Four media outlets facing libel claims over Nursultan Nazarbayev reports

Complaints filed by charity named after ex-president reopen the debate over legal action against public interest journalism

Four media outlets in the UK and the US are facing libel claims after publishing investigative reports into allegations about the assets of a fund named after the former Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), openDemocracy and the Telegraph received several “pre-action” letters between May and August claiming their reporting was inaccurate and caused financial losses to a UK-registered company.

Continue reading...
Hong Kong’s Human Rights Press Awards scrapped over security law fears

Foreign Correspondent’s Club’s decision sparks outrage from journalists and resignations from press freedom committee

Hong Kong’s Foreign Correspondent’s Club has scrapped its annual human rights press awards just days before it was due to announce winners, out of fear it would violate the city’s wide-ranging national security law.

The decision sparked a number of resignations from the club’s press freedom committee, and public criticism from journalists and former award winners, who described the move as sad, and evidence that it could no longer serve in its mission to defend the press.

Continue reading...
Prominent Hong Kong journalist Allan Au reportedly held on sedition charge

Reporter and lecturer’s arrest in dawn raid another blow to city’s press amid Beijing crackdown

A veteran Hong Kong journalist has been arrested by national security police for allegedly conspiring to publish “seditious materials”, a police source and local media said, in the latest blow against press freedom.

Allan Au, a 54-year-old reporter and journalism lecturer, was arrested in a dawn raid on Monday by Hong Kong’s national security police unit, multiple local media outlets reported.

Continue reading...
Ronson Chan: the former Hong Kong editor who is now a delivery driver

The journalist’s career was dramatically paused when Stand News was raided – and now he is in limbo

Three months ago Ronson Chan was working as deputy assignment editor at Stand News, one of Hong Kong’s independent and pro-democracy news sites. His job involved assigning news stories to the team of reporters, helping set the editorial agenda and running the outlet’s social media posts.

As head of the Hong Kong Journalism Association he had seen up close the fallout from the Beijing media crackdown – closures, arrests, the offshoring of international bureaus.

Continue reading...
Hong Kong democracy and media freedom has ‘entered endgame’

International body calls on foreign governments to support journalists fleeing Hong Kong

The fight for democracy and media freedom in Hong Kong feels like it has “entered its endgame”, after a year of crackdowns, arrests and forced closures of outlets, the International Federation for Journalists has said.

In a report on the ongoing threats to the press in Hong Kong, titled Lights Out, the IFJ called on governments to offer support and pathways for Hong Kong journalists seeking to flee the city and find refuge to keep working. It noted “a clear and documented exodus and closure of both local and international media outlets, journalists and media workers that once earned Hong Kong a reputation as a bastion for media excellence in the Asia region”.

Continue reading...
Foreign journalists in China subject to rising intimidation, survey finds

Report says heightened dangers have prompted at least six to leave and many others to develop emergency exit plans

The Chinese government is finding new ways to intimidate foreign journalists, their Chinese colleagues and their sources, and harassment has reached such a high level that at least six have left the country, according to a key report.

The methods include online trolling, physical assaults, hacking and visa denials, as well as what appears to be official encouragement of lawsuits or threats of legal action against journalists, “typically filed by sources long after they have explicitly agreed to be interviewed”.

Continue reading...
‘We fought the good fight’: journalists in Hong Kong reel from assault on media

Newsroom closures and exodus from territory are result of ‘draconian’ national security law introduced in 2020

As the last news programme came to a close and anchors bade farewell to their online audience on 3 January, Chris Yeung, the founder and chief writer of Citizen News, gathered together his staff and tried to strike an optimistic tone.

“Remember our very best memories,” he said, dressed in a blue shirt with sleeves rolled up and a crimson jumper draped on his shoulders. “No one knows what will happen next. Don’t worry. Just remember the happy things.”

Continue reading...
I had death threats and my tires slashed for my reporting. Many journalists in the Pacific face huge dangers | Joyce McClure

Freedom of the press might be included in some constitutions of Pacific countries, but it often only works in theory

I spent five years as the lone journalist on the remote Pacific island of Yap. During that time I was harassed, spat at, threatened with assassination and warned that I was being followed. The tyres on my car were slashed late one night.

There was also pressure on the political level. The chiefs of the traditional Council of Pilung (COP) asked the state legislature to throw me out of the country as a “persona non grata” claiming that my journalism “may be disruptive to the state environment and/or to the safety and security of the state”.

