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					GLOBAL
JOURNALIST
WINTER 2009                     DIGITAL EDITION




              BLOODY
              RUSSIA
                Impunity in Journalist Killings

              SHOW CONTENTS
2   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                                  CONTENTS
                                  Russia                     Departments
                      Italy 
                                Dubai 
                                             China 
                                                                4 JOURNALIST’S
                                                                  JOURNAL
                                                                    Covering the War
                                                                    Outside Your Door
                                                                    by Bassam Sebti
                     Zimbabwe 

Features                                                       8 WORLD WATCH
                                                              22 DEATH WATCH
28 by Nina Ognianova Be Fought
   Impunity Must
                                                              25 POINT OF VIEW
                                                                 A Never-Ending
      Journalists die, and the government fails to find             Debate
      their killers.                                                by Peter Preston

36 Zimbabwe Exodus
   by Dirk-Jan Visser                                         68 The LiarREVIEW
                                                                 BOOK
      Photojournalist says his work need not be                           in Your
      objective.                                                    Life: The Way
                                                                    to Truthful
43 by MichelleaFaul
   Rape Is Weapon of War                                            Relationships
                                                                    by Steve Weinberg
      A seasoned reporter discusses the challenges of
      covering sexual violence and giving voice to victims.   71    FINAL WORD
                                                                    When A Sacred
49 by Richard R. Gross
      Man at His Best, Middle East Version                          Trust is Distorted
                                                                    by Stuart H. Loory
      In the middle of an economic crash
      in Dubai, Esquire debuts a Middle East edition.
                                                               ABOUT THE COVER
56 by Doug Meigs
      Drugs, Thugs and Bugs                                    Homage at the site where
                                                               human-rights lawyer
      Hong Kong journalists organize a rally to protest        Stanislav Markelov and
      their treatment in China.                                journalist Anastasia
                                                               Baburova were gunned
61    The Bully Pulpit
      by Eric Lyman
                                                               down in Moscow, on Jan.
                                                               20. (AP Photo: Alexander
      Italy’s prime minister manipulates the media             Zemlianichenko)
      while ruling Italy.

3 COvEr                                 CONTENTS                             ABOUT GJ 4
3       GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009


    GLOBAL  Digital Edition
    JOURNALIST
             Volume 15 N umber 4

    Global Journalist reports on the state of
     press freedom around the world, covers
    developments in international journalism
       and serves international journalists.

    Publisher	           Dean	Mills
    Editor		             Stuart	H.	Loory
    Managing	Editor		    Patricia	Smith
    Art	Director	        Chris	Canipe
    Assistant	Editors	   Fareeha	Ali                Find weekly updated
    	                    AmyAllen
    	                    Boris	Kamchev              World Watch entries,
    	                    Lindsay	Ray
    	                    Jordan	Stckdale              exclusive stories,
    Online	Production	
    Digital	Edition	
                         Brian	Schraum
                         Roger	Fidler
                                                   photo slide shows and
    Administration		     Patricia	Kelley            the Global Journalist
       Global Journalist magazine is a                digital editions at:
    quarterly publication of the Reynolds
      Journalism Institute and Missouri           www.globaljournalist.org
            School of Journalism.
        A printed edition is published
      quarterly. The online magazine is                 Download the
               updated weekly.                         radio podcast of
    Global Journalist welcomes letters to the       Global Journalist radio
    editor, story ideas and query letters.
    Please address Global Journalist at:           every week and interact
       132A Neff Annex
       Columbia, MO 65211, U.S.A.                        in our forum.
       Tel: 573-884-1599
       Fax: 573-884-1699
       GlobalJournalist@missouri.edu
                                                      Visit GJ online
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4    GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009           JOuRNALIST’S JOuRNAL




LEFT: Christian worshipers run in front of a church after a car bomb exploded while they
were attending Sunday Mass in August 2004.
RIGHT: Bassam Sebti working at the Washington Post bureau in Baghdad in 2004.



 We Are Considered Infidels:
    Covering War in Iraq
                        Photos and Story by Bassam Sebti



I
   t  was  arounD  9  p.m.  on  a              ern media outlets stayed was under
   warm September evening in                   attack by insurgents.
   2005 when I realized I was run-                I was running like the others,
ning from my desk toward the of-               leaving whatever I was working on
fice door. The hissing sound of the            back in the office. Smoke was com-
explosion was playing in my ears               ing out of the burned room. Breath-
and the images of people running               ing became even harder when the
away were very clear. It took me               U.S. soldiers broke the room door
a minute to absorb that the hotel              to rescue whomever was inside.
floor where our Washington Post                Luckily the soldier who lived there
bureau resided had been attacked               was out on duty.
by a Katyusha rocket. The Ishtar                  The attack was a recurring in-
Sheraton Hotel where some West-                cident that Western news organi-

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5   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009     JOuRNALIST’S JOuRNAL
zations had to deal with, as most preter in 2003, first for an American
of them are headquartered in the freelance reporter and then with
red zone’s hotel compound, which the Post. As the Post came to trust
was a target insurgents loved to my work, editors gave me increas-
attack continually.                    ing reporting responsibilities.
   Working for the Washington Post        When insurgents and militias
as a translator first and then a spe- escalate their attacks against civil-
cial correspondent, the risk I took ian Americans, Western news orga-
was bigger than I expected and nizations have come to rely a lot
in some cases, like in the
Sheraton attack; it was al-
most fatal.                      Western news organizations have
   Iraqi journalists, transla-   come to rely a lot on their Iraqi
tors and fixers face grave
danger every day and not
                                 staff—particularly in dangerous
just from rocket attacks.        areas—simply because they speak
The insurgents and mili-         the language and know the culture.
tias who once controlled
vast areas in Iraq consider Iraqi on their Iraqi staff-—particularly in
journalists to be spies for the U.S. dangerous areas—simply because
occupation or the government. they speak the language and know
Working for an Iraqi news agency the culture.
is dangerous enough, but working          In 2007, The Project for Excel-
for a U.S. media outlet puts you in lence in Journalism (PEJ), in part-
double jeopardy. In the insurgents’ nership with the Washington D.C.-
eyes, we are collaborators with the based public policy think tank, the
“infidels.”                            Pew Research Center, released a
     Working for the Washington report called  “Journalists in Iraq:
Post wasn’t a plan I pursued. It all A survey of reporters on the front
happened by accident. I was drawn lines.” In Iraq, the report details, lo-
to journalism as the security situa- cal staffers fill the role of reporters,
tion worsened. I started as an inter- writers and translators. They are

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6   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009   JOuRNALIST’S JOuRNAL
the people who know whether a me angrily and grabbed me by my
Western journalist can safely visit collar, screaming words I couldn’t
a given destination, how best to understand at first. My eyes met his.
travel there and who might be best They were blood-red and scary. I
to interview. But more often then tried to defend myself by pushing
not, these Iraqis are doing the re- him but he was much stronger, not
porting themselves. Six out of 10 because he was bigger than me,
of the journalists surveyed said that but because he was outraged by
Iraqi staffers do all or most of the something. I tried to kick him but I
street reporting outside the
Green Zone.
   But being an Iraqi was       No human being on earth could
not always a guarantee          endure the mayhem Iraqis were
you can protect yourself
even if you are from the
                                going through. Seeing dead bodies
country and you can blend       everyday was not something my
in with the people when         eyes were meant to get used to.
danger arrives. In Septem-
ber 2004, I was assigned to go to couldn’t. I was losing breath and he
the Al Amil neighborhood to cover was screaming in my face, “you’re
a horrific suicide bombing attack here to take advantage of my little
that targeted people gathering to brother’s death. I’m going kill you.
celebrate the opening of a wa- I’m going to kill you.” I thought
ter treatment plant. The bombing this was going to be the end of my
killed 34 children who were receiv- life. I became very weak. My note-
ing sweets from U.S. soldiers.        book and pen fell on the floor. No
   After I interviewed a group of one was around to help me. Un-
the neighborhood residents and til my eyes caught three men run-
some eye witnesses, I headed to ning toward us pulling the young
shoot some pictures of the chil- man away from me. He fell on
dren’s remains and shoes until a the floor and started sobbing. The
young man in his 20s approached men looked at me and asked me

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7   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009       JOuRNALIST’S JOuRNAL
to leave the neighborhood because       leaving the country. No human be-
the neighborhood people were ex-        ing on earth could endure the may-
tremely angry.                          hem Iraqis were going through.
   I told these stories every day       Seeing dead bodies everyday was
over dinner to my parents who           not something my eyes were meant
begged me to quit. By then, it was      to get used to. I tried to forget the
too late. I was addicted to this job.   frequent visits to the morgue where
I took the risk every day to ac-        piles of tortured and dead men and
complish something positive in the      women laid, but in vain. Finally, I
non-stop negative atmosphere.           got the chance to leave. I decided
   To continue working for the Post     to pursue my graduate studies and
with no or little harm, I had to be     I was offered a scholarship at Saint
very discrete about my job. No one      Joseph’s University in Philadelphia
in my neighborhood knew where           where I received a master’s degree
I really worked. They thought I         in writing studies in 2008.
was running my own business,               People ask me a simple ques-
an internet café in a remote area       tion, one word, “why?” My love
in Baghdad. If people had known         for Iraq was the reason why I took
the truth, word might have reached      that risk. I wanted to be involved
bloodthirsty insurgents who wait        in informing the international com-
for a chance to add another name        munity about what was happening
to their death lists.                   in my beloved Iraq, and so did my
   But that was not enough. I al-       fellow Iraqis who worked for West-
ways feared and expected I was          ern news organizations. n
going to be killed at any moment. I
never let my guard down. Stress be-                   Bassam Sebti was a
came my companion. Even when I                        Washington Post special
slept, my senses stayed alert to de-                  correspondent from 2003-
                                                      2006. He is now working
fend myself in case I was attacked
                                                      for the Washington-based
at home.                                              International Center for
   By mid-2006, the horror reached                    Journalists. He is the
its peak, forcing me to consider                      Arabic editor of IJNet.

