In the latest attack on reporters, a car bomb has murdered a top investigative journalist on the island nation of Malta, near Sicily. Daphne Caruana Galizia had dug into local ties to figures named in the Panama Papers and ran an uncompromising blog, Running Commentary. Galizia joined The Sunday Times of Malta as a columnist in 1987 and then worked as associate editor of The Malta Independent. In 2016, Politico dubbed her one of 28 people "shaping, shaking and stirring Europe." She is the mother of Matthew Caruana Galizia, a data journalist with ICIJ, which put out a statement expressing deep concern "about freedom of the press in Malta" and calling for "Maltese authorities to investigate the murder and bring the perpetrators to justice."
Source: ICIJ, Times of Malta
A Wall Street Journal reporter has been convicted of producing “terrorist propaganda” in Turkey and was sentenced to more than two years in prison. Ayla Albayrak, who was charged over an August 2015 article in the newspaper, was convicted in absentia. The offending story chronicled the government’s efforts to quell unrest among the nation’s Kurdish separatists, “firing tear gas and live rounds in a bid to reassert control of several neighborhoods.” Turkey jails more journalists than any country in the world, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists and Amnesty International.
Source: The Guardian
Journalists in the Visegrad region of Eastern Europe have launched a new cross-border investigative journalism initiative, VSquare. The network includes three GIJN members -- Poland's Reporters Foundation, Hungary's Atlatszo, and the Czech Center for Investigative Journalism. Its goals: "to give citizens access to verified information through in-depth, high quality investigative reporting and to promote investigative journalism as a public good... to support our colleagues and train the future generations of journalists... to serve as watchdogs over public affairs, governments and businesses, and uncover any abuses of power and corruption... that might be bypassed by the mainstream media."
Brazil's Congress this week approved legislation allowing parties and political candidates to force social media to immediately withdraw anonymous content deemed offensive or somehow defamatory. The law is being harshly criticized by civil liberties and freedom of expression groups. Under the law, social media will need to provide the identification and social security number of authors to keep their comments online.
The first-ever global survey on the adoption of new technologies in news media found journalists and newsrooms lack the technology skills they need. The ICFJ study was based on responses from more than 2,700 newsroom managers and journalists from 130 countries, who provided responses in 12 languages. Among other findings, the study found that less than a third of newsrooms use advanced digital skills, such as data journalism or building apps for news, and that less than half the world’s journalists and newsrooms secure their communications. While most journalists use social media to find story ideas, only 11 percent use social media verification tools.
Serbia’s independent media staged a blackout last week to warn against what they say is President Aleksandar Vucic’s muzzling of the press by intimidation, threats and financial pressure. Dozens of Serbian media outlets and NGOs darkened their web pages for one hour at noon on September 28, with a white inscription warning: “This is what it looks like when there is no free press!” Vucic, a former extreme nationalist who now calls himself a reformist, has dismissed the accusations.
Source: Washington Post