The President of the European Commission has called on European countries to better protect journalists, amid a rise in the number of attacks on media professionals. “Journalists are being targeted simply for doing their job. Some have been threatened, some beaten and, tragically, some murdered,” Ursula von der Leyen said during her state of the union address. “Let me mention some of their names: Daphné Caruana Galizia. Ján Kuciak. Peter de Vries. The details of their stories may be different but what they have in common is that they all fought and died for our right to be informed.” With more than 900 attacks in the EU in 2020, the commission said states should ensure such attacks are properly investigated, train law enforcement teams on media safety, and support initiatives to empower women and minority journalists who are “particularly vulnerable to threats and attacks.”
Source: European Commission
A court in Dhaka refused a request from Bangladeshi journalist Rozina Islam to have the government return her passport, two mobile phones, and personal identification card. Those items were seized earlier this year after Islam, a senior correspondent for the daily newspaper Prothom Alo, was detained for more than five hours at the nation's Health Ministry while reporting on corruption and mismanagement by the country's health agencies. The government claimed she was in violation of the nation's colonial-era Official Secrets Act and had illicit pictures of official documents on her phone, charges she fully denies. Islam could face up to 14 years in prison as well as the death penalty if convicted.
Source: The Daily Star
Two new grants for environmental journalism were just launched by JournalismFund.EU, as part of its Earth Investigations Program. In total, the new grant programs will provide more than €9 million ($10.5 million USD) over the next six years to foster more independent investigative journalism on climate and other environmental affairs issues in Europe. One of the grants is aimed at promoting cross-border collaborations between reporters and news outlets. The other grant targets organizations that are looking to develop more newsroom training and support services. Application rounds are ongoing through 2027, but deadlines for the first investigations grant period is October 27 and the first organization services round is November 3rd.
Citing the Kremlin's ongoing intimidation campaign against independent journalism, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) announced that it was shutting down operations inside Russia. In a statement posted on its website in Russian, the group noted Putin's government has branded a number of investigative news sites working inside Russia as "undesirable" or foreign agents in the past few months. As a result, OCCRP said it was now offering to move its Russian employees out of the country or find them new jobs.“Our work in Russia now can do more harm than good to local journalists,” explained Drew Sullivan, editor-in-chief of OCCRP. "This does not mean that we will stop writing about large-scale corruption in this country. We just understand that the government, as usual, will punish its own citizens for cooperating with us."
Apple released an emergency update to its operating systems to combat a recently discovered "zero click remote exploit" that it warned could allow Pegasus spyware to infect user's iPhones, Apple Watches, or Mac computers without a single click. Apple recommended all of its iPhone customers immediately download and install the new iOS version — 14.8 — to prevent the user's phone from being tracked and externally controlled. Earlier this summer, Forbidden Stories revealed a worldwide effort to spy on the cellphones of journalists, politicians, and activists via NSO Software's global Pegasus project. “This spyware can do everything an iPhone user can do on their device and more,” warned John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab, where the latest Apple flaw was discovered.
Source: New York Times
More than half of the journalists who have died from COVID-19 globally are from Latin America, with 954 media workers in the region reported to have died due to the virus, out of a total of 1,788 worldwide.Brazil is the country with the highest number of victims, with at least 280 journalist deaths, ahead of India with at least 270 victims. Other Latin American countries have also seen high figures, with Peru (198), Mexico (120), and Colombia (77) also among the worst-hit reporting communities according to the Geneva-based Press Emblem Campaign, which pools data from national journalist associations, local media, regional correspondents, and social networks. Zuliana Lainez, general secretary of the National Association of Journalists of Peru, said reporters should remember “that the pandemic is not over and that we should continue to take care of ourselves.”
Source: Source: LatAm Journalism Review