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8         GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                WORLD WATCh
Editor Beaten in Bar
     On Nov. 2, jour-
aLBanIa

     nalist Mero Baze
     was badly beaten
     in a bar in Tirana.
     He spent the night
     in the hospital and
was released the fol-




                                                                                   AP PHOTO: HEK TOR PUSTINA
lowing morning. Baze
edits the newspaper
Tema and hosts the TV
show Faktor Plus.
   Two witnesses, Andi
Bushati, a political
                          A woman puts down a sign outside Prime Minister Sali
commentator, and Ar- Berisha’s office in Tirana, after protesters threw shoes at
ban Hasani, of Vizion the building Nov. 4.
Plus TV, testified to the
assault on Baze and said business- rested. Taci has denied participat-
man Rezart Taci and his body- ing in Baze’s beating in an e-mail
guards attacked Baze. In an email he sent to CPJ. However, Reuters
to the Committee to Protect Jour- reported that the Tirana District
nalists, Baze also confirmed that Court has ordered his arrest.
Taci was responsible for the at-
tack.
   Taci, owns the oil refinery Jail Time for Defamation Ends
ARMO, and has ties to Prime Min-            Argentina’s Chamber of Dep-
                                           arGEntIna




ister Sali Berisha (although Beri-          uties passed a bill eliminating
sha has condemned the attack ac-            prison sentences for libel and
cording to Balkan Insight). Baze            slander. The bill, which was
had recently criticized Taci and            supported by the Pres. Cris-
accused him of tax evasion.                 tina Fernandez de Kirchner,
   Two suspects have been ar-               was passed in response to the

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9   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                WORLD WATCh
Inter-American Court of Human          Police Arrest Two Uighur Journalists
Rights (IACHR) order for the state           Chinese police arrested two




                                       CHIna
to reform laws that threatened               Uighur journalists for publish-
freedom of expression.                       ing Uighur issues in Xinjiang
   According to the Internation-             on their Web sites. Hailaite
al Press Institute, “the executive           Niyazi, a former editor, man-
branch introduced the proposal         ager and journalist of the Web site
to reform the criminal offences of     Uighurbiz.net was taken from his
calumnies e injuries (slander and      home on Oct. 1 and has been de-
insult) … in response to a 2008        tained since, CPJ and IPI reported
IACHR ruling that overturned the       on Oct. 30.
conviction of independent jour-            Dilixiati Paerhati, a manager of
nalist Eduardo Kimel for criminal      a popular Web site Diyarim, has
defamation.”                           been missing since Aug. 7. Asso-
   Kimel was sentenced to one          ciate Press reported that uniden-
year in jail and fined U.S. $20,000    tified men detained him in his
in 2000 for criticizing a judge’s      apartment in Urumqi.
treatment of an investigation into         Both detainees were suspected
the 1976 slaying of five priests.      of endangering national security
Kimel criticized the judge in a        after publishing information about
small paragraph in his 1989 book,      the riots in July in the Xinjiang
El Masacre de San Patricio.            province, CPJ and IPI reported.
   The new bill eliminates possi-      Ethnic tensions between Uighurs
ble prison terms, which previously     and Han Chinese have created
were a maximum of three years,         violent riots. China responded
and reduces maximum fines to           with a “sustained crackdown,” IPI
30,000 Argentine pesos. On Nov.        reported. More than 200 people
18, Argentina’s Senate approved        were killed in the violence.
the bill. According to the IPI, Bra-       Bob Dietz, CPJ Asia program
zil and Uruguay partially decrimi-     coordinator said, “Urumqi author-
nalized defamation this year as        ities must clarify their status im-
well.                                  mediately. Managing a Web site is

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10   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009               WORLD WATCh
not a crime.”
   Ilham Tohti, owner of Uighur-
biz, told the Associated Press he
believed the arrest of Niyazi might
have been connected to inter-
views he gave the foreign media
after the July riots.
   China has targeted Uighur jour-
nalists before for allegedly endan-
gering national security or foster-




                                                                                     AP PHOTO: JAVIER GALEANO
ing separatism. Mehbube Ablesh,
a reporter with Xinjiang’s Peo-
ple’s Radio Station, was arrested
in August 2008 and is still being
detained. Uighur journalist Nur-
muhemmet Yasin was sentenced
to 10 years in prison in 2004 for     The husband of dissident Cuban blogger
writing a story about a caged bird    Yoanis Sanchez, Reinaldo Escobar, center, is
that longs for freedom.               taken away by unidentified men in Havana,
                                      Nov. 20. Escobar was punched, slapped and
   The Internet is heavily censored   shouted down by government supporters
in Xinjiang. Eighty-five percent      in downtown Havana.
of Web sites dedicated to the Ui-
ghur community are unreachable        Blogger Wins Award, Later Beaten
within Xinjiang, IPI reported. Xin-        Yoani Sánchez became the first
                                      CuBa




jiang’s People’s Congress Standing         blogger to win one of the Ma-
Committee passed a law called the          ria Moors Cabot Prizes given
“Information Promotion Bill” that          by Columbia University, New
bans people in the region from us-    York, for outstanding reporting in
ing the Internet “in any way that     Latin America and the Caribbean.
undermines national unity, incites       The award, the oldest in inter-
ethnic separatism, or harms social    national journalism, is given to
stability,” IPI reported.             those who further inter-American

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11   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                      WORLD WATCh
understanding through reporting        terfere, saying, “these are counter-
and editing.                           revolutionaries.”
   Sánchez’s blog, Generación             According to the AP, the agents
Y, speaks critically of the Cuban      told Sánchez she had gone too far
government’s restrictions on civil     with her writing.
liberties. In one of her latest blog      Sánchez reported no serious in-
posts, Sánchez calls for freedom of    juries and was released 30 minutes
opinion, freedom of access to the      after her abduction. The agents re-
Internet and freedom to enter and      fused to show any identification
leave Cuba.                            or documentation. Sánchez wrote
   Sánchez wrote this post after       in detail about her abduction in a
the Cuban government denied her        blog post titled “A Gangland Style
an exit visa to travel to New York     Kidnapping.”
to receive her award. Sánchez also        Sánchez has also written about
posted a video on her blog criticiz-   her experiences, blogging from
ing the Cuban government decision.     Cuba in the Summer 2008 issue of
In her video that was played at the    Global Journalist.
award ceremony in New York, she
said, “(We) Cubans are like small
children. We need the authorization    IPI Discusses Wiretapping Law
from Dad to leave home.”                    IPI delegates visited the Czech
                                       CZECH rEpuBLIC




   Following her win, on Nov. 7,            Republic capital of Prague
Sánchez reported being abducted             May 13-14 and met with mem-
and beaten by secret police agents          bers of the Czech media to
on her way to a march for non-              discuss press freedom in the
violence.                                   country. The subsequent re-
   According to The New York                port was made public Oct. 14.
Times, three agents in street cloths           IPI’s report discusses the
beat her and a friend, and then             April 1 law that made it ille-
shoved them into a car headfirst.           gal to print information from
   Agents told marchers who at-        police wiretaps or to mention in
tempted to help Sánchez not to in-     print that wiretapping occurred.

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12   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009               WORLD WATCh
Furthermore, it is illegal to print     Three Pro-Reform Papers Closed
information about people involved             An Iranian court shut down




                                        Iran
in certain crimes—both victims                Tehran-based Arman, Farhang
and perpetrators—without the                  Ashti and Shiraz-based Tahlil-
individual’s consent. The report              e-Rooz, three pro-reform
notes that editors and publishers       newspapers Oct. 6. The New York
felt it difficult to advise reporters   Times also reports that another
on how to avoid violating the law       opposition paper, Etemad Meli,
and that the fast paced nature of       was shut down in November.
the newsroom makes it difficult to         Al-Jazeera reports that the pa-
decide quickly given the ambigu-        pers are considered to support
ity of the law.                         protestors of Pres. Mahmoud Ah-
   “In the wording of Chamber of        madinejad’s controversial re-elec-
Deputies’ amendment, the wire-          tion June 12. Reporters Without
tapping law in its essence is cer-      Borders (RSF) reports that the two
tainly contributing to the rise of      Tehran-based papers had their li-
‘self-censorship,’” Michael Kocab,      censes withdrawn for “failure to
Czech Human Rights and Ethnic           respect the press law,” and no rea-
Minorities Minister, told IPI in an     son was given for the closure of
email interview.                        the Shiraz-based Tahlil-e-Rooz.
   Fines for violating the law can         Furthermore, as part of this me-
reach up to five million koruna         dia crackdown, RSF has learned
(approximately U.S. $272,000) for       that two more journalists have
media outlets and one million ko-       been detained in Evin prison.
runa for individuals. Also, viola-      Mohsein Azmodeh, a journalist for
tors could face up to five years in     pro-government Mehr, was arrest-
prison.                                 ed on June 6, and Fayaz Zahed, on
   IPI makes several recommen-          staff for Etemad Meli, was arrested
dations for changes, including          on the street. Azmodeh and Zahed
amending the wiretapping law as         join several journalists detained in
well as repealing laws that penal-      Iran. Some, including Mohammad
ize the press with prison terms.        Ghochani, editor of Etemad Meli,

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13     GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                WORLD WATCh
and Issa Saharkhiz, an editor at        the day following the attack, ac-
Aftab, are in solitary confinement,     cording to the Los Angeles Times.
according to RSF.                       In the clip he says, “A journalist
                                        should be a free person who can
                                        write whatever he wants, but now-
TV Host Wounded in Attack               adays any scandal he writes about
     During the night of Nov. 23,       the whole world will collapse on
IraQ




     Imad Abadi, a TV commen-           his head. […] The intimidation of
     tator, was shot twice while        journalists is rejected, as are the
     driving to work in the Salhi-      allegations that they get money
ya neighborhood near Baghdad’s          from abroad or are collaborators.
Green Zone. He was wounded in           The people know who is a traitor
the head and neck and managed           and who gets money from abroad,
to drive to an Iraqi checkpoint be-     and it is not Iraqi journalists, 284
fore being taken to a hospital. He      of whom have been sacrificed on
is in stable condition, and doctors     the altar of freedom.”
have said his recovery chances are         Reporters Without Borders re-
good.                                   cently ranked Iraq 145th out of
   Faisal Yasiri, the owner of the      175 countries in its press freedom
independent Al-Diyar channel,           index.
which features Abadi’s show With-
out Fences, told Agence France-
Presse, “It was not a random            Local Newspapers Closed
shooting, he was targeted. He has           On Nov. 1, Kubanychbek
                                        KYrGZstan




a program in which he raises deli-          Joldoshev, a correspondent
cate issues, and he often defends           for a local newspaper in the
journalists and maybe he angered            Osh region of Kyrgzstan, was
some people.”                               beaten by three unknown
   Abadi is considered a champion           men, IPI and RSF reported. He
of press freedom, and Al Sharqi-            was attacked after the taxi he
ya TV played a clip from a recent       was in was stopped for a sobriety
interview with Abadi throughout         check, Joldoshev told Radio Free

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14   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                WORLD WATCh
Europe/Radio Liberty. He said as        Journalist “Insulting” President
soon as the police left with the              On Nov. 9, Simon Abou Fadel,




                                        LEBanon
taxi driver, three men approached             a writer with Al-Diyar newspa-
the taxi and began beating him.               per and owner of Alkalima, an
The police deny any involvement               online newspaper, was charged
in the assault.                               with “insulting” Pres. Michel Su-
   Joldoshev was hospitalized for             leiman. Abou Fadel criticized
a concussion and broken ribs, RSF       the president about his role in creat-
reported. The attackers have not        ing a national unity cabinet on air
yet been detained.                      during a TV program. The program
   Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev, the di-       aired Nov. 4 by private broadcaster
rector of RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz service,      MTV. By Nov. 5, Abou Fadel had re-
said that Joldoshev’s recent cov-       ceived a call from the public prose-
erage of protests at the Osh State      cutor and was told to appear in court
University and criticism of the uni-    by Nov. 9, where he was charged.
versity’s administration might be a        Abou Fadel could face up to a
cause of the attack. He has also        year in jail and a fine, according to
written investigative reports about     Lebanon’s Daily Star. The Daily Star
corruption and prostitution net-        also says that the charges include
works, RSF reported.                    slander, contempt and impugning
   In 2006, he was named the “Best      the dignity of the head of state.
Journalist in Southern Kyrgyzstan”         Abou Fadel told the IPI: “I said
by a local NGO called Media Sup-        in my [television] interview that the
port Centre.                            president should be more present
   Kyrgyzstan is ranked 125th out       in the establishment of the govern-
of 175 in the 2009 Reporters With-      ment. I am a journalist. I said what
out Borders press freedom index.        the people are saying. I offer analy-
The Institute for Public Reporting in   sis. I didn’t insult the president.”
Kyrgyzstan has registered 58 cases         “This is the first time that this
of attacks against journalists since    president has taken the decision
2005, including two murders of out-     [to use this law],” Ghayath Yazbeck,
spoken reporters, RFE/RL reported.      MTV’s news and current affairs di-

