A Worldpress.org Special Report

Journalists on Journalism

A journalist working on a story exposing government corruption in Bulgaria is disfigured when masked assailants throw acid in her face. In Zimbabwe, a pro-opposition newspaper's offices are torched, its printing press bombed. In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers fire at journalists to prevent them from covering military operations there. In Bangladesh, a gang of young men burst into the offices of a controversial newspaper, smash windows, overturn furniture, and set the premises on fire.

In countries around the world, independent journalists risk jail, injury, and death to get the story out. In a Worldpress.org special report, we look at what journalists around the world are saying about journalism in their countries.


Iden Wetherell: Pulling No Punches
Julius Dawu, World Press Review correspondent, Harare, Zimbabwe, October 2002 issue.

Exiled Eritrean Editor Milkias Mihreteab
Meron Tesfa Michael, Aug. 21, 2002.

A Small Victory
Iden Wetherell, The Zimbabwe Independent (pro-opposition weekly), Harare, Zimbabwe, July 19, 2002.

Permission to Publish
Julius Dawu, World Press Review correspondent, Harare, Zimbabwe, June 28, 2002.

The Death of Independent Zimbabwean TV?
Eugene Soros, Harare, Zimbabwe, May 15, 2002

Zimbabwe: New Tactics, Same Game
Julius Dawu, World Press Review correspondent, Harare, Zimbabwe, May 14, 2002

Madeleine Mukamabano: Out of Africa
Tekla Szymanski, World Press Review associate editor, June 2002 edition

Sierra Leone: Media Commission's Credibility in Question
Foday B. Fofanah, World Press Review correspondent, Freetown, Sierra Leone, April 23, 2002

Zimbabwe: Journalists Stand Up to Press Law
Eugene Soros, Harare, Zimbabwe, April 5, 2002

Coming Through Slaughter: An Interview with Sierra Leonean Journalist Philip Neville
Elijah Zarwan, March 21, 2002

Journalists Under Siege
Eugene Soros, Harare, Zimbabwe, Jan. 22, 2002

Controversial Press Bill Shelved
Busani Bafana, Harare, Zimbabwe, Jan. 22, 2002

Independent Newspaper Battles Closure
Stephen Tsoroti, Harare, Zimbabwe, Nov. 20, 2001

Who Will Guard the Guards?
David Tam-Baryoh, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Publishing Against the Odds
Philip Neville, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Journalism in Sierra Leone: Defending Press Freedom
Paul Kamara, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Hunted by Bandits, Hated by Government
David Tam-Baryoh, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Zimbabwe: Democracy's Dimming
Busani Bafana, World Press Review correspondent, Harare, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Broadcast Blues
Busani Bafana, World Press Review correspondent, Harare, Zimbabwe


Panamanian Journalist Faces Imprisonment

Speaking Out Against Corruption
Michelle Lescure, World Press Review correspondent, Panama City, Panama, April 11, 2002

Guatemala: Stubborn Stain of Corruption
Robert Taylor, World Press Review contributing editor, June 2002 edition

Cuba Blames Radio Martí for Mexican Embassy Incident
Nick Miroff, World Press Review correspondent, Havana, Cuba

Venezuela's Conscience: Arturo Uslar Pietri


Worldpress.org Names Afghanistan's Shukria Barakzai 2004 International Editor of the Year

Trouble Ahead for Indonesia's Free Press?
Joseph Kirschke, Jakarta, Indonesia, April 5, 2002

Was Pearl Onto Something?
Siddharth Varadarajan, The Times of India (conservative), New Delhi, India, March 11, 2002

Getting News in Uzbekistan
Yana Bey, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Nov. 14, 2001

Who Elected You, Mr. Osama?
Farish A. Noor, Malaysiakini.com (independent, online), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Oct. 10, 2001


Russian Literary Salons
Ilya Milstein, Novoye Vremya (liberal weekly magazine), Moscow, Russia, July 21, 2002.

Madeleine Mukamabano: Out of Africa
Tekla Szymanski, World Press Review associate editor, June 2002 edition

When Journalists Became Targets
Robert Fisk, The Independent (liberal), London, England, Feb. 23, 2002.

Åsne Seierstad: Reporter on the Front Lines
Tekla Szymanski, World Press Review correspondent

Morals Campaigner Mary Whitehouse
Sarah Coleman, World Press Review contributing editor

Media, Mafia, and Monopoly in Bulgaria
Polia Alexandrova, Sofia, Bulgaria, July 17, 2002

Itay: A New Publishing Environment
Beatrice Cassina, World Press Review correspondent, Oct. 1, 2001

Perica Vucinic: An Unsparing Gaze
Katarina Subasic, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro, October 2001 edition

Reporting the 20th Century: Indro Montanelli
Tekla Szymanski, World Press Review associate editor

Ryszard Kapuscinski: A Poet Among Journalists


Israel: The Myth of Left-Wing Media Control
David Newman

Jenin: Massacre or Meta-Narrative?
Peter C. Valenti, World Press Review contributing editor, May 14, 2002

Arab Press Critical of Attacks on 'Northern Front'
Joel Campagna, World Press Review contributing editor, April 16, 2002

In a Narrow Place

Andrew Hammond, World Press Review correspondent, Cairo, Egypt, April 16, 2002

Iran's Reformist Press
Shahram Sokooti, Tehran, Iran, Jan. 22, 2002

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Eclipses Bin Laden Videotape in Arab Media
Andrew Hammond, World Press Review correspondent, Cairo, Egypt

Critical in Cairo
Andrew Hammond, World Press Review correspondent, Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 13, 2001

The Arab Press Sends Mixed Messages
Joel Campagna, World Press Review contributing editor, November 2001 edition

The Anti-Saudi Media Campaign
Uthman al-Rawwaf, Al-Sharq al-Awsat (Saudi-owned), London, England, Oct. 30, 2001

Al-Jazeera, The Pride of Qatar
The Times of India (conservative), New Delhi, Oct. 10, 2001

Battling Bigotry: Nawal el-Saadawi
Tekla Szymanski, World Press Review associate editor, September 2001 edition

Ibrahim Eissa: Dissident Journalist
Sarah Coleman, World Press Review contributing editor

For More Information:

The Committee to Protect Journalists

The International Press Institute

Reporters Sans Frontières

Freedom Forum

How the World Gets News:

As if by instinct, human beings seek to satisfy a basic need to know. And just as persistently, the power-hungry hoard the news or connive to control its flow. The particulars of this tug-of-war change, but the dynamic doesn’t.

