CPJ Study: Majority of Jailed Journalists are Web-based
A new study from the Committee to Protect Journalists reveals the majority of journalists in prison around the world are web-based; 45% are bloggers or web-based media- print media comprise 42% of the total. China, Cuba and Burma are the worse offenders. Many are imprisoned for political reasons, charges of "subversion", "divulging state secrets", or "acting against national interests" are often made, but in some countries, including the US, formal charges are never filed, yet journalists are held in open-ended detention.
Reflecting the rising influence of online reporting and commentary, more Internet journalists are jailed worldwide today than journalists working in any other medium. In its annual census of imprisoned journalists, released today, the Committee to Protect Journalists found that 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.
Abdel Karim Suleiman, an Egyptian blogger, is one of 56 online journalists jailed worldwide. (Reuters)
CPJ's survey found 125 journalists in all behind bars on December 1, a decrease of two from the 2007 tally. (Read detailed accounts of each imprisoned journalist.) China continued to be world's worst jailer of journalists, a dishonor it has held for 10 consecutive years. Cuba, Burma, Eritrea, and Uzbekistan round out the top five jailers from among the 29 nations that imprison journalists. Each of the top five nations has persistently placed among the world's worst in detaining journalists.
At least 56 online journalists are jailed worldwide, according to CPJ's census, a tally that surpasses the number of print journalists for the first time. The number of imprisoned online journalists has steadily increased since CPJ recorded the first jailed Internet writer in its 1997 census. Print reporters, editors, and photographers make up the next largest professional category, with 53 cases in 2008. Television and radio journalists and documentary filmmakers constitute the rest.