The disclosure this week that US prosecutors have filed criminal charges against Wikileaks' Julian Assange could set a dangerous precedent undermining press freedoms. Details remain unclear, but much depends on how Assange will be treated. Although not traditional journalists, what WikiLeaks does can be hard to legally separate from what traditional news groups routinely do -- receiving and publishing classified information -- "exactly what journalists do all the time,” noted Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.
Source: New York Times
An unusual rebuke by the leaders of 10 leading American journalism schools is condemning the Trump Administration's war on the news media. The White House's recent revocation of the press pass of CNN's Jim Acosta, in particular, has gone too far, they wrote. "Although gratuitous, harsh and insulting reprimands directed at reporters and news organizations that pose inconvenient questions are routine under this administration," says the statement, "the Acosta incident crosses an important line regarding First Amendment protections and press freedom."
Source: UC Berkeley
Supporters of one of Russia’s last independent media outlets have raised enough money to pay a court-imposed penalty widely seen as politically motivated. On Tuesday, ICIJ member Yevgenia Albats said she had received more than $373,000 in donations -- well beyond the fine imposed by a Moscow court in October. The court fined Albats and the online magazine The New Times more than $340,000 for allegedly failing to report donations received from readers submitted via the nonprofit Fund in Support of Freedom of the Press. The fine represents one year’s operating costs. Albats, the publication’s editor-in-chief, told ICIJ she believed most donations came from Russian citizens and were exempt from Russia’s so-called “foreign agents” law that would have required the news organization to disclose foreign donations.
GIJN has partnered with the Bangladesh-based media development group, the Management and Resources Development Initiative, to launch GIJN in Bangla. The latest feed, which will initially launch on Facebook, is GIJN's eighth language edition and the ninth regional edition. It joins the main English language feed and editions in Arabic, Africa, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Bangla (formerly called Bengali) is the sixth most widely spoken language on Earth, with 242 million speakers largely in Bangladesh and eastern India. Nearly 180,000 people worldwide follow GIJN's daily feeds on a dozen digital platforms, bringing journalists news on the latest reporting techniques, major stories, workshops, fellowships, security threats and legal issues affecting the field.
Source: GIJN Bangla
CPJ’s Africa Program coordinator Angela Quintal and the group’s sub-Saharan Africa representative Muthoki Mumo were arrested and detained this week by Tanzanian officials. In a series of social media posts on Wednesday evening, Quintal, who is also a board member of South African GIJN member amaBhungane, informed her followers that she and Mumo were being detained. Quintal and Mumo are in Tanzania as part of a CPJ mission. According to the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the two have today been released back to their hotel in Dar Es Salaam, but without their passports. It is not confirmed whether their release without their passports means charges against them remain in place.
Source: amaBhungane and CPJ
Hundreds of muckrakers will soon gather at the annual conferences of investigative journalists in Latin America and the Middle East. COLPIN -- the Conferencia Latinoamericana de Periodismo de Investigación -- and the 11th Annual Forum for Arab Investigative Reporters will take place in, respectively, Bogota, Colombia on November 8-11 and November 30-December 2 in Jordan, on the Dead Sea. Both events will feature cutting-edge sessions on investigative techniques, workshops, and awards.
Source: ARIJ, COLPIN