In a series of reports from around the world, WPR correspondents weigh in on the remarkable tenacity of our species to get the stories of our time.

Bulgaria: News Hungry

South Korea: A Literate Society Devours the News

Serbia: Eyes Wide Open

Sierra Leone: Beleaguered Press

China: TV Dominates Information Sources

Getting the News in Nigeria

How the Thai People Get News

Tanzania: Poverty and The Press

Lithuanians Choose Electronic Media

Mexicans: New Climate, Old Habits

News in the Chilean Capital

Philippines: Elusive Access to Information

South Africa: Getting the Message

Turks Get Some of the News, Not All

Uruguay: Rich News Diet Is A Forgotten Luxury

Israel: News, the National Obsession


Pulling the Plug on Independent TV
“From a luxury villa on the Costa del Sol to the vast, cold expanse of Prague’s Wenceslas Square, a vital battle is being joined for control of television and freedom of expression across the ex-communist bloc. In scenes reminiscent of the 1989 Velvet Revolution that toppled the communists, tens of thousands of Czechs have been marching and protesting for a month to save national television from the politicians they say have betrayed the hopes and the legacy of 1989. By contrast, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has spent much of his first year in office trying to secure as much television power and influence as he can. He has just scored a coup with the submission of Boris Berezovsky, the exiled media magnate, to his will. In a typically Russian insider deal, Berezovsky says he is to surrender his 49-percent stake in Russia’s first television channel, ORT, to the Kremlin.”

Ian Traynor, The Guardian (liberal),
London, England, Jan. 22, 2001.

From Slogans to Satisfaction
“More than 11 years ago, the societies of Europe’s socialist countries reached the conclusion that their desires could not be achieved within the system in which they lived. Millions of people rattled their keys in a call for change. Since then, these countries have sought an equilibrium in new circumstances. Again, however, citizens find that their wants have not been fulfilled in the way they expected, and again the time for change has come—though clearly not of the revolutionary kind witnessed in 1989.”

Pavol Minarik, Pravda (leftist),
Bratislava, Slovaka, Jan. 19, 2001.

Cutting Off One's Nose
“NTV [Russia’s independent television station] is probably doomed. Although in the war against Vladimir Gusinsky and his team, our Supreme Commander-in-Chief has not demonstrated any great feats of bravery, he remains as methodical and persistent as ever. And he is not lacking in energy. This is due not just to the power of the Prosecutor’s Office or the Federal Security Service. Vladimir Putin’s main source of power lies in the readiness of our people to adjust their opinions and values to those of their superiors—that is, to their own advantage.”

Dmitri Furman, Moskovskiye Novosti (liberal weekly),
Moscow, Russia, Feb. 13-19, 2001.

Broadcasters Look Out for No. 1

“We don’t know what the Czechs know. I am very sorry that this is the case. I am very sorry that we are unable to stand up, as journalists and as a whole society, for freedom of the press. I would like to focus now on the question of why we lack this ability. Why did journalists watch nonchalantly as Laszlo Csucs, a member of parliament from the Independent Smallholders’ Party, ousted the top journalists at Hungarian Radio’s political reporting teams? Why is there still no powerful movement—apart from a few meaningless statements—when the government continues to dismiss qualified professionals from public media, replacing them with incompetent people, children of politicians’ girlfriends, and so on?”

Kasza László, Népszabadság (independent),
Budapest, Hungary, Feb. 5, 2001.

Cracks in the Great Firewall
“After years of sporadic control of the Internet, the Chinese government laid down some concrete rules in October and November 2000 governing ownership, content, and other aspects of Internet use.

The first set of rules, issued on Oct. 1, limits direct foreign investment in Chinese Internet companies, requiring companies to register with the Ministry of Information Industry and apply for permission before issuing stock or signing any agreement with a foreign investor. Another provision bans the dissemination of any information that might harm unification of the country, endanger national security, or subvert the government. Promoting ‘evil cults’ (an unsubtle reference to Beijing’s campaign against the Falun Gong spiritual movement) is similarly banned, along with material that ‘disturbs social order or undermines social stability.’ Other articles prohibit the distribution of pornography or ‘salacious material,’ along with anything that harms ‘the honor and interests of the state.’ ”

A. Lin Neumann, Jan. 18, 2001. Neumannis currently a consultant to the Committee to Protect Journalists based in Thailand. This passage is excerpted from a report in Attacks on the Press 2000, which can be found at www.cpj.org.

Out of Bounds in a Straitlaced State
“The Malaysian Internet newspaper Malaysiakini has courted controversy from the day it went on-line over a year ago. But last week, Malaysiakini.com, whose staple is hard-hitting political coverage, ran into its stormiest experience yet. Its chief editor, Steven Gan, found himself the subject of prime-time news on the government television channel for five straight nights. “One night, the item about me even preceded news about Dr. Mahathir,” said the boyish-looking Gan, who sports a scruffy Beatles hairdo.”

Joceline Tan, The Straits Times (independent),
Singapore, Feb. 23, 2001.