A prominent regional journalist investigating crime, politics and the war in Syria has died following a fall from a window of his fourth-floor apartment in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city. Maxim Borodin, 32, was found by neighbors on the ground outside his apartment on Friday. He died in hospital two days later, without ever regaining consciousness. Borodin was well-known for delving into Yekaterinburg’s criminal underworld and was among those who broke the story of unreported deaths in the Kremlin’s shadow armies fighting in Syria.
This year's Pulitzer Prizes were just announced, honoring coverage of sexual predators, Russia & Trump, America's opioid epidemic, and the Philippines' murderous drug war. Big congrats to the New York Times, Reuters, the Washington Post and the other winners. Investigative journalism featured prominently in the local, international, national and public service categories.
A pro-government weekly in Hungary has published over 200 names of people it says are likely part of a group that Prime Minister Viktor Orban calls "mercenaries" who are paid by US-Hungarian billionaire philanthropist George Soros to topple the government. Those on the list include members of rights organizations such as Amnesty International, anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, refugee advocates, faculty and officials from the Soros-founded, Budapest-based Central European University, as well as investigative journalists from GIJN member Direkt36.
Source: US News/AP
Two Reuters journalists arrested while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims will face trial in Myanmar after a court rejected a motion to drop the case against them. Reporters Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were detained in December and accused of violating the country’s Official Secrets Act for possessing material relating to security operations in Rakhine state that was handed to them by the police. Myanmar has faced global condemnation and accusations of extrajudicial killings, ethnic cleansing and genocide as about 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Rakhine for Bangladesh after a military crackdown on insurgents.
Source: The Guardian
Pen America has joined a jittery journalism community in condemning the US Department of Homeland Security’s plan to create a searchable database of journalists, media influencers, editors and foreign correspondents. They called the database “alarming in the context of the Trump Administration’s vitriolic attacks on the media” and said it must be “quashed immediately.” Earlier this month, DHS posted a request for information seeking a contractor to compile the database. But DHS spokesperson Tyler Houlton said the move is “nothing more than the standard practice of monitoring current events in the media,” accusing those sounding the alarm of being “conspiracy theorists.”
Source: Pen America
The first Google News Initiative launched this this week with a large-scale effort to offer digital skills training to thousands of journalists across the MENA region. In partnership with the International Center for Journalists, the training series will focus on digital tools to gather and source information, enhance trust and verification and support data-driven journalism and immersive storytelling. The program will take place over the next year and will see 4,000 journalists trained in six countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia.