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Home / News-archive / Committee to Protect Journalists Publishes Yearly Report on Press Freedom

Committee to Protect Journalists Publishes Yearly Report on Press Freedom

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) realised on 15 February 2012 “Attacks on the Press”, a yearly survey aimed at evaluating the level of freedom in the international press.

This comprehensive report is carried out by a team of experts who have analysed the key factors that restrict press freedom in each region of the world.

 

According to the this survey, global and regional institutions that should protect journalists and guarantee press freedom failed to fulfil their mandate.

A clear example is that of OSCE (Organization for Co-Operation and Security in Europe), which in 2007 elected chairman Kazakhstan, one of the region's most media-repressive countries. The chairmanship was delayed in order to allow the country to implement press freedom reforms, but failing to keep this mission Kazakhstan also issued new restricting laws and the Kazakh journalists continued facing attacks in the country. Nevertheless, in 2010 it undertook OSCE leadership.

Also the Organization of American States (OAS) is an interesting case. Despite the fact that the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have promoted press freedom and journalists protection through the years, not all the OAS members have implemented decisions in this sense.

In addition, many of the institutions that have adopted international laws promoting free expression fail to defend those rights in practical terms. As the CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon points out: ‘The recent unprecedented repression and persecution of journalists in Egypt, for example, provides an important opportunity for global and regional institutions to speak and act forcefully in defense of a free press’. However, a very few institutions raised their voice against these violations. On the other hand, the increasing number of NGOs dealing with violation on press freedom are more and more committed in monitoring the behaviour of those IGOs that should contribute to the press freedom defence.

Nowadays, technology makes it difficult to curb the flow of informations. Even in those Least Developed Countries lacking of an infrastructure system news can reach people very quickly through television and internet, and reporters are more and more difficult to control. Moreover, in the era of social networks everyone can become a reporter, thus making it more difficult to distinguish between traditional media-which should be a neutral source of information-and unofficial reporters-often politically biased. Many authorities feel that the increasing power of these social media is becoming a threat to their control. The so-called “facebook revolution” of Egypt and Tunisia, for example, managed to mobilise opposition and create a demand for change. As a result, journalists, especially local reporters, worldwide face intimidations, imprisonments, threats and killings as a tool to restrain information.

 

Francesca Ghersenti (CSF). 25 January 2012.

 

For more information on this topic and for regional analysis see:

http://cpj.org/2011/02/attacks-on-the-press-2010-preface-riz-khan.php

 
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