greater freedom to report the news

Posted on: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - Copy Editing Desk

Jailed Reuters Journalists Lose Final Appeal in Widely Condemned Myanmar Supreme Court Ruling

The journalists, who were awarded a Pulitzer Prize last week for their Rohingya exposé, were sentenced in September 2018 after a lengthy series of hearings and a trial. They were not present at Tuesday’s hearing in Naypyidaw

Posted on: Thursday, April 18, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - Copy Editing Desk

Authoritarian Leaders Fueled Hatred Toward Journalists Worldwide, Study Finds

The 2019 World Press Freedom Index report, conducted by Reporters Without Borders, said “authoritarian regimes continue to tighten their grip on the media,” resulting in a “hatred of journalists” that has “degenerated into violence, contributing to an increase in fear.”

Posted on: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - Copy Editing Desk

Myanmar Supreme Court Agrees to Rule on Reuters Journalists’ Appeal

Rights groups and diplomats have condemned the sentencing of the the reporters, saying their convictions have dealt a blow to freedom of the press in the developing democracy

Top

Privacy & Cookies: This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.
To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cookie Policy more information

Privacy & Cookies: This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.
To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cookie Policy

Close