Kenyan journalists sleep in newsroom to avoid crackdown

Larry Madowo, a news anchor with Nation Television. (Twitter/@@LarryMadowo)
Updated 01 February 2018
0

Kenyan journalists sleep in newsroom to avoid crackdown

NAIROBI: A popular TV news anchor in Kenya says he and two other journalists were forced to spend the night in their newsroom to avoid arrest as a government crackdown on media continues for coverage of the opposition leader’s mock inauguration.
The government shut down the East African nation’s three leading TV stations when they tried to broadcast Tuesday’s “swearing-in” of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who declared himself “the people’s president” in protest of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win last year.

Larry Madowo, a news anchor with Nation Television, says multiple sources informed him and colleagues that undercover policemen were waiting in the parking lot outside their offices.
Madowo says the journalists decided to spend the night in the newsroom for security reasons.


Turkey remains world’s worst offender against press freedom

Updated 13 December 2018
0

Turkey remains world’s worst offender against press freedom

  • A report by the Committee to Protect Journalists said that a near-record number of journalists around the world are behind bars for their work
  • The CPJ said there are dozens of reporters missing or kidnapped in the Middle East and North Africa

Turkey remains the world’s worst offender against press freedom, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Thursday, with at least 68 journalists imprisoned for anti-state charges.

Turkey has previously said its crackdown is justified because of an attempted coup to overthrow the government in 2016.

The report said that a near-record number of journalists around the world are behind bars for their work, including two Reuters reporters whose imprisonment in Myanmar has drawn international criticism.

There were 251 journalists jailed for doing their jobs as of Dec. 1, the CPJ said in an annual study. For the third consecutive year, more than half are in Turkey, China and Egypt, where authorities have accused reporters of anti-governmental activities.

“It looks like a trend now,” the report’s author, Elana Beiser, said in an interview. “It looks like the new normal.”

The number of journalists imprisoned on charges of “false news” rose to 28, up from 21 last year and nine in 2016, according to the CPJ, a U.S.-based nonprofit that promotes press freedom.

The report criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for frequently characterizing negative media coverage as “fake news,” a phrase that is also used by leaders against their critics in countries like the Philippines and Turkey.

In Egypt, at least 25 journalists are in prison. Authorities say this is to limit dissent are directed at militants trying to undermine the state.

Meanwhile, when asked about journalists being jailed, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said: “Legal measures are not taken because of these suspects’ or criminals’ professions. This is unrelated.”

The overall number of jailed journalists is down eight percent from last year’s record high of 272, the CPJ said.

The total does not take into account journalists who have disappeared or are being held by non-state actors. The CPJ said there are dozens of reporters missing or kidnapped in the Middle East and North Africa, including several held by Houthis in Yemen.

(With Reuters)