Most journalists jailed worldwide are bloggers

December 5th, 2008 - 6:05 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, December 5 (ANI): In what projects blogging as a dangerous for journalists, an annual “prison census” survey suggests that most of the journalists jailed worldwide are associated with the Internet medium.
The survey report, compiled by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), shows that about 45 per cent of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors.
“Online journalism has changed the media landscape and the way we communicate with each other. But the power and influence of this new generation of online journalists has captured the attention of repressive governments around the world, and they have accelerated their counterattack,” the Washington Times quoted CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon as saying.
He deduced from the surveys findings that the carefree existence of bloggers might be a myth, at least in some parts of the world.
“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, he said.
The report suggests that 125 journalists were behind bars in 29 countries as of December 1, and 56 percent of them were bloggers or work online.
The new finding is surprising because only one blogger was jailed a decade ago.
The second largest category of those jailed this year comprised of print reporters, editors and photographers, with 53 per cent incarceration rate.
The rest was constituted by TV and radio journalists and documentary filmmakers.
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,” Simon said.
The survey has revealed that about 60 per cent of such journalists have been charged with “subversion, divulging state secrets, and acting against national interests,” though 13 per cent are being jailed with no formal charges.
The report said that at least 16 journalists worldwide were being held in secret locations.
China, Cuba and Burma were the countries with most jailed journalists, followed by Eritrea and Uzbekistan.
“The United States, which is holding photographer Ibrahim Jassam without charge in Iraq, has made CPJs list of countries jailing journalists for the fifth consecutive year,” the survey stated.
“During this period, U.S. military authorities have jailed dozens of journalists in Iraq some for days, others for months at a time without charge or due process. No charges have ever been substantiated in these cases,” it added. (ANI)

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