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15      GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                  WORLD WATCh
rector, told IPI. The law in question       “There were almost 20 of us in
is a criminal defamation law, which      cells designed for four of five peo-
IPI expressed concern about follow-      ple,” he told RSF.
ing their trip to Lebanon in October.       Tiémogo has been arrested five
                                         times since 2000. In 2003 he was
                                         forced to seek exile in Mali, and in
Journalist Spends 86 Days in Jail        2008 he told a newspaper in Burki-
     After 86 days in prison, Abdou-     na Faso that he had been forced
nIGEr




     laye Tiémogo, editor of the in-     to flee his country to avoid certain
     dependent weekly Le Canard          death. Tiémogo had published an
     Déchaîné, was released Oct.         article suggesting Pres. Mamadou
     26 when a court of appeals re-      Tandja planned to appoint his son
duced his sentence to two months.        to succeed him if his bid to revise
   Tiémogo was sentenced to              the constitution failed. The leader
three months in prison Aug. 1 for        lodged a complaint, and Tiémogo
“casting discredit on a judicial rul-    fled to neighboring Burkina Faso
ing.” He had made a comment              in fear.
on a private television channel in          “When I thought about where
which he questioned the govern-          I could go as soon as possible to
ment’s decision to issue an inter-       avoid being killed.… I told myself
national arrest warrant for exiled       it was absolutely necessary to get
former Niger Prime Minister Hama         to Burkina Faso,” he said, accord-
Amadou on corruption charges.            ing to IPI.
   Security officials forcefully re-
moved Tiémogo from the hospital,
where he was being treated for           Pressure in War-torn Somalia
malaria and a stomach disorder, to                 Members of al-Shabaab, a mi-
                                         somaLIa




have him incarcerated in the south-                litia of Somali Islamists, shut
eastern city of Ouallam.                           down a privately owned FM
   Tiémogo called the prison’s con-                radio station, Radio Warsan,
ditions “appalling” in an interview                in Baidoa Sept. 30 and appre-
with RSF.                                          hended its director and news

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16   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                  WORLD WATCh
editor. The closure was due to the
station’s “un-Islamic” program-
ming, particularly songs and mu-
sic, a BBC correspondent told the
International Press Association.
   “Under al-Shabaab, they want
you to speak in Islamic ways and




                                                                                        AP PHOTO: MOHAMED SHEIKH NOR
air only Islamic things,” the cor-
respondent, who asked to remain
anonymous, told IPI. “But it is
normal [that] in radio sometimes
you need music, at least between
the programs, to entertain the
people.” Al-Shabaab has criticized
Radio Warsan for refusing to relay      Al-Shabaab Islamist fighters sit on a truck
the Islamic call to prayer since it     as they patrol to provide security for Somali
came to power in January when           demonstrators in Mogadishu, Somalia,
the United Nations-supported            Oct. 30. Members of al-Shabaab have
                                        been accused of shutting down a Somali
Transitional Federal Government         radio station because of its “un-Islamic”
was expelled.                           programming.
   Safety has been a serious issue
for journalists in Somalia, especial-   Rights in Somalia, which ended in
ly when tensions among insurgent        September. The group expressed
groups are high. The IPI reports        fears that a failure to do so would
that journalists throughout Somalia     cause an increase of violations as
have been receiving “daily phone        rights abusers would have impunity.
threats” from various groups.              “Our main fear is that if this
   Five days prior to the radio clo-    mandate is not renewed, Soma-
sure, the National Union of Somali      lia will slide back into the abyss
Journalists (NUSOJ) called for the      of violence and impunity, where
renewal of the mandate of the UN        criminals and other rights abusers
Independent Expert on Human             will be carrying out their activities

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17   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                 WORLD WATCh
without fear of being made ac-              Both journalists report incidents
countable,” said Omar Faruk Os-          of torture. “My day was sitting on
man, NUSOJ Secretary-General.            a corner on the floor in a room
  So far in 2009, eight journalists in   24 hours a day for the last 15
Somalia have been killed and many        months,” Lindhout told CTV. She
more have received death threats.        added: “There were times that I
                                         was beaten, that I was tortured. It
Journalists Freed after 15 Months        was an extremely, extremely dif-
Freelance     Canadian      reporter     ficult situation.”
Amanda Lindhout and Australian              Brennan told Reuters he had
photojournalist Nigel Brennan            been pistol-whipped and chained
were released Nov. 26 by unknown         since his recapture after he es-
captors alleged to be members of         caped to a mosque in Mogadishu
“Mujahideen of Somalia.”                 10 months ago.
    Four members of Somalia’s Tran-         A month after the August kid-
sitional Federal Parliament collect-     napping, Al-Jazeera aired a video
ed the journalists at a checkpoint       that showed Lindhout and Brennan
in the Afgoye District. They later       pleading with their governments
made it safely across the border         to negotiate a release. Reports
to Nairobi, Kenya, with the aid of       said Lindhout was allowed peri-
government soldiers and African          odic scripted phone calls with her
Union peacekeepers.                      mother and the media in hopes of
    Lindhout and Brennan, along          convincing the Canadian govern-
with their Somali guards and             ment to hand over ransom money.
driver, were kidnapped in August            Somali police spokesperson
2008 outside the Somali capital          Col. Abdullahi Hassan Barise told
of Mogadishu. They were in the           Garowe Online that top Somali of-
country researching a story on in-       ficials and lawmakers played ma-
ternally displaced refugees. Their       jor roles in arranging the release of
interpreter, Somali journalist Abdi-     the hostages. However, he elected
fatah Mohammed Elmi, was freed           not to comment on any ransom
in January.                              payment.

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18          GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009             WORLD WATCh
   However, Al-Jazeera sources               mail. Jansz and news Editor Mun-
and Somalia’s National Securi-               za Mushtaq received identical let-
ty Minister Mohamed Abdullahi                ters on Oct. 22 that featured the
Sanbaloshe reported a ransom of              words: “If you write anymore, we
$700,000 was paid for the release.           will kill you and slice you into
Rumors also circulated that up to            pieces,” written in red ink.
$1 million may have exchanged                    Sunday Leader has continually
hands.                                       featured content critical of the
   Somalia is deemed one of the              government, but Jansz told CPJ
most dangerous countries for jour-           that she believes the death threats
nalists and aid workers as armed             are reactions to an interview she
groups repeatedly target them for            gave Al-Jazeera about footage that
ransom, according to Garowe On-              showed a man in a Sri Lankan mil-
line.                                        itary uniform executing unarmed
                                             Tamil prisoners, some naked
                                             with their hands tied behind their
Editors Receive Death Threats                backs. The government denied
     Newspaper editors of Sri Lan-           the video’s validity and claimed
srI LanKa




     ka’s Sunday Leader received             that Jansz’s comments deemed the
     anonymous, death-threaten-              footage inaccurate.
     ing letters last week that look             Jansz went to police headquar-
     alarmingly similar to those             ters in Mount Lavinia on Oct. 27 to
     mailed to the newspaper’s               file a complaint about the threats.
     founder and managing edi-               “We wrote to the police station de-
tor, Lasantha Wickramatunga, the             scribing the threats but the police
month before his murder in Janu-             have not contacted me,” she told
ary.                                         RSF.
   The letters were “almost iden-                Leader Publications, publish-
tical to what Lasantha got three             er of Sunday Leader, is currently
weeks before he was murdered,”               facing complaints brought by the
Frederica Jansz, editor-in-chief of          president’s brother, Defense Sec-
Sunday Leader, told CPJ in an e-             retary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. One

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19      GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009             WORLD WATCh
accuses Jansz of contempt of court       messaging service called QQ.
for printing a profile of Rajapaksa      They were also accused of com-
after a judge ordered Leader not to      municating with individuals out-
publish anything about him. The          side of China.
Defense Ministry’s Web site has             Residents of Sogdzong County
accused the publisher’s lawyers          have previously complained about
of being traitors, and another site      police harassment, such as fre-
linked to the ministry calls some        quent ID and security checks and
of Jansz’s comments to foreign           required daily patriotic meetings
news media “prostitution.”               where officials extol the virtues of
                                         the Chinese government. Accord-
                                         ing to The Tibetan Post’s anony-
Three Arrested for Instant Messaging     mous source, police also forbade
     Chinese police arrested three       monks of the Sog Tsandan Mon-
tIBEt




     young adults in Sogdzong            astery from observing an end-of-
     County, eastern Tibet Oct. 1        summer retreat. Armed Chinese
     for sending information about       police allegedly detained the
the Dalai Lama abroad through in-        monks for a meeting with Chinese
stant messaging. Gyaltsen, Nyima         officials and did not allow them to
Wangchuk, and Yeshe Namkha               visit their families.
have been held in Nagchu County
since Oct. 1. They have not been
allowed to contact family since          Kurdish Language OK
their arrests, RSF and The Tibet              On Nov. 13, a government ga-
                                         turKEY




Post reported.                                zette printed a directive that
   Police may have been monitor-              lifted remaining restrictions
ing Gyaltsen, Wanchuk and Nam-                on broadcast media using mi-
kha’s Internet activities, an anony-          nority languages in Turkey,
mous source told The Tibet Post.         according to RSF. Since January
The suspects were allegedly shar-        2004, the print media and public
ing photographs and speeches of          TV station TRT 6 have been able
the Dalai Lama through an instant        to use Kurdish. However, privately

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20   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                     WORLD WATCh
owned TV and radio stations had       the media are still the victims of
been limited to using Kurdish for     intimidation and self-censorship
only a few hours a week. Also, all    when they try to tackle sensitive
Kurdish-language     programming      issues.”
had previously been required to
be subtitled in Turkish, effective-
ly making live broadcasts impos-      1688 Rights Bill Upheld
sible. Subsequently, only two TV           On Oct. 12, a judge issued




                                      unItED KInGDom
stations had offered Kurdish-lan-          an injunction preventing The
guage programs: Gün TV and in              Guardian from reporting
the past couple of months, Su TV.          about a question a parliamen-
   Although the Kurdish language           tarian would ask in the House
might now be used, Kurdish is-             of Commons later that week.
sues are still effectively banned          The question was essentially
in the news. As Global Journalist          about another injunction that
has previously reported, the dai-          prevents The Guardian from
ly newspaper Günluk has been               reporting about supposed
shut down before under the Anti-           toxic waste dumping by
Terrorist Law for mentioning the      Trafigura, a multinational corpo-
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).        ration, in the Ivory Coast. As The
Even as recently as Nov. 18, the      New York Times points out, “The
newspaper’s Web site was shut         Guardian was forbidden to report
down. This is only one example        that it had been gagged.”
of discrimination against Kurdish        The Guardian wrote a cryp-
issues.                               tic article discussing what they
   As RSF says, “What is the point    couldn’t discuss and stating that
of broadcasting in Kurdish if cov-    they couldn’t report “parliamenta-
erage of Kurdish issues from an       ry proceedings on legal grounds,
independent or activist viewpoint     which appear to call into ques-
is banned in practice. The lifting    tion privileges guaranteeing free
of language restrictions must not     speech established under the 1688
be allowed to eclipse the fact that   Bill of Rights.”

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21              GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009             WORLD WATCh
  The gag order was lifted the fol-              breaking news.
lowing day.                                         The World Media Summit was
                                                 held to develop responses to chal-
                                                 lenges created by changing tech-
Search Engines Have to Pay for News              nology and the Internet.
     Speaking at the World Media
unItED statEs




     Summit, U.S. media mogul                    Lou Dobbs “Resigns”
     Rupert Murdoch said Internet                Long time CNN anchor Lou Dobbs
     browsers must start paying for              resigned Nov. 13 after accepting
     news content.                               an $8 million severance package
        “The aggregators and pla-                to break his contract early, accord-
     giarists will soon have to pay              ing to the New York Post. Dobbs,
     a price for the co-opting of                who reported for CNN for more
     our content,” he said.                      than 25 years, had recently come
   According to Sky News, Mur-                   under intense scrutiny for his con-
doch said sites such as Google and               troversial comments regarding im-
Yahoo, which take content from a                 migration.
range of sources, would soon be                     Dobbs immigration rhetoric had
charged for the service.                         sparked a backlash amongst many
   The AP Chief Executive Tom                    liberal and Latino organizations.
Curley spoke in agreement with                   Many of these groups organized
Murdoch. “We will no longer tol-                 under the “Drop Dobbs” and
erate the disconnect between peo-                “Basta Dobbs” campaigns and had
ple who devote themselves — at                   been calling for Dobbs’ resigna-
great human and economic cost                    tion for several months. Members
— to gathering news of public in-                of the outspoken “Drop Dobbs”
terest and those who profit from it              campaign include, Media Matters,
without supporting it.”                          the League of United Latin Ameri-
   According to Curley, Wikipedia,               can Citizens (LULAC), National
YouTube and Facebook have re-                    Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the
placed traditional news publishers               National Hispanic Media Coalition
as consumers’ first destination for              (NHMC). n

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22   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                        DEATh WATCh
PHILIPPINES                                  didate and local mayor Esmael
                                             Mangudadatu, who was challeng-
On Nov. 23, a group of gunmen                ing Ampatuan in the election. The
and policemen led by Andal Am-               convoy was intercepted by 100
patuan Jr., mayor of Datu Unsay,             gunmen at a roadside checkpoint.
killed at least 57 civilians, which          Police found the dead bodies of
included 31 journalists in the               57 people in shallow graves. The
southern province of Maguindano.             victims included Mangudadatu’s
   The victims were traveling to             wife and sisters.
Maguindano to file a certificate of             On Nov. 26, Ampatuan turned
candidacy for gubernatorial can-             himself in and was charged with




                                                                                        AP PHOTO: BULLIT MARQUEZ




Journalists put down their cameras and recorders as a tribute to massacred colleagues
during a rally Dec. 9, near the Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines.

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23   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                DEATh WATCh
murder, though he has denied the        Rey Merisco, Periodico Ini; Rey-
charges. The Committee to Protect       naldo “Bebot” Momay, Midland
Journalists has called the Maguin-      Review; Marife “Neneng” Mon-
danao massacre the single deadli-       taño, Saksi News; Rosell Morales,
est event for journalists in history.   News Focus; Victor Nuñez, UNTV;
   The dead journalists are:            Ronnie Perante, Gold Star Dai-
   Benjie Adolfo, Gold Star Dai-        ly; Joel Parcon, Prontiera News;
ly, Koronadal City; Henry Ara-          Fernando “Ranny” Razon, Peri-
neta, dzRH, General Santos City;        odico Ini; Alejandro “Bong” Re-
Mark Gilbert “Mac-Mac” Arri-            blando, Manila Bulletin, General
ola, UNTV, General Santos City;         Santos City; Napoleon Salaysay,
Rubello Bataluna, Gold Star             Mindanao Gazette, Cotabato City;
Daily; Arturo Betia, Periodico          Francisco “Ian” Subang, Socsar-
Ini, General Santos City; Romeo         gen Today, General Santos City;
Jimmy Cabillo, Midland Review,          Andres “Andy” Teodoro, Central
Tacurong City; Marites Cablitas,        Mindanao Inquirer, Tacurong
News Focus and dxDX, General            City; and Daniel Tiamson, UNTV.
Santos City; Hannibal Cachuela,
Punto News, Koronadal City; John
Caniban, Periodico Ini; Lea Dal-        COLOMBIA
macio, Socsargen News, General
Santos City; Noel Decina, Peri-         Diego de Jesús Rojas Velázquez,
odico Ini; Gina Dela Cruz, Saksi        52, a reporter for Supía TV in
News, General Santos City; Jhoy         Supía, Caldas department, was
Duhay, Gold Star Daily; Jolito          shot four times while riding his
Evardo, UNTV; Santos Gatchal-           motorcycle to the Caramanta, An-
ian, DXGO, Davao City; Bienveni-        tioquía department after receiving
do Legarte, Jr., Prontiera News,        an alleged tip about a story. The
Koronadal City; Lindo Lupogan,          gunman has not been identified.
Mindanao Daily Gazette, Davao           Rojas did not cover sensitive is-
City; Ernesto “Bart” Maravilla,         sues, and the motive for his killing
Bombo Radyo, Koronadal City;            was not immediately clear.

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24   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009              DEATh WATCh
IRAQ                                  dead in a vacant lot in Mazatlán,
                                      Sinaloa state on Oct. 11. His throat
Orhan Hijran, 18, a cameraman         was cut and the letters YTTS were
for the Baghdad-based television      carved in his back when he was
station Al-Rasheed, was killed        found. Ramírez was missing for 48
when a bomb exploded in front         hours earlier after leaving home
of his home in Kirkuk. The explo-     for work on Oct. 9. Police found
sion occurred as Hijran and Mo-       belongings with his body, such as
hammed Abdullah Zadeh, a cor-         his cellphone, suggesting that rob-
respondent with the Cairo-based       bery was not the motive behind
Al-Baghdadia TV, were returning       his killing.
home from an assignment. Abdul-
lah Zadeh was only slightly injured   SOMALIA
by the blast and was released from
the hospital the same day.            Yaasir Mario, a freelance journal-
                                      ist, Mohamed Amin Adan Abdulle,
MExICO                                a reporter for Radio Shabelle,
                                      and Hassan Zubeyr Haji Hassan,
José Emilio Galindo Robles, 43,       a cameraman for Al-Arabiya TV,
director of Guadalajara Univer-       were killed when a suicide bomb-
sity Radio, was found dead at his     er blew himself up at a graduation
home in Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco        ceremony for medical students
State, after missing work for sev-    from Banadir University in Moga-
eral days. He was found gagged        dishu. Five other journalists were
and with his hands tied to a bed.     injured in the attack. n
Officials said deep bruising and a
skull fracture were the cause of
death.

Fabián Ramírez López, 42, a pre-
senter for the regional radio sta-
tion La Magia 9.71, was found

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25   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009              POINT Of VIEW

A Never-ending Debate
by Peter Preston



I
  n onE sEnsE, it’s an odd thing to be talking about
  today as the media world bursts with blogs and
  squeaks with Tweets. Who on earth wants to start
regulating the printed press when cyberspace plays
open house for all the views and news you need?
Isn’t this the daftest time to try to find new ways of
shackling newspapers? And yet, of course, the de-
bate about press regulation never ends.
   It’s back in Britain at the moment because The        Peter Preston,
Guardian has fallen out with the self-regulatory Press   former editorial
Complaints Commission over the stringency of PCC         director of the
                                                         Guardian Media
investigations into some old — but important — cas-      Group, and
es of phone-tapping at Rupert Murdoch’s big Sun-         columnist for the
day tabloid, the News of the World. The Guardian’s       Guardian and
editor, Alan Rusbridger, says the PCC is drinking in     Observer, is a
the Last Chance Saloon again, and an assortment of       Global Journalist
                                                         columnist. He was
learned counsel and media-standards organizations
                                                         the chairman of the
(not to mention the giant International Federation of    International Press
Journalists) is backing his stand.                       Institute from 1995
   In many ways, though, the rights and wrongs of this   to 1997.
particular row are less important than the simple fact
that Britain — from disbanded Press Council to cur-
rent Press Complaints Commission — seems to have
terrible trouble deciding who, if anyone, should keep
a supervisory eye on press behavior. The tabloids like
a self-regulatory system because, almost two decades
ago, they came close to having a statutory regime
imposed on them by Parliament. Some, though not

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26   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009              POINT Of VIEW
all, at the serious end of journal- And many journalists show little
ism have deep reservations about or no solidarity with others in the
self-regulation because, to them, it trade they share. But that’s just
doesn’t seem tough and punitive the Disunited Kingdom. Tunes
enough. Politicians rather enjoy change as you cross frontiers.
warning newspapers to clean up American newspapers, hymning
their act and threat-                               the need for trust
ening fresh laws                                    and responsibility,
to make them do         Self-regulation, at first sometimes appoint
so, yet somehow impulse, is a defence               ombudsmen to reg-
prime        ministers mechanism. But that          ulate in-house, but
from Thatcher to                                    America has never
Blair to Brown en-      doesn’t make it cynical been very keen on
joy offering tea and or redundant.                  the idea of indus-
sympathy to Rupert                                  try press councils
Murdoch when he visits Downing setting standards for all. On the
Street—and they don’t want pesky contrary, save for the occasional
little legal disputes getting in the experiment at state level, press
way of benign back-scratching. councils aren’t part of the U.S.
Judges, meanwhile, want clear scene because, it’s argued, they
law to follow or misty, confusing blur the case for First Amendment
law that they can shape to their rights—just redundant braces if
own purposes.                        the central constitutional belt is
    In short, there’s absolutely no strong enough.
consensus. Editors can’t agree          In India, the press council fight
what’s needed. Proprietors fol- has been to keep government ap-
low the varying paths of par- pointments out of the action. In
ticular financial advantage with the West Indies, the U.K. mod-
utter predictability. Politicians el has been transplanted with
blow hot and cold, preferring to aplomb. In the Balkans of eastern
threaten rather than dictate to Europe, the scramble is to put
editors in a fractious democracy. self-regulatory press councils in

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27   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                POINT Of VIEW
place so that politicians, flourish-   by editors delivering speeches
ing privacy and defamation laws,       about the wonders of “Trust.” In
can be repulsed. Everywhere you        Albania or Serbia, it’s seen as an
go the answers are subtly differ-      essential barrier against day-to-
ent, but everywhere, too, the in-      day interference by big politi-
trinsic threat and the response to     cians and big businessmen. And
it are the same.                       in poor old, insular Britain, its
   Time to be honest. Do editors       reputation is as good or as bad
volunteer to draw up codes of          as the last aggrieved complain-
conduct to sit in judgment on fel-     ant, grasping lawyer or scornful
low editors who haven’t followed       journalist you talked to. Consen-
those rules? Of course not. They       sus? There is no true consensus.
do it because they fear that a re-     And the lack of any such basic
sponsibility void would be filled      agreement tells you more than
by politicians. Self-regulation, at    you want to know about the es-
first impulse, is a defense mech-      sential, worldwide struggle for
anism. But that doesn’t make it        freedom of the press.
cynical or redundant. On the              It’s important, sure enough;
contrary, it’s the best weapon we      most editors or reporters will
have in the constant battle for        say that instinctively. But is it so
public opinion, which in turn,         important, day to day, that its
helps keep lawmakers at bay. We        demands on time, effort and re-
need it, and the realistic alterna-    sponsibility are automatically ac-
tive, a regime imposed by politi-      knowledged?
cians and polished by judges, is          Don’t hold you breath. In this
infinitely worse.                      long, hard battle for something
     But that’s only the beginning     better, there are enemies without,
of argument, not a conclusion—         but never forget the enemies —
because self-regulation is a coat      and demons — within. n
of many colors. In America, it’s
treated as an extraneous device,
one that can be simply replaced

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28   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




