Khadija Ismayilova walks out of prison after spending 1-1/2 years behind bars. (Photo: Meydan TV)

Khadija Ismayilova Freed from Azerbaijan Prison

Journalist Khadija Ismayilova was set free after her final appeal hearing today at the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan two days before her 40th birthday. Ismayilova, an award-winning reporter who exposed the corruption of the ruling Aliyev family, has been in prison in Baku since her arrest on Dec. 5, 2014. “There was no crime,” Ismayilova told the press upon her release. “President Aliyev and his clique decided to get rid of any criticism against them.”

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Europe Under Attack: How Paris Changed Us

Friday, November 13, 2015 was a strangely balmy night in Paris, the kind that makes visitors fall in love with the city. People spilled out of the cafés, winding down the workweek over glasses of wine, their chatter and laughter creating a soft hubbub on the streets, as pedestrians sidestepped the crow


Global Press Freedom Plunges to 12-Year Low

Global press freedom declined to its lowest point in 12 years in 2015, as political, criminal, and terrorist forces sought to co-opt or silence the media in their broader struggle for power, according to Freedom of the Press 2016, Freedom House’s annual report on media freedom worldwide. Only 14 percent of the world’s population enjoys a free press—that is, where coverage of political news is robust, the safety of journalists is guaranteed, state intrusion in media affairs is minimal, and the press is not subject to onerous legal or economic pressures.


GIJN Statement: Attacks on Dojčinović and KRIK Must End

The Global Investigative Journalism Network, an association of 128 organizations in 58 countries, deplores recent attacks on the character and work of Stevan Dojčinović and the KRIK investigative reporting center in Serbia. We call upon the government of Serbia to take all measures to protect the security of Mr. Dojčinović and his staff, and to respect their freedom to conduct independent journalism.


Wi-Fi Can Be Dangerous: Three Ways To Avoid Getting Hacked

Fast Company last week brought home the issue of online privacy with a chilling piece on in-flight eavesdropping. It turns out that USA Today’s Steven Petrow, while working on a story on the Apple-FBI battle over iPhone access, “had been hacked mid-flight” over an American Airlines Wi-Fi system. A man seated behind him had read his emails as well as those of other passengers on the flight. The article doesn’t go into detail on how the man hacked into American’s Gogo Wi-Fi, but it’s not hard to guess what might have happened. More importantly, this incident is yet another wake-up call for being aware of this type of spying and to do something about it.

CPJ Prison 2015

Led by China, Egypt, 199 Journalists Now in Prison

The Committee to Protect Journalists is out with its annual census of journalists in prison, and, as always, the report makes for grim reading. Check it out, anyway — it’s important our community knows what’s happening to our colleagues around the world. Here’s the quick and dirty: Globally, CPJ found 199 journalists in prison because of their work on December 1, 2015, a modest decline from record highs of the past three years. (There were 221 in 2014.) CPJ’s list does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released throughout the year.

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A Global Assault on Nonprofits

In an era of increasing hostility to independent media, one of the bright spots is the rapid expansion of journalism nonprofits around the world — training, promoting, and reporting on stories that otherwise would never see the light of day. But a dangerous trend now threatens the progress our colleagues have made on press freedom and watchdog reporting: a crackdown on nonprofit organizations. Restrictions on international funding account for more than a third of the measures since 2012. With that in mind, we are pleased to reprint this important story from the Journal of Democracy, detailing the global scope of the backlash.

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UNESCO Report Calls for Stronger Source Protection

On the occasion of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, UNESCO is releasing a new study today, World Trends In Freedom of Expression and Media Development. Of particular note is the chapter Protecting Journalism Sources in the Digital Age. We are reprinting below that section’s key findings and recommendations, which add another important voice calling for stronger measures to protect sources.


Internet Freedom Declines for Fifth Straight Year in 2015

Here’s the annual map of global Internet freedom, drawn from Freedom on the Net 2015, released this week by Freedom House. The news is not good: Internet freedom worldwide declined for the fifth straight year in 2015, with more governments censoring information of public interest while expanding surveillance and restricting privacy tools, the report found. More than 61 percent of Internet users reside where criticism of governments, militaries, or ruling families have been subject to online censorship. A striking 58 percent live in countries where people have been imprisoned for posting political, social, or religious content.