Foreign Business Reporting: The Next Trend in Chinese Press Restriction? Mar27

Foreign Business Rep...

In January 2014, Austin Ramzy joined dozens of  foreign correspondents from Reuters, Bloomberg, and The New York Times who have been denied Chinese visas or left perpetually waiting for renewals. The wave of denials follows a series of investigative stories, broken in the last 18 months, on...

Amid Venezuela protests, social media serves as imperfect source for journalists Mar13

Amid Venezuela protests, social media serves as im...

The tone was fearful, and the story was dramatic. “There’s a military tank outside my streets. I’ve heard gunshots for over two hours,” said a Venezuelan enduring another night of unrest in the country’s weeks-long protests against President Nicholas Maduro. “I’m sitting on my home’s door with a knife next to me, afraid of dying tonight.” It’s the kind of scene often presented in TV or newspaper coverage of such events. But in Venezuela this year, on-the-scene accounts are far more likely to be found on Twitter – like the one about the gunshots, which appeared under the hashtag #Chacao, named for a municipality of...

Egypt caught between two narratives

As four Al Jazeera staffers sit behind bars in Egypt, an international campaign to free them is underway. From Berlin to Kabul, hundreds of journalists have protested worldwide calling for their freedom. In Cairo, however, there wasn’t much sympathy for the arrested journalists. On the contrary, many Egyptians cheered on the authorities and their crackdown against the Qatari-owned network. “A bullet might kill a man, but a lying camera kills a nation,” read a poster plastered on a wall near Al Jazeera’s office in Cairo. A photo of a hand dripping blood above the familiar Al Jazeera logo accompanied the chilling quote. The poster...

Iran’s Twitter Politics

On February 5th, a live interview with President Hassan Rouhani was delayed for over an hour on Iranian state TV after an apparent dispute between the official state broadcaster and the president’s office over who would interview him. As Iran’s Channel One filled airtime with songs from the 1979 revolution, a news ticker announced technical difficulties. The broadcast then shifted to an Iranian TV series, leaving audiences to speculate about what had become of the president. The information void was broken when President Rouhani’s Twitter account blasted its 181,000 followers, calling out state TV head and hardliner, Ezatollah...

Behind the Secrecy Shroud in North Korea Mar11

Behind the Secrecy Shroud in North Korea

North Korea is a country so shrouded in secrecy that even the most seemingly implausible stories can sometimes get traction in the news media.  “We know so little about what really happens inside the country, and especially inside the leader’s head, that very little is disprovable,” wrote Max Fisher of The Washington Post in a January article, examining the story that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had executed his uncle by feeding him to 120 hungry dogs. Fisher’s conclusion: “probably” not true. “There’s no other country to which we bring such a high degree of gullibility,” Fisher wrote. But now, several...

A Reprieve for Kenyan Journalists Mar10

A Reprieve for Kenyan Journalists

Kenyan journalists have won a temporary reprieve from two laws that they say would put significant new restrictions on media freedom by imposing a code of conduct written and enforced by a government-appointed panel. The laws, set for enactment early this year, were postponed in January when a court ordered a judicial review that could take several months to complete, according to journalists in Nairobi. Both laws passed swiftly through the Kenyan Parliament in late 2013, in the wake of government attacks on media for their reporting on how authorities handled last September’s siege at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall. But some journalists say...