Impunity Must Be Fought
             Journalists’	Blood	Runs	Red	in	Russia
                             by Nina Ognianova



o
       n  tHE  waY  to  our  prEss    walked down Prechistenka, about
       conference at the Indepen-     a mile from the Kremlin. It was
       dent Press Center, Volodya,    around 3 p.m., and the lawyer had
our driver takes a turn on Pre-       just held a press conference de-
chistenka Street in downtown Mos-     nouncing the early prison release
cow. Candles, fresh flowers and the   of a Russian army colonel convict-
portraits of two handsome young       ed of murdering a Chechen girl. Ba-
people placed under a small arch      burova had covered the conference
remind passersby of the brutal        for Novaya Gazeta, an independent
crime that took place here eight      Moscow-based newspaper.
months ago.                              The assassin picked up the
   On Jan. 19 an assassin wearing     pace, approached the two and shot
dark clothing and a ski mask fol-     Markelov in the back of the head
lowed human rights lawyer Stan-       with a pistol fitted with a silencer.
islav Markelov, 34, and reporter      Baburova apparently tried to stop
Anastasiya Baburova, 25, as they      the killer as he strode past, which

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29   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




                                                                                       AP PHOTO: ALExANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO
A policeman’s boots are seen in the foreground as people lay flowers at the site in
Moscow where human-rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburov
had been gunned down the previous day.

prompted him to shoot her as well,         editorial meetings that take place
the business daily Kommersant re-          there at least twice a week. A sinis-
ported, citing witnesses. Markelov         ter question hangs in the air—who
died at the scene; Baburova a few          will be next?
hours later in a Moscow hospital.             On Nov. 5, Russia’s Investigative
   Markelov was a lawyer for No-           Committee at the Prosecutor’s Of-
vaya Gazeta. Baburova is one of            fice—the country’s top investigat-
five journalists the newspaper has         ing agency—announced the arrest
lost to work-related murder in the         and indictment of two suspects in
past nine years. Photographs of the        the murder, but gave little infor-
six now adorn a wall in Novaya’s           mation about them or their mo-
main lobby: silent participants in         tives. It remains unclear whether

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30   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

the gunman acted on his own or               a press conference and took them
upon someone’s orders. Progress is           to Russian government officials di-
sorely needed in this case to break          rectly responsible for solving the
the cycle of impunity in a string            murders.
of journalist murders committed                 The record is staggering: 18*
in Russia over the past decade. If           journalists have been killed in Rus-
the trend continues, the killings            sia in retaliation to their work since
will continue, with devastating im-          2000, and only in one case have
pact on press freedom, the rule of           the killers been convicted. In all of
law and the public’s right to be in-         them, the masterminds walk free.
formed                                          The victims represent the
   The urgent need to reverse im-            breadth of Russian journalism: edi-
punity prompted the Committee to             tors, reporters, photojournalists,
Protect Journalists to travel to Mos-        columnists and a publisher. Some
cow in September to launch our               had earned international reputa-
special report, Anatomy of Injus-            tions; others were local reporters
tice. The report examines work-re-           probing issues important to their
lated journalist killings committed          communities. All were engaged in
under Russia’s current leadership,           critical reporting that threatened
scrutinizes authorities’ consistent          powerful interests in government,
inability to bring justice in the cas-       business, law enforcement, or
es and maps out steps that must              criminal groups.
be taken to upset the status quo.               CPJ research shows Russia to be
While in Moscow we met with                  the world’s third deadliest country
dozens of journalists and press              for the press and the ninth worst
freedom activists, as well as with           in solving journalist murders. The
relatives and colleagues of the vic-         impunity in journalism-related kill-
tims. We presented our findings at           ings stands in sharp contrast to Rus-
*The tally may have increased. On Nov. 16, Olga Kotovskaya, a broadcast journalist
in Kaliningrad fell to her death from a 14th-floor window in what authorities quickly
termed a “suicide.” Colleagues and others close to the journalist, however, believe that
Kotovskaya was murdered in relation to her work.

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31   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




                                                                                        EPA PHOTO: YURI KOCHETKOV
Opposition demonstrators hold portraits of murdered journalist Anastasia Baburova and
lawyer Stanislav Markelov during a rally in Moscow, Feb. 15.

sia’s stated record in solving mur-            The failure to achieve justice in
ders among the general population.          these cases can be traced to every
Aleksandr Bastrykin, who is one of          stage of the process: political, inves-
the country’s top law enforcement           tigative, prosecutorial and judicial.
officials as head of the Investiga-            The political climate is set by
tive Committee at the Prosecutor            the Kremlin, where leaders seek
General’s Office, has said that the         to obstruct and marginalize critics.
vast majority of murders have been          Probing journalists are effectively
solved in recent years. If indeed au-       banned from the influential federal
thorities are successful in tackling        television channels and are pushed
other crimes, why do they fail when         instead to limited-audience print
it comes to journalist murders?             and online publications. There

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32   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

they find themselves isolated, un-       quiries in the case of Natalya Skryl,
protected and undervalued; their         a business reporter for the news-
enemies become emboldened to             paper Nashe Vremya, were passed
use violence, the ultimate form of       among three offices, none of which
censorship, with the confidence          responded substantively. Skryl was
that they will get away with it.         covering the struggle for control of
   An opaque law enforcement             a metallurgical plant in Taganrog
bureaucracy has made important           when an assailant bludgeoned her
decisions without offering pub-          to death on a street near her home
lic explanation or even informing        in March 2002.
victims’ families and legal repre-          Significant investigative gaps
sentatives. Such a closed process        have marred several cases, with de-
prevents official accountability.        tectives failing to question relevant
In some instances, important evi-        witnesses and potential key sus-
dence was shielded from the pub-         pects, ignoring journalism as a po-
lic and the families. In July of 2003,   tential murder motive and neglect-
Novaya Gazeta’s deputy editor Yuri       ing seemingly important evidence.
Shchekochikhin died of a rare der-          In the few times prosecutors
matological condition that began         have gone to court, cases have been
while he was investigating high-         untenable and, in at least one in-
level corruption. Officials at the       stance, bogus. Prosecutors in the
government-run clinic where the          murder trial of Anna Politkovskaya,
journalist was treated sealed his        the iconic Novaya Gazeta journalist,
medical records when his family          presented flawed and incomplete
tried to learn more about his death,     evidence to a skeptical jury, who
and when the records were eventu-        acquitted three defendants in Feb-
ally procured by investigators, they     ruary. In the trial of Aleksei Sidorov,
somehow vanished in a Moscow             the second consecutive murdered
prosecutor’s office.                     editor of the muckraking newspa-
   In other cases, agencies hand off     per Tolyattinskoye Obozreniye, au-
responsibility for stalled investiga-    thorities coerced a confession and
tions from one to another. CPJ’s in-     falsified evidence against an inno-

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33   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

cent man; the defendant
was acquitted in part to
the high international




                                                                                 AP PHOTO: ALExANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO
attention the case re-
ceived.
   Questionable        and
unexplained        judicial
decisions plagued the
case of U.S. journal-
ist Paul Klebnikov,
the founding editor
of Forbes Russia, who
                             A morning editorial meeting at Novaya Gazeta. The
was gunned down in publication has lost five journalists to work-related
Moscow in July 2004. murder in the past nine years.
A presiding judge in
the trial of two defendants took authorities. They swiftly sided with
no measures to protect jurors sub- the shooter, nephew of Ingushet-
jected to intimidation. A court later ia’s then-interior minister, and de-
moved the retrial of the two sus- clared Yevloyev’s death in August
pects off the docket entirely and 2008 accidental. In the slaying of
without disclosing the reasons or Maksim Maksimov, St. Petersburg
the person who made the decision. authorities made no evident effort
   Inherent conflicts of interest have to follow up on allegations that lo-
compromised the independence of cal police may have been involved.
several investigations into journal- Maksimov reported for the St. Pe-
ist murders. Although Magomed tersburg weekly Gorod and was in-
Yevloyev, publisher of the inde- vestigating reports of corruption in
pendent North Caucasus Web site the local Interior Ministry branch.
Ingushetiya, was shot in the cus- He disappeared after going to meet
tody of Ingushetia Interior Ministry a source on June 29, 2004, and has
officers, the investigation into his since been declared dead.
killing was left in the hands of local       Against the backdrop of such

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34   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

major flaws, the public at large has      ability as an international partner.
lost trust in the very state institu-         Russia is an influential player in
tions mandated to protect it. But         numerous international organiza-
despite the evident despair, there        tions, but membership comes with
are compelling incentives to cor-         obligations to respect international-
rect the record for both Russia and       ly recognized human rights. When
the international community.              Russia does not honor those rights
   For Russia’s leaders, it is a mat-     at home, it erodes them for every-
ter of upholding national security        one. The international community
and the rule of law. Both Presi-          must remind Russia’s leaders of
dent Dmitry Medvedev and Prime            their responsibilities and seek re-
Minister Vladimir Putin have made         sults at every opportunity.
commitments to protect their coun-            The challenge is daunting, but
try’s stability, fight corruption and     it can be overcome. CPJ research
ensure the safety of all of their citi-   shows that the failures in the inves-
zens. When 18 journalists are killed      tigation and prosecution of these
for asking tough questions and not        18 journalist deaths stem from au-
a single case is fully solved, the        thorities’ reluctance or lack of po-
government is failing at the job.         litical will—not their inability—to
   Some Russian officials have sug-       pursue cases to a successful end.
gested the country’s impunity re-             In the cases where conflicts of
cord is an internal matter and that       interest have hampered probes,
the world should not meddle. But          new and independent investi-
Russia’s partners in Europe and           gators should be assigned and,
throughout the world have a deep          where appropriate, cases should
and intrinsic interest. Deadly vio-       be transferred out of their current
lence leads to widespread self-cen-       jurisdictions altogether. Rather than
sorship among the press and leaves        maintain walls of secrecy, authori-
issues of international importance        ties must choose transparency and
underreported or entirely uncov-          accountability to restore citizens’
ered. A nation that closes off its        trust in state institutions. Officials
society raises doubts about its reli-     should communicate regularly with

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35   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

relatives of the victims and allow       by allowing critical reporters to re-
them access to case files. Court         populate Russia’s public space and
proceedings should be open to            by demanding from law enforce-
the public. Cases that are techni-       ment officials concrete results in
cally open but dormant in practi-        solving crimes against the press.
cal terms must be reviewed: Un-          Doing so would promote a stable,
checked leads should be pursued,         just society for all Russians and
missing suspects sought, witnesses       demonstrate Moscow’s readiness to
and potential suspects tracked           be an international leader.
down and questioned. Where pro-             These are some of the issues
fessional motives were dismissed         we brought up with Russian gov-
without sufficient investigation,        ernment officials, particularly from
authorities should refocus their ef-     the Investigative Committee at the
forts on the victim’s journalism.        Prosecutor General’s Office, when
   In Russia’s centralized law en-       we met with them in Moscow in
forcement system, local prosecu-         September. And though our meet-
tors and investigators ultimately        ings did not produce any breaking
report to Moscow. This system de-        news, detectives agreed to meet
mands that federal authorities ex-       again with CPJ in a year and give
ercise greater scrutiny over the ac-     us a progress report on the cases
tivities of their local subordinates.    discussed. We intend to hold them
The Prosecutor General’s Office,         to their word. n
headed by Yuri Chaika, and the In-
vestigative Committee, headed by                           Nina Ognianova, the
Aleksandr Bastrykin, share practi-                         Europe and Central Asia
cal responsibility for these 18 cases.                     program coordinator
   President Medvedev and Prime                            of the New York-based
Minister Putin, as Russia’s top lead-                      Committee to Protect
                                                           Journalists, led an advo-
ers, share a moral responsibility.
                                                           cacy mission to Moscow
They can start by condemning—            and Brussels in September 2009. She is a
publicly and unequivocally—all           2002 MA graduate of the Missouri School
acts of violence against journalists,    of Journalism.

