More Online Journalists Jailed Last Year Than Traditional Reporters


Source: Committee to Protect Journalists

For the first time in the Committee to Protect Journalists’ prison census, more online journalists than traditional journalists are now in jail. From the press release:

Reflecting the rising influence of online reporting and commentary, more Internet journalists are jailed worldwide today than journalists working in any other medium…45 percent of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors. Online journalists represent the largest professional category for the first time in CPJ’s prison census.

As our case study series and the CPJ report have shown, bloggers and online journalists have increasingly drawn the attention of governments that limit free speech, and they rarely have the type of protection a large, traditional newspaper can provide. As the CPJ’s Joel Simon notes:

The image of the solitary blogger working at home in pajamas may be appealing, but when the knock comes on the door they are alone and vulnerable. All of us must stand up for their rights–from Internet companies to journalists and press freedom groups. The future of journalism is online and we are now in a battle with the enemies of press freedom who are using imprisonment to define the limits of public discourse.

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10 Responses to “More Online Journalists Jailed Last Year Than Traditional Reporters”

  1. Andy Oram Says:

    This is certainly alarming, no matter what may determine the exact statistics involved, but I’d like to suggest one factor for the greater arrests of bloggers: in countries likely to persecute journalists, there are probably more mechanisms for prior restraint. Licensing, for instance, may weed out potentially dissenting newspapers and radio stations.

    Anyway, it’s an alarming statistic, but at least it suggests that bloggers can have an impact. Otherwise they wouldn’t be worth attacking.

  2. Paul Kawachi Says:

    The wording you use suggests you have already decided the journalists are innocent and the police are wrong – there is no evidence for this. Publishing in hard-copy has a series of checks and balances in place (not least an editor looking over one’s shoulder, and shareholders insistent on accountability), while the internet brings opportunities to the masses without always the same rigorous screening of reported ‘facts’. At universities too the number of students passing off plagiarized texts as their own has risen with the use of the internet, as has the number being caught. Perhaps online journalists could develop more acceptable methods – within the laws in which they operate. Of course in oppressive regimes, reporters may be jailed without fair reasons, and some may have turned to the internet to get their stories out to the world : overall I think you should give a more balanced opinion, and a few detailed cases to illustrate your opinion. I hope I don’t get jailed for writing this dissenting view ☺

  3. Very worried Says:

    You ruddy well should be jailed, for suggesting that in any jurisdiction, it is an acceptable outcome that someone is jailed for writing what they believe to be true.

  4. idteam Says:

    I’d actually argue for a very high bar for jailing anyone for voicing an opinion.

  5. FM Shah Says:

    I know why we are here. Because we are looking for truth. Whenever we find the truth in bit and pieces. We find that we were not really looking for truth rather we were looking for an answer. It’s the question that brought us here. Wonderful show of truth.

    The fuss blind/deaf world leaders with help of Electronic Media and Press continue to sell and make over various issues like WOT, Taliban and Suicide Bombing has reached ridiculous proportions. Today’s world is very different than we have seen during last couple of decades since advent of TV and Radio. Electronic Media self perception is that Media freedom have empowered public and improved information access to masses. The real mass information and access to people credit actually goes only to Bill Gate, Michael Dell and all those, who made possible PCs, Internet, Bloggers and U-Tube. These various online forums/tools have empowered sincere middle class. By internet these middle class, who have at stake. They interact and cross check what all is happening around them. Electronic Media itself is unable to realize this reality. Internet will soon altogether make irrelevant Anchor Mafia which is playing in hands of international establishment. Such phenomena of life expiry happen with each/every product/service. As an example we see various discussion on revival of Film Cinema in Pakistan. It is almost impossible to revive cinema because TV has substituted Cinema completely during past few decades. Revival of Cinema is just like reviving use of Tonga in place of Taxi or reviving Ink Pot/Nib use in place common Ball Point. New technologies always substitute old technology.
    Some may consider this idea as absurd however TV Anchors most of the times are bounded by policy, time limitation, fears, temptations etc. Any TV channel prime motivation is money, coverage, Ads and sponsors not truth. Whereas common Bolger hailing from middle class dilemma is truth and he does not have any thing at stake. He needs to be heard for change, whereas Electronic Media comprise the same truth needed for change under various pressures/agreements with local/international establishment. Any human being may not speak truth however he is more inclined toward complete truth rather than listening half or selective truths of various anchors.

  6. Why Newspapers are Dying | Whatsup Says:

    [...] for Internet and Society at Harvard University noted that in December 2008, for the first time, more online journalists were imprisoned than print journalists. In 2008, 48% of all journalists that were imprisoned by censoring governments were online [...]

  7. Onlinejournalisten verdienen kein Geld? : Stephan Humer - Internetsoziologie Says:

    [...] Sie haben häufig noch ganz andere Probleme. [...]

  8. Wendell Cochran Says:

    The chart accompanying the numbers does not support the conclusion. Aren’t TV and radio “traditional” journalists?

    And why are we making this distinction in any case? Especially considering that nearly all “traditional” journalists these days also are being published online, as well.

    The real point, which has been made above, is that too many journalists in too many places are being harassed and punished for trying to tell the truth. The medium, in this case, is not the message.

  9. multimediajournalism.info » Wikileaks leaks Thai Website Blacklist Says:

    [...] journalists as an example and call it a day. Although today many bloggers are being jailed (now, according to Bruce Etling here at Berkman, more frequently than traditional journalists) the mechanisms of state censorship [...]

  10. vaibhav Says:

    Ganesh naik is solved problems of Cidco Promises Navi Mumbai Reporters and journalists Press Club and Residential Colony

    The press is known as the fourth pillar of a democracy but unfortunately they are most often than not neglected by the civic body and the local administration be it NMMC or Police Commissioner ate or CIDCO. And while CIDCO may call Navi Mumbai a complete city….

    http://ganeshnaik-navimumbai.blogspot.com/2008/12/wait-it-over-cidco-promises-navi-mumbai.html

    http://ganeshnaik-navimumbai.blogspot.com