Imprisoned Journalists

It is sobering, but not surprising, to acknowledge the truth of this equation:

increase in the Internet’s pervasiveness = increase in the number of Internet journalists = increase in the number of journalists imprisoned for their reporting

The Committee to Protect Journalists‘ (CPJ) annual census reported that “the number of journalists jailed worldwide for their work increased for the second consecutive year, and one in three is now an Internet blogger, online editor, or Web-based reporter . . .” Of the 134 journalists CPJ lists as imprisoned on December 1, 67 are print reporters, editors, and photographers and 49 are Internet journalists. CPJ’s chart links to detailed information on each jailed journalist and shows that China, Cuba, Eritrea, and Ethiopia are the worst offenders, with China’s 31 incarcerations leading the list. These conclusions are consistent with the more comprehensive Reporters Without Borders Worldwide Press Freedom Index discussed in this post. The U.S. accounts for two jailed journalists on the CPJ list: Joshua Wolf, jailed in San Francisco for refusing to turn over a videotape to a federal grand jury, and Sami Muhyideen al-Haj, an Al-Jazeera cameraman held in the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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