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36   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




           Zimbabwe Exodus
       In	photojournalism	objectivity	does	not	exist
                     Photos and Story by Dirk-Jan Visser




     w
              HEn pEopLE asK mE if there is a future for photo-
              journalism I always give the example of the feature
              “Zimbabwe Exodus,” which I shot in 2007. In my
     opinion, the future of photojournalism is in the hands of
     the photographer. He or she should not follow the events in
     the world by reading the newspaper. The time is gone when
     professional photographers chased the news. I mean anyone
     with a camera in the right place at the right time can shoot

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37   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

a front-page picture.
Editors do not expect
that a photographer
is present when two
trains run into each
other. The public with
their cell phones will
take these photos.
Flickr is the Web site
used to distribute the
images worldwide. I
believe that the profes-
sional photojournalist
must specialize, should The flood of refugees from Zimbabwe have
                           overburdened aid organizations, as shown by this
have editorial control note on the door of Refugee Ministries Centre, an NGO
and should have all the that deals with refugees’ legal status in South Africa.
knowledge about the
subject and topic as possible. A lieve in the journalistic ethics of
“good” picture is not that difficult objectivity. OK, I use the practice
to shoot, but a photo-essay that ex- of journalism. I do my research. I
plains the background and shows know how to establish contacts. I
the situation requires background hear different sources, and gener-
knowledge and research. Therefore ally I think I have a fairly effec-
there is actually not much differ- tive impression on the topic I am
ence between a photographer and working on. But in photojournal-
a journalist. They just use different ism objectivity does not exist. As
tools to communicate the story.        a photographer I have a story to
   Now I do not know whether I tell. To be physically present some-
am a good journalist. I do not be- where for a long time and exposed

PHOTO ON PREVIOUS PAGE: Thabo Moyo and Bongani Bumalo cross the Limpopo River,
which separates Zimbabwe from South Africa.

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38   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




The Methodist church in downtown Johannesburg offers nightly shelter to
approximately 1500 refugees, many of them from Zimbabwe. The church also offers
daily activities and education and assists with medical needs.

to certain situations affects me as        which the viewers can create an
a person, so it affects my story,          opinion for themselves.
which is certainly reflected in the           In the autumn of 2007 I trav-
series as I edit. I know I go over-        elled to southern Africa to make a
the-top and tighten up the drama           story about the Zimbabwean exo-
in my image sometimes. But that            dus. Earlier that year I found out
is the way I see the world, and I          through a report by the Interna-
want to express that in my story. I        tional Committee of the Red Cross
do not want to give answers with           that 5,000 Zimbabwean refugees
my photography, but I aim to push          were illegally fleeing to South Af-
the public in a certain direction in       rica on a daily basis, escaping the

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39   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




A boy illegally crosses into South Africa from Zimbabwe via the Limpopo River. Due to the
economic crisis in Zimbabwe, thousands cross the border into South Africa looking for work.
Many intend to find jobs in Johannesburg in order to support their families back home.

economic, political and social re-             sures in South Africa. These huge
gime of Pres. Mugabe. For me the               numbers of illegal Zimbabweans
number of 5,000 was beyond belief;             could put weight on employment
how many days would it take for a              and food supply, especially in the
country to be empty? People who                townships in South Africa. These
were desperate faced gang rapes,               unbelievable figures and facts were
gang murders and a river filled with           for me the trigger to make a story.
crocodiles for a better future. The            To my surprise this was a story that
report also expressed fears about              had not been made yet at that time.
the social and economic pres-                  Obviously, there were occasional

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40   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




Once Zimbabwean refugees reach South Africa, they have to take care of themselves
because the South African government does not recognize them.

photographs, typical illustrative         Before I left, my story was already
photographs that can accompany            pretty much clear. The starting
an article, but I could not find an       point was the illegal “border jump-
essay that showed the overall situ-       ers.” I wanted to tell the story from
ation through pictures.                   their perspective. On one hand, I
   After 3 months of intensive prep-      wanted to show why they made
aration—researching the topic, es-        this treacherous journey, why they
tablishing contacts in the field and      left Zimbabwe. On the other hand,
talking with people who are aware         I wanted to show what the reality
of the situation in Zimbabwe—I            would be for the “Zimbabwean ex-
spent six weeks in southern Africa.       odus” into South Africa.

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41   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




Zimbabwe was once the granary of Africa but now inflation is on the rise. Because of
the economic crisis, shops, such as this supermarket in Bulawayo, are empty.

   Because this feature was my              own agenda, following the world’s
own initiative, I was not tied to any       big media corporations. At the end
client or magazine. I could take as         of 2007 Zimbabwe was not on the
much time as I wanted and I could           journalistic agenda; therefore no
choose what to photograph with-             magazine was interested in pub-
out having to comply with the re-           lishing the feature. Nevertheless
quirements of a client. Therefore           I knew that Zimbabwe naturally
I had no idea if the story would            would be part of the news as elec-
ever be published. Although from            tions would be held in March 2008.
my perspective it was a story that          Also the socio-economic pressure
should be told, the press has its           by the Zimbabweans in South Af-

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42   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

rica was untenable. Altogether it         entirely from my own perspective.
was a countdown for different is-         I do not show the whole truth, only
sues that would finally become the        part of the truth, but in my opin-
news.                                     ion it is the part that is important.
   During the weekend before the          The work is published in the main-
disputed election, the series was         stream media but is also used for
published over ten pages in a ma-         other purposes by organizations
jor French magazine. After this,          with political agendas that have
various media took an interest in         nothing to do with journalism.
the series as well. Finally the pho-         Objective photojournalism is
tos ended up in a report by Human         dead; there are simply too many
Rights Watch expressing concerns          images around the world: images
for the humanitarian situation for        from different perspectives, images
Zimbabweans in South Africa.              with different qualities and images
   In this report, my pictures            with different opinions. In the end,
helped to lobby the South African         an editor somewhere in an office
government to change its policy           decides in which context an image
regarding the reception of asy-           is used. For me this does not work.
lum seekers from Zimbabwe and                The future of photojournalism is
the responsibilities a government         that the photographer takes a stand,
should take concerning refugees.          shows his perspective of the situa-
I still consider this as my biggest       tion in the world and keeps edi-
achievement. Finally, this series has     torial control over his work. Only
won several journalistic awards, in-      then can photography be shown to
cluding a Special Jury Recognition        the public in the right context. n
in the World Understanding Award
of POYi.                                                Dirk-Jan Visser is a
    With this story I try to illustrate                 freelance photographer
that there is definitely a future for                   based in Rotterdam who
photojournalism, though this ap-                        contributes to various
                                                        magazines and newspapers
proach might be controversial. The
                                                        in the Netherlands.
story “Zimbabwe Exodus” is made

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43   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




                                                                       PHOTO: PEDRO SA’ DA BANDEIRA
            The author, center, while on assignment in Mozambique is
                 surrounded by school children and colleagues.



 rape is a Weapon of War
        Reporters	should	name	names,	give	details
                               by Michelle Faul



a
       s  a  YounG reporter I re-           My colleague felt he was right
       member being appalled             because the woman was identified
       when a colleague identified       in court papers that were public
a woman who had been sexually            documents. But he had not asked
assaulted by name in a story de-         the woman if she minded her
scribing a court case. This was dur-     name being published.
ing the war to end control by the           I thought the reporter, a white
white minority in what was Rhode-        man living in an ultra-racist soci-
sia, now Zimbabwe.                       ety, was being insensitive. I asked

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44   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

if he would have identified the       difficult. Expecting people to re-
woman if she had been white. He       live the trauma and share it with
paused for a moment, then repeat-     a stranger can be presumptuous.
ed his earlier justification.         A surgeon I spoke to who sewed
   Our newspaper, The Rhodesia        together raped babies refused to
Herald, had no clear policy on re-    allow me to interview his nurses,
porting rape cases and went ahead     saying they had to have counsel-
and published the woman’s name.       ing for trauma and that it would
   So I was surprised to find my-     be too painful for them to recall
self, some 30 years later, arguing    what they had witnessed.
with editors about why I thought         Writing about rape in Congo
we needed to publish the identity     was more challenging than I had
of a woman who suffered a more        anticipated, but it was made easier
brutal attack in another war in       by one big change.
eastern Congo.                           The change, and why I fought
   As a black woman, I knew the       to be able to identify two assault-
woman could be shunned by her         ed women, is that those who have
family, might be disowned by her      been attacked are speaking out,
husband and could even be made        breaking social taboos.
a pariah, forced to leave her vil-       Before I began the interview
lage and be destitute.                with Zamuda Sikujuwa, I made
   All these years later, the same    sure an interpreter explained that I
thing happens to many of the          was a reporter for an international
women who are assaulted in east-      news agency, that her story would
ern Congo, called the rape epi-       be published around the world,
center of the world, where sexual     perhaps even in some Congolese
attacks have become a regular         newspapers, and asked if she was
weapon of war.                        sure she wanted her name used.
   Women’s bodies are being              Three times she insisted that
turned into battlefields, as one      she wanted to be identified be-
doctor put it.                        cause, she declared, “I have done
   Reporting about rape is always     nothing to be ashamed of.”

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45   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




                                                                                               EPA PHOTO: STEPHEN MORRISON
Zaina, 30, prepares a meal at a sexual violence clinic run by Doctors on Call for Service in
the eastern city of Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo in July 2006. She is one of
thousands of Congolese women targeted by soldiers and militia gangs who use rape as
a weapon during terror campaigns perpetrated on civilians.

   According to therapists, she                    Sikujuwa, 53, felt that telling
addressed a major difficulty con-               her story could help stop such at-
fronting rape survivors who ques-               tacks. “I don’t want other women
tion whether they, in some way,                 to have to suffer what I am suffer-
invited the attack.                             ing,” she said.

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46   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

   She also said that she knew “the    that were being recounted.
nightmares will come back to me”           At one point, a provincial gov-
after we spent one morning dis-        ernment minister interrupted to
cussing her ordeal.                    ask reporters to hide the identity
   Not identifying her, a support-     of one woman and not to film
ive editor and I argued, would         or photograph her face. But the
make us part of the problem, al-       woman, Honorata Kizende, took
most colluders in the culture of       the microphone to declare: “I am
silence that allows perpetrators to    not ashamed to show my face and
escape unpunished, though many         publish my identity. The shame
other issues stand in the way of       lies with those who broke me
justice.                               open and with the authorities who
   My editors also raised ques-        failed to protect me.
tions about the explicitness of the        “If you don’t hear me, see me,
language we used to explain the        you will not understand why it is
ordeal. Some worried that readers      so important that we fight this to-
could be put off by the graphic        gether.”
details and stop reading the re-           I must emphasize that the wom-
port altogether. Ultimately, the de-   en in both these cases had little
cision was that we are witnesses       to lose.
and cannot sanitize facts so that          Kizende said her life as a teacher
readers can sleep better at night.     and mother of seven ended when
If people are disturbed, well, the     she was kidnapped by a rebel mi-
subject is more than disturbing.       litia and held as a sex slave for 18
   Later on during that Congo trip,    months, passed around from one
I watched a video of a meeting         fighter to another until she es-
organized by the U.N. Children’s       caped. Now, with her family ties
Fund in a campaign to encourage        broken, she is a counselor who
women to publicize the violence.       trains others to help women and
It showed a room filled with local     children find the courage to con-
officials, community leaders, even     tinue their lives after sexual vio-
children, shocked by the atrocities    lence.

