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Journalists under attack.....and worse

Being a journalist has always had its perils, especially in war zones or even conflict.     And no more than now, as a report by Committee to Protect Journalists clearly shows.

"The imprisonment of journalists worldwide reached a record high in 2012, driven in part by the widespread use of charges of terrorism and other anti-state offenses against critical reporters and editors, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found.

In their accounting of the quality of press protections across the world, the CPJ's report, Attack on The Press: Journalism on the Front Lines, found an alarming international trend of government overreach and repression of journalistic freedoms with those in the United States not at all immune from the abuses of state power.

The report shows that 232 journalists found themselves behind bars because of their work in 2012, an increase of 53 from the previous year and the highest since CPJ launched its annual global study in 1990."


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"Some of the key findings from the report explain why:

  • "The 29.6 percent worldwide increase over 2011 was the largest percentage jump in a decade and the second consecutive annual increase of more than 20 percent. Imprisonments increased 23.4 percent from 2010 to 2011.

  • The number of journalists held on anti-state charges, 132, is the highest CPJ has recorded, although its proportion of the overall tally, about 57 percent, is consistent with surveys in recent years.

  • The use of retaliatory charges was the next most common tactic among cases in which charges were publicly disclosed. Nineteen journalists faced such charges worldwide.

  • Seven journalists were being held on charges of engaging in ethnic or religious "insult," and six others were jailed on criminal defamation allegations. Violations of censorship statutes were cited in three cases, while charges of disseminating "false news" were lodged in two instances.

  • The overwhelming majority of the detainees are local journalists being held by their own governments. Three foreign journalists were imprisoned worldwide, CPJ's survey found.
  • Online and print media journalists constituted the two largest professional groups on CPJ's census. Among other media, 24 television journalists, 12 radio reporters, and one documentary filmmaker were being held."

  • Eighty-five freelance journalists were in jail worldwide on December 1, constituting about 37 percent of the census. The proportion of freelance journalists, which had trended upward in recent years, dropped for the first time since 2006. "

 

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