Continue reading...
Detained, missing, close to death: the toll of reporting on Covid in China

Activists say crackdown is driven by Xi Jinping, who has ‘declared a war on independent journalism’

Chen Kun was living in Indonesia with his wife and daughter when he learned from his brother Mei’s boss that he had been “taken away for investigation” by Chinese police.

He immediately suspected it was to do with his brother’s website, a citizen news project called Terminus 2049. Since 2018 Mei, his colleague Cai Wei, and Cai’s partner – surnamed Tang – had been archiving articles about issues including #MeToo and migrant rights, and reposting them whenever they were deleted from China’s strictly monitored and censored online platforms. It was April 2020, and for the last few months Terminus 2049 had been targeting stories about the Covid-19 outbreak and response.

Continue reading...
Hong Kong media outlet Stand News to close after police raid

Reports say editors, board members and pop singer were held in early morning sweep as 200 officers raid office

The most prominent pro-democracy media outlet still operating in Hong Kong, Stand News, said it will shut down after police raided its offices, froze its assets and arrested senior journalists and former board members including pop star Denise Ho.

Authorities deployed an anti-sedition law in their crackdown that was drawn up under British colonial rule and had not been used for decades. A senior police officer accused the online site of “inciting hatred” against the Hong Kong government in news articles and interviews.

Continue reading...
Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov receive Nobel peace prize in Oslo

Filipina and Russian attend Oslo ceremony despite legal cases filed against Ressa and are first journalists to win since 1935

The journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov received the Nobel peace prize on Friday at a ceremony that Ressa was almost blocked from attending because of travel restrictions related to legal cases filed against her in the Philippines.

Ressa, 58, the chief executive and co-founder of the online news platform Rappler, praised for exposing abuses of power and growing authoritarianism under the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, is facing charges that could lead to about 100 years in jail. Having been awarded the prize alongside Muratov in October, she was granted permission to attend the ceremony earlier this month by the Philippine court of appeals, which ruled she was not a flight risk.

Continue reading...
Nobel winner: ‘We journalists are the defence line between dictatorship and war’

Next week, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov receive their Nobel peace prizes. In a rare interview, Muratov says he fears the world is sliding towards fascism

The last time a journalist won a Nobel prize was 1935. The journalist who won it – Carl von Ossietzky – had revealed how Hitler was secretly rearming Germany. “And he couldn’t pick it up because he was languishing in a Nazi concentration camp,” says Maria Ressa over a video call from Manila.

Nearly a century on, Ressa is one of two journalists who will step onto the Nobel stage in Oslo next Friday. She is currently facing jail for “cyberlibel” in the Philippines while the other recipient Dmitry Muratov, the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, is standing guard over one of the last independent newspapers in an increasingly dictatorial Russia.

Continue reading...
Philippines court allows Nobel laureate Maria Ressa to go to Norway

Journalist permitted to receive peace prize in person after judge eases travel restrictions

The Philippine journalist Maria Ressa will be allowed to travel overseas so she can accept her Nobel peace prize in person after a court gave her permission to leave the country to visit Norway this month.

Ressa, who is subject to travel restrictions because of the legal cases she faces in the Philippines, shared the prize with the Russian investigative journalist Dmitry Muratov, amid growing concerns over curbs on free speech worldwide.

Continue reading...
Afghan journalists decry Taliban rules restricting role of women on TV

Journalists asked to wear a hijab and broadcasters told to stop showing dramas featuring female actors

Afghan journalists and rights activists have condemned “religious guidelines” issued by the Taliban that restrict the role of women in television, as the Islamists move to muzzle the media.

The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice on Sunday called on broadcasters to stop showing dramas and soap operas featuring female actors.

Continue reading...
Moment Maria Ressa learns of Nobel peace prize win during Zoom call – video

Maria Ressa, the journalist and founder of the Philippine news organisation Rappler, said she was 'speechless' after learning of her Nobel peace prize win while participating in a panel discussion on journalism in south-east Asia.

Ressa could be seen answering a call from the Norwegian Nobel committee informing her of her win on the event's live video feed. Reacting with visible shock, she briefly left the panel to continue the call.

'It's a recognition of how we're going to win the battle for truth,' she said, after returning to the discussion. 'We hold the line.'

Continue reading...
PAGE TOP