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47   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

    Sikujuwa’s husband and two          A Human Rights Watch inves-
children were killed by the seven tigation reported that first the
rebels who gang-raped her and troops surrounded the stadium
then forced the barrel of an auto- and blocked exits, then entered
matic rifle up her vagina, tearing and immediately opened fire.
apart her insides.                    Dozens were killed, many crushed
    Such attacks have become com- to death in the rush to escape.
mon in conflicts, from the Balkans      The rapes began almost imme-
in Europe to Sri Lanka in Asia, diately. One doctor who treated
and most recently                                   victims told Na-
and publicly, in the                                tional Public Ra-
West African na- Ultimately, the decision dio “we have wit-
tion of Guinea.                                     nessed      women’s
    There, security was that we are                 bodies being treat-
forces attacked un- witnesses and cannot            ed as if they were
armed demonstra- sanitize facts so that             battlefields.”
tors who had gath- readers can sleep better            Troops       tore
ered in the capital’s                               away their cloth-
national stadium to
                       at night. If people are      ing, stripping them
protest plans by disturbed, well, the               naked, then raped
coup leader Capt.      subject is more than         them both physi-
Moussa       “Dadis” disturbing.                    cally and with
Camara to run in                                    guns, bayonets and
presidential elections.               other weapons.
    What was shocking was that          Dozens were raped. Some were
soldiers, many sporting the red grandmothers, others university
berets of the presidential guard, students; some wore pants, some
targeted women in a wave of sex- traditional ankle-length robes. The
ual violence committed in public, real number will never be known
in broad daylight and in a country because many women are not
known for its conservative Muslim speaking out.
lifestyle.                              Human Rights Watch said the

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48   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

rapes appeared “part of a system-      and other journalists. None would
atic attempt to terrorize and hu-      be identified by name, some fear-
miliate the opposition.”               ful of reprisals, others of the shame
   Rape has become a routine           attached. But even as they worried
weapon for despots to put down         that talking about it would bring
civil disturbances and especially      further trouble on their heads, the
for rebels and militias to attack      women expressed their determi-
people of other ethnic groups. It      nation to ensure that those who
undermines the society, forcing        stripped them of their dignity must
husbands and families to reject the    be punished.
women who hold together the so-           Reporters who continue to
cial fabric, thus turning the com-     bring attention to these crimes
munity against itself.                 must be sensitive to the cultural
   Back in Zimbabwe, political         environment and the wishes of
rape has become so common that         those violated. But there can be
female opposition supporters rou-      no blanket rule about not identi-
tinely wear more than one pair         fying by name victims who want
of panties and trousers instead of     to show the world their faces and
skirts to protest rallies where they   raise their voices, to personalize
expect to be attacked by securi-       atrocities that otherwise could be
ty forces, a precaution to make a      lost in a sea of statistics. n
sexual attack more difficult.
   A U.N. commission has begun         Michelle Faul has covered Africa for The
investigating the Guinea killings      Associated Press since 1982 from bases
and rapes amid calls from human        in her native Zimbabwe to Ivory Coast in
rights activists for perpetrators to   West Africa, Kenya in East Africa and, most
                                       recently, from Johannesburg, South Africa.
be prosecuted for crimes against
                                       In between, she worked in the Caribbean
humanity.                              for 10 years until 2005.
   The commission was appointed
after some half dozen victims de-
scribed their ordeals to rights ac-
tivists, NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton

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49   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




         Man At His Best,
        Middle East version
                           Esquire	Goes	East
                          by Richard Robert Gross



D
       uBaI  Has  BEEn in an eco-     their home countries. The reported
       nomic funk for the past year   20 percent of the world’s construc-
       like most once–rapidly de-     tion cranes that were busily creat-
veloping places. Unemployment         ing a 21st century version of Fritz
in the construction and finance       Lang’s Metropolis are now stilled
sectors is high, and many foreign     against the desert sky like watchful
workers have been unceremoni-         vultures on withered tree limbs.
ously dumped at the doorstep of          Property sales have all but halt-

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50   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

ed. Rents have plummeted 50 to             er has at least temporarily scrapped
60 percent in newly constructed            plans to introduce an English-lan-
luxury apartments. Hundreds of             guage newspaper focused on Euro-
laid-off expatriates reportedly have       pean news in a Euro-cultural city
dumped their vehicles at Dubai             where the lingua franca is English.
International Airport and boarded             It is a strange economic envi-
planes home a step ahead of au-            ronment in which to introduce
thorities with the power to impris-        a regional version of an upscale
on them for defaulting on loans.           American men’s magazine, but that
Burdened with construction debt,           is exactly what local publisher ITP
Dubai was forced last year to ac-          chose to do in securing a licensing
cept billions to service its debt from     agreement with Hearst Corporation
the oil-wealthy United Arab Emir-          for a Middle East edition of Esquire.
ates’ (UAE) capital, Abu Dhabi.            ITP is the leading publisher of busi-
During a Nov. 10 address to foreign        ness and consumer magazines in
investors, an irritated Dubai ruler        the Middle East.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid told               “A publisher will only launch a
critics of Dubai’s relationship with       new title if they think it will work
the capital to “shut up.”                  financially and make money,” as-
    The media sector has been hard-        serts Ben Smalley, editor of The
hit. Advertising sales have nose-          Middle East and North Africa Me-
dived, particularly in the Middle          dia Guide. “They would need to be
East print media. There has been a         confident that the title would at-
net loss of 85 consumer magazine           tract advertising revenue, which is
titles; the lone independent televi-       no certainty given the current eco-
sion station is rumored to be shut-        nomic climate.”
tering. The popular tabloid news-             So, there is great curiosity about
paper 7Days suspended Friday               the Middle East edition of Esquire,
publication, and a German publish-         the men’s magazine that published

PHOTO ON PREVIOUS PAGE: High rise residential buildings under construction
in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. EPA PHOTO: JORGE FERRARI

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51   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




                                                                                  PHOTO: KHATUNA KHUTSUSHVILI
The magazines available on Dubai newsstands have content that is among the most
permissive in the Middle East.

Gay Talese’s signature New Jour-              The premiere issue of Esquire
nalism piece, “Frank Sinatra has           ME hit the stands in mid-Novem-
a Cold” in its October 1966 issue,         ber. On the cover is an impish Brad
which famously opened with the             Pitt who, along with buddy George
lines: “Frank Sinatra, holding a           Clooney, is a local cover favorite.
glass of bourbon in one hand and           Leafing through the very thick,
a cigarette in the other, stood in a       very slick 176-page opening issue,
dark corner of the bar between two         the words young, hip and affluent
attractive but fading blondes who          come to mind.
sat waiting for him to say some-              “The mission statement (of Es-
thing. But he said nothing….”              quire ME) can be summed up as

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52   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

Man At His Best,” explains Jeremy        it is Esquire’s mission to not sim-
Lawrence, the editor of Esquire ME,      ply represent mindless consumer-
recalling the longtime tagline asso-     ism—we’re sensitive to the current
ciated with the U.S. edition. “… it is   economic climate—but to spend
for internationally minded success-      money in the right way,” trumpets
ful men who want a magazine that         the Esquire ME media pack. “…And
mixes style and intelligence along       how to have a pretty good time do-
with a dose of good humor.” Law-         ing it.”
rence was previously editor of ITP’s        Reflecting this change is the dif-
popular Time Out Dubai, one of           ference in attitude—and content—
the events-oriented weeklies pub-        from its parent at its own launch,
lished in major cities worldwide,        in a similar economic climate, in
four of which are published in the       October 1933. Esquire ME is edited
Middle East by ITP.                      in the U.K. style, but the content is
   To longtime residents of Middle       intended to reflect its U.S. pedigree.
East cities like Dubai and Beirut,       Lawrence’s stated editorial intent is:
Lawrence’s comments summon               “On average readers are likely to
another era and another time: the        see 60–70 percent of Esquire ME
1950s and ’60s characteristic of         content being locally generated
American affluence epitomized in         with 30 – 40 percent of the content
television shows like current favor-     from other editions.” He added that
ite, AMC’s Mad Men.                      there are sufficient numbers of Eng-
   “With the fashion and luxury          lish-language feature writers and
business booming in the Middle           freelancers in the region to supply
East there is a strong audience of       Esquire ME’s needs while retaining
men looking for upscale, stylish in-     ITP’s signature style and flavor.
formation and advice from a maga-           The premiere issue reflects this
zine like Esquire,” explains CEO         intent. In addition to “This Way
of the ITP Publishing Group Walid        In,” a timeline spread catching up
Akawi.                                   new readers on the history of Es-
   But with a twist. “In a region        quire, there is the cover article
where obvious wealth abounds,            featuring Brad Pitt in “The Art of

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53   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




                                                                                         PHOTO: AEPA PHOTO: ALI HAIDER
The largely international and expatriate makeup of Dubai’s population makes for a rich
cultural melting pot against a traditional Middle Eastern background.

Being a Man” section, the popular            on music, gaming, women, food,
“Woman We Love” feature (Chris-              sport (not “sports”), exercise, busi-
tina Hendricks), an interview with           ness and fashion. Many of these
media mogul Rupert Murdoch as                single-page featurettes are under
well as stories of more regional in-         the graphic MAHB, which looks
terest: “Bet on Oil,” an investment          strangely like an Arabic word in
piece, and “Regional Marvel,” a              print, but is simply an acronym for
comic book play on words about               “Man At His Best.”
38-year-old Kuwaiti clinical psy-               There is a business article/inter-
chologist-turned-entrepreneur Naif           view with rally sport hero of the
al-Mutawa’s Islamic cartoon super-           moment, UAE National Ben Su-
heroes, The 99. There are articles           layam, who was instrumental in

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54   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

bringing Formula One racing to Abu Dhabi; 2,000 in the Gulf Coast
Abu Dhabi for the first time in No- countries Oman, Bahrain and Qa-
vember. There’s Neil Young, Uday tar; and 5,000 circulated free to lo-
Hussein’s (son of Saddam Hussein) cal UAE VIPs and selected men.
body double, Al Gore, celebrity chef     The population of the UAE is ap-
Marco Pierre White, a photo feature proximately 5.1 million, some 78
on power dressing with U.K. male percent of whom are expatriates,
models, another on how to dress 69 percent of them male. The per
while driving, an Essentials article capita GDP of the UAE is $45, 000;
on shoes, and ads,                                   the region is sec-
ads, ads.                                            ond only to Hong
   “Like the Middle “…launching a Middle Kong in the cat-
East region itself,”
explains Lawrence,
                        East edition of a well- egory “recreational
                                                     shoppers,” and the
“the Esquire ME known magazine like                  latest Nielsen Con-
magazine has a mix- Esquire helps a local            sumer Confidence
ture of content and publisher capitalize on Index places the
flavors.    However,                                 UAE in the top 10
                        an established brand
after all is said and                                countries worldwide
done, the running straight away.”                    in “spending opti-
theme will be Mid-                 —	Ben	Smalley mism.”
dle East content with                                   OK, one can’t be
a Middle Eastern flavor.”             surprised that a successful upscale
   But with an audience that is men’s magazine would launch in
largely expatriate and British, as an economically upscale region
well as a typical Esquire demo- with a large base of its traditional
graphic, men aged 22–40. Indeed, demographic. But why not another
the Esquire media pack claims an magazine and why now?
initial press run of 15,000 with         Says Smalley: “…launching a
8,000 of those copies available at Middle East edition of a well-known
popular retail shopping outlets in magazine like Esquire helps a local
the UAE, particularly Dubai and publisher capitalize on an estab-

