A Russian war correspondent covers election wars in the U.S.


A Russian war correspondent covers election wars i…

A few days before New Yorkers went to the polls in the presidential primaries, Russian journalist Pavel Kanygin paid a visit to Brighton Beach, the Brooklyn neighborhood that has long been home to Russian immigrants.
“There were many babushkas,” said Kanygin, who was surprised that so many of the Russians still living in Brighton Beach are elderly.
Less surprising, he said, was the strong support he found there for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump – who Kanygin says bears a political resemblance to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He has audience only from white, losing, working-class people,” said Kanygin.

Life in Exile for Latin American Journalists


Life in Exile for Latin American Journalists

The afternoon of March 19, 2003 is seared into the memory of Cuban economist and independent journalist Alfredo Felipe. That was the day government officials invaded his house in Artemisa, a town 60 kilometers west of Havana.
“A horrible circus,” Felipe recalled, in a recent phone interview from his current home in Austin, Texas. “They took my books, all my books, an important number of books. They took my papers, a typewriter from the year 1929, a tape recorder — all those things that are useful to transmit ideas. Those were the weapons they were looking for.”
Felipe was one of 75 opposition figures rounded up that…

Mexican journalists mount online defiance


Mexican journalists mount online defiance

To be a journalist in Mexico today is to be faced with a constant dilemma—to publish or not. Publishing stories that expose the actions of drug cartels can bring death. Unmasking the truth about corrupt politicians can be equally risky. The fear of retribution means journalists in Mexico self-censor their material.
In the wake of this reality, non-traditional efforts – Mexicans using blogs, Twitter hashtags, and Facebook groups to disseminate information – have sought to fill the journalism gap. #ReynosaFollow and Blog del Narco are among the examples that have come and gone, often under threat from drug cartels, and questioned…

Obama’s trip to Cuba and the censorship dilemma


Obama’s trip to Cuba and the censorship dilemma

On March 21, when President Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba in 88 years, every step of his trip will be scrutinized, praised, or criticized by politicians, pundits – and by journalists both inside and outside the country.
In announcing his historic trip, Obama stated on his personal Twitter account that he would personally raise human rights with the Cuban government. “America will always stand for human rights around the world,” he Tweeted.
For some journalists working in the island’s highly restricted media, Obama’s trip raises hopes that freedom of the press is high on his human…

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


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…

The Scary Implications of Digital Espionage For Jo…

When the New York Times revealed in late January that Chinese hackers had infiltrated its digital network, including reporters’ email accounts, reaction exploded on Twitter and other social media sites. People speculated that this was yet another example of China’s rising power in the world. But then there was this tweet from writer and reporter Charlie Custer, who manages the translation website
On the one hand, NYT hacking is a big story. On the other hand, is it? Isn’t this happening to most foreign correspondents constantly?
— Charlie Custer (@ChinaGeeks) February 1, 2013
That reminded Howard French, the…

CCTV: Coming to America

In February, China Central Television launched CCTV America, an hour-long daily program broadcast from brand new studios in Washington, D.C. CCTV America says that it is trying to provide American audiences with news from an Asian perspective. However, some critics are skeptical that the network will be able to distance itself from the propaganda broadcast by its Chinese relative. Milos Balac, Annie Claire Bergeron-Oliver and Lesley Dong report.

Venezuela Journalists Demand More Public Media


Venezuela Journalist…

On the tenth anniversary of the attempted coup against President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, the questions of media freedom and access remain contradictory and polemic. State-run and private media both exist, but have a hostile relationship.
It seems that the next frontier of the battle between…

News to Latin America: is anyone watching?


News to Latin America: is anyone watching?

CNN and its international channel pioneered global, 24-hour news in the 1980s, followed by BBC World News (1991), Al Jazeera (1996) and – since the turn of the century – a growing number of round-the-clock news channels broadcast to world audiences.
Among the most ambitious newcomers are state-funded channels from two countries with restrictive media regimes: China’s CCTV and Russia’s RT (formerly known as Russia Today). Both the Chinese and Russian services have global, government-financed English-language channels and a growing roster of more targeted programming – like CCTV’s latest additions, CCTV Africa and CCTV America.

The Long View on Kony

In 1997, journalist Elizabeth Rubin went to Acholiland, in northern Uganda, to investigate atrocities committed by a notoriously ruthless gang of guerrillas, the Lord’s Resistance Army. She spent five weeks talking with a Catholic school nun whose female students were seized in a nighttime raid by the LRA, with some of the students who survived that ordeal, and with former child soldiers and families of children kidnapped by the LRA leader, Joseph Kony, who, like the other residents of the region, is an ethnic Acholi.
Rubin’s gripping story about Kony, the LRA and children recruited to fight for it spread across nine pages of the…