Media Tracker lists the challenges and achievements of the journalists and media organisations worldwide. Here’s a list of journalism at risk stories in the recent month. We would like to thank international media protection organisation and news outlets for their content.
- A journalism watchdog in Hong Kong has shown concerns over self-censorship of the news site HK01 by allegedly pulling reports on the details of the Tiananmen massacre recorded in declassified UK files. The news site has been popular for its exposes but in has recently seen leaning to the conservative right supportive the Chinese regime. Allegedly HK01’s reportage was published and then pulled down, only to be republished with alterations to soften the language The news site officials claimed that the report will be published in detail in May 2018 before the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, also adding that no changes were made and no pressures were exerted from the editorial staff in this regard. The files contained telegrams sent by then-British ambassador Alan Donald to the foreign office. Donald cited a member of the Chinese State Council as estimating that at least 10,000 civilians were killed in the crackdown on June 4, 1989.
- A swarm of hooded assailants carried out attacks in Thessaloniki (Greece) on 20 and 21 December 2017, against the Journalists’ Union of Macedonia and Thrace Daily Newspapers (ESIEMTH) and two municipal media, TV100 and FM100. They forcibly stopped the journalists from working citing an intervention, destroyed equipment and threw paint and threatening leaflets in the offices.
- The Chamberland Commission (Canada) recently issued a report on Protection of Confidentiality of Journalistic Sources, supporting of the important role of press freedom in a democratic society. The Commission made two key recommendations—one on the protection of journalistic material and sources, and the other to prevent politically motivated investigations by police forces. The adoption of a new Quebec Journalistic Material and Sources Protection Act, and a similar federal law, would ensure the protection of journalistic material and sources. Hhe report apparently came in reaction to the findings that in 2016 that at least 13 Quebec journalists were targeted by a judicial authorization application in order to ascertain the identity of their anonymous sources.
- According to the media, Vyacheslav Prudnikov, an independent journalist contributing to the independent regional news website Kavkazsky Uzel from the town of Krasny Sulin in Russia’s southern Rostov region, was shot during a meeting with a local official. The assailant allegedly threatened Prudnikov for writing against the local officials before opening fire.
Prudnikov has covered social and human rights issues in Krasny Sulin and nearby districts for Kavkazsky Uzel and other local outlets. His recent reports focused on miners’ protests against alleged mismanagement by municipal authorities.
- According to news reports the militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility via its Amaq News Agency of attacking on, December 28th,a Shiite cultural center and office of the news agency Afghan Voice, in Kabul, Afghanistan. At least one journalist was killed and four media workers were injured in the attack, which killed more than 40 people and injured at least 80.
- Reporter Laura Halminen tried to destroy her computer with a hammer in an attempt to protect the confidentiality of its contents, including her sources. The Finnish authorities had raided her house a day after the publication of a news story in Finland’s leading newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, about a Finnish military intelligence agency and its spying on Russia which triggered several investigations on suspicion of “divulging information concerning national security.” The story caused a major stir and prompted reactions at the highest level of the Finnish state although it was based on classified documents leaked a decade ago.