- Bitter reversal: Myanmar military coup wipes out press freedom gains
- Murders of journalists more than double worldwide
- Record number of journalists jailed worldwide
- Getting Away with Murder
- Covering police violence protests in the US
- Amid COVID-19, the prognosis for press freedom is dim. Here are 10 symptoms to track
- The Trump Administration and the Media
- About: The Trump Administration and the Media
- Trust deficit: About This Report
Reporter Without Borders
- Landmark public inquiry report finds Maltese state must “shoulder responsibility” for the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia
- RSF launches a resource platform on journalism safety
- Reporters attacked while covering Covid pass protests in four EU countries
- RSF calls for the release of a Sudanese journalist jailed in Saudi Arabia
- Belarus: UN experts will examine the arbitrary detention of journalist Raman Pratasevich
- The story of how press freedom was crushed in six months in Myanmar
- Bolsonaro family vents more anger than ever on Brazil’s media
- Court’s decision to uphold conviction deals “unprecedented setback” to press freedom in Benin
Press Freedom Update Aug. 20
by Bill Collins, chair, press freedom committee, Overseas Press Club
This week’s OPC Press Freedom Update focuses on the Philippines as journalist Maria Ressa is denied yet again by the court system in her bid to travel to the United States.
Philippines…by the numbers:
Reporters Without Borders
World Press Freedom Index: Philippines ranks 136th among 180 countries
RSF ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists.
Global Freedom Report: Philippines scores 59 out of 100; Rating – Partly Free
Freedom House rates people’s access to political rights and civil liberties
The Committee to Protect Journalists
Global Impunity Index: Philippines ranks No. 5
CPJ’s 2019 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain, and their killers go free. Currently, there are 41 unsolved journalist killings in the Philippines.
Maria Ressa’s travel bid to the U.S. denied by Filipino court
Press freedom suffered another loss this week when an appeals court in the Philippines denied Rappler CEO Maria Ressa’s request to travel to the United States.
The court stated that Ressa failed to show the “necessity and urgency” of her intended travel to the U.S. from Aug. 23 to Sept. 19,” according to news reports.
In addition to championing the cause of press freedom globally, Ressa has been fighting for her personal freedom in the Philippines amid numerous foreign ownership and tax lawsuits filed by the government of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Ressa and her Rappler colleague, Reynaldo Santos, were found guilty in June of cyber libel offenses. The co-founder of Rappler faces up to six years in prison after her conviction and subsequent denial for her case to be reconsidered.
Ressa recently filed an appeal for permission to travel abroad to Washington D.C. and attend the theatrical release and panel discussions associated with the documentary film “A Thousand Cuts.”
The film deals with Ressa’s ongoing fight for press freedom. Ressa was also scheduled to be given the 2020 International Press Freedom Award on Aug. 24.
Ressa’s motion to travel was opposed by The Office of the Solicitor General, which argued that Ressa’s travel rights should be held to stricter standards because of her June conviction.
The appeals court cited the Supreme Court stating that “the conviction…warrants the exercise of greater caution in allowing a person admitted to bail from leaving the Philippines.”
“Other than her brief narration,” said the Appeals Court, “she (Ressa) has not presented further evidence to warrant her physical presence at the theatrical release and in the panel discussions of the documentary ‘A Thousand Cuts.’
The court suggested that Ressa could use video conferencing as a means of fulfilling her obligations as a media practitioner.
Ressa is already scheduled as a featured speaker among many newsmakers and journalists participating in a World News Day event on September 28. The virtual meeting is a production of the Canadian Journalism Foundation and will be broadcast from Toronto.