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55   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

lished brand straight away.” Esquire    cally to be considering a launch in
and its parent Hearst Corporation       the region. The publisher, amid a
are also no strangers to the inter-     year that saw a flood of red ink and
national publishing market. This is     the closing of its iconic title Gour-
Esquire’s 18th international edition.   met, would not comment on a pos-
The title has been wildly success-      sible launch here. The U.S. edition of
ful in China and Russia, where it       GQ is presently available in Dubai.
has reached a circulation of nearly        Does the editor of Esquire see any
539,000 and 100,000 respectively.       competition on the horizon? “The
Or as Lawrence puts it, “Esquire        Middle East has a huge international
ticked all the boxes for a launch.”     influence and operates in a very in-
   Another concern has been the         ternational environment,” concludes
perception that local attitudes to-     Jeremy Lawrence. “There are a pleth-
ward scantily clad women would          ora of titles and publications that
create an impassable barrier with       could work here. There’s no reason
local mores and censors. “ITP does      why anything can’t work in Dubai
not print titles that are not compli-   as long as it adheres to local regula-
ant with local laws,” says Lawrence.    tions and local sensibilities.”
“We are also sensitive to what is          So, keep an eye out for new
socially acceptable in the market.”     magazine titles in the region. But
He added that the Middle East edi-      don’t be looking for a Middle East
tion is printed in Dubai and will not   edition of Playboy anytime soon. n
be available in Saudi Arabia. Local
mores would almost certainly for-                       Richard Gross is a Dubai-
bid its availability in that country.                   based journalist for UPI.
The magazine is clear-wrapped for                       com and a journal-
display on Dubai newsstands.                            ism educator at Zayed
   If Esquire achieves success in yet                   University. His extensive
                                                        experience includes glob-
another young, male, upscale inter-
                                                        ally syndicated print and
national market, envious titles are     broadcast work complemented by three
likely to follow. An Esquire competi-   graduate degrees, including a doctorate
tor, Conde Nast’s GQ, is rumored lo-    from the Missouri School of Journalism.

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56   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




Journalists and freedom advocates marched in the streets Sept. 13 in Hong Kong to
            protest mistreatment of Hong Kong journalists in mainland China.



Drugs, Bugs and Thugs
  Hong	Kong	journalists	protest	strong-arm	treatment
                      Story and Photos by Doug Meigs



t
      HE  BounDarIEs of Hong              environment. The former-British
      Kong safeguard press free-          colony maintains press-freedom
      dom. However, local jour-           under a policy of “one country,
nalists leave their protected status      two systems.” Local reporters retain
when they cross into mainland Chi-        “foreign” status in the mainland.
na on assignment.                         However, many Hong Kong natives
  Journalists in Hong Kong occu-          also enjoy “return to the homeland”
py a unique role in China’s media         permits, which grant them greater

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57   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

access than “foreign” colleagues in     lead up to the Olympics. “I sent
China.                                  an SMS to my driver to pick us up
   Two incidents this year dem-         that morning at 6:30, and two po-
onstrated the difficulty and dan-       licemen came to the hotel exactly
ger facing Hong Kong journalists        at 6:30,” she says. A uniformed of-
in mainland China. Wong Ka Yu           ficer approached Wong and told
played a role in making or break-       her, “You have something illegal in
ing both news stories. She is a re-     your room.” A second police offi-
porter and anchor for Hong Kong-        cer stepped in front of the vehicle
based NowTV.                            before she could tell the driver to
   “The police are afraid of the for-   go.
eign media, but they see us as the         The police searched the car; Wu
same country, and think they can        began shooting footage, and Wong
control us,” she says.                  alerted another team of Hong Kong
   Wong covered the trial of Tan        journalists staying in the hotel. The
Zuoren, a political activist who had    crew from Cable TV Hong Kong
been jailed after investigating stu-    escaped through a different exit.
dent deaths in the Sichuan earth-       Police escorted the NowTV jour-
quake. Wong and cameraman Wu            nalists back to their rooms. Wong
Siu-wing checked into a Chengdu         suspected that the “something ille-
hotel at midnight on Aug. 10, two       gal” would have been controversial
nights before Tan Zuoren’s trial.       paperwork or documents relating
The following day, she conducted        to Tan’s trial. Wong and Wu waited
an interview with Tan’s wife. After-    three hours. The police searched
ward, Wong says, her mobile phone       their rooms. They rummaged
could not receive texts and static      through everything: luggage, crew
interference made conversation          bags, tapes, underwear, cosmetics,
difficult. Exchanged text messages      etc.
between Wong and Tan might have            “I asked (the officer) if this was
alerted authorities, she says. Simi-    proper procedure for searching a
lar phone problems occurred dur-        room, and if he had any warrant,
ing sensitive periods, such as the      and he said no,” Wong says. Her

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58   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

cameraman filmed the
conversation. Then six
or seven more officers
arrived.
   Suddenly, an officer
accused Wong of pos-
sessing drugs.
   “I was shocked. I
was really surprised,
because he accused
me so seriously,” Wong
says. Four more hours
passed. They checked Mak Yin-ting addresses a crowd of roughly 700
her press credentials protesters on Sept. 13. The HKJA and the Foreign
                           Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong organized the
and identity card. At 1 rally after police in Sichuan attacked and detained
p.m., the police grant- Hong Kong journalists.
ed them a conditional
release.                                respondents stationed in Urumqi,
   “They were very rude and scold- Xinjiang, covering ethnic tensions
ed me,” she says. “They said, ‘If you between the province’s Han and
don’t delete (the tape), you cannot Uighur populations. A Han Chinese
go.’”                                   protest turned into a riot. NowTV
   Some of the footage is avail- cameraman Lam Chun-wai rushed
able on Youtube, though the po- back to his hotel with footage. Tear
lice managed to delete one of the gas streamed in the streets. He
crew’s three tapes. The police left passed paramilitary police beating
at 1:30 p.m. Tan Zuoren’s trial had TVB reporter Lam Tsz-ho and his
adjourned.                              cameraman Lau Wing-chuan. Lam
   Wong covered the next major in- stopped to film the attack.
cident in 2009 from NowTV head-             “Two policemen came to him
quarters in Hong Kong.                  and beat him,” Wong says. Lam
   Every local news outlet had cor- asked her to speak to the Global

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59   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

Journalist on his behalf. “At once,       The story became major news in
he told them he’s a reporter. But      Hong Kong, and the drama contin-
the policemen didn’t listen,” she      ued to escalate. On Sept. 6, Urumqi
says.                                  police detained five more Hong
   The officers beat Lam in the        Kong journalists.
head and legs. They slapped him           Joining the tally: RTHK corre-
across the face multiple times, tied   spondents Chan Miu-ling (the jour-
his hands behind his back and          nalist who first notified NowTV
made him kneel on the ground be-       about Lam) and Chow Man-tau,
fore transferring him to the police    Commercial Radio Hong Kong re-
station with the TVB journalists.      porter Yeung Tung-tat, NowTV re-
   Shortly after 3 p.m., a corre-      porter Gary Chan Wai-li and cam-
spondent for RTHK (Hong Kong’s         eraman Lau Hiu-lap.
public service broadcaster) phoned        On Sept. 8, the Xinjiang Infor-
NowTV with news that the three         mation Office held a press confer-
journalists were in police custody.    ence in Urumqi. News outlets with
NowTV tried to contact Lam, and        an employee(s) assaulted or de-
when they could not get a hold of      tained did not receive an invitation
him, they contacted the Chinese Li-    although they appeared anyway.
aison Office in Hong Kong and the         The director of Xinjiang’s Infor-
Hong Kong Macau office in Beijing.     mation Office, Hou Hanmin, said
   TVB received similar notification   she regretted the beating incident,
from RTHK, says Chan Tit Piu, TVB      but any wrongdoing occurred on
Planning Editor. He says the two       the part of improperly accred-
cameramen were tied-up, but the        ited journalists “instigating distur-
TVB reporter had one hand free to      bances.” The South China Morning
phone the station.                     Post reported that Hou accused
   Wong called the RTHK corre-         the journalists of “giving orders”
spondent, Chan Miu-ling, for a live    to protesters and not cooperating
interview. NowTV could not con-        with police.
tact Lam until his release after two      “The government is shameless,”
to three hours.                        shouted angry reporters, according

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60   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

to Hong Kong’s Chinese-language        Daily News, joined the protest as
Apple Daily.                           a HKJA volunteer. He says the ral-
   “The Xinjiang officials had this    ly was important because it was a
nice little fire going, so they de-    rare occasion that local journalists
cided to pour some oil on it in the    protest in the streets—the first time
form of the statement (blaming         since 2003, when the Hong Kong
the journalists),” says Tom Mitch-     government proposed an anti-sub-
ell, President of the Foreign Corre-   version law that would have poten-
spondents’ Club of Hong Kong           tially stifled speech critical of the
   On Sunday, Sept. 13, approxi-       government.
mately 700 journalists and citi-           A board member for the HKJA
zens gathered in black to protest      put the recent protest into perspec-
outside the Western District Police    tive:
Station on Hong Kong Island. The           “The way they treated Hong
Hong Kong Journalists Association      Kong journalists in Urumqi (and
(HKJA) and the FCC organized the       Sichuan), it was very serious,” said
rally.                                 Joseph Tse Chi-fung, an executive
   Wong Ka Yu and NowTV cam-           producer at RTHK. “But if you put
eraman Lam Chun-wai were pres-         it into the whole picture of China,
ent. Lam spoke to the crowd.           it’s no big deal, because they do
   The orderly mob surged down         this to other journalists in China.” n
the concrete corridor of Western
District. People chanted, “Respect     * Note: Alice Hui assisted the Can-
Truth, Respect Reporters.” The         tonese translation for this article.
black parade soon encircled the
block home to the Liaison Office                       Doug Meigs is a freelance
of the Central People’s Govern-                        writer in Hong Kong and a
ment. The office is an extension of                    teaching assistant at the
                                                       University of Hong Kong
the Central People’s Government in
                                                       Journalism and Media
Hong Kong.                                             Studies Center. He gradu-
   Twenty-eight-year-old Ronson                        ated from the University
Chan, who writes for Sing Pao          of Missouri School of Journalism in 2007.

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61    GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




                                                                                           AP PHOTO: GREGORIO BORGIA
     Berlusconi jokes around on the set of Porta a Porta, a late night talk show on RAI.




            The Bully Pulpit
     Silvio	Berlusconi	rules	both	Italy	and	the	airwaves	
                                    by Eric J. Lyman



K
      nown  for  Its  storied his-              time on all the major Italian televi-
      tory and knack for attracting             sion networks.
      boatloads of big-name Holly-                 The film, called Videocracy,
wood stars, the Venice Film Festi-              provocatively argued that Italy
val this year garnered some of its              had ceased being a traditional de-
headlines for the unlikely screen-              mocracy and was instead a coun-
ing of a modest budget Swedish                  try run by those who control the
documentary that was denied ad                  airwaves. Its unwilling protago-

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62   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

nist—and the man reportedly re- And the Italian treasury is a lead-
sponsible for blocking the film’s ing shareholder in former state
producers from buying airtime— telephone monopoly Telecom Ita-
was billionaire Silvio Berlusconi, lia, which owns the one remaining
Italy’s controversial media tycoon national broadcaster, giving Berlus-
turned prime minister.                      coni and his allies a say in that net-
    The self-made Berlusconi, a for- work’s strategies as well. He even
mer cruise ship singer, made his first has a distant hand in the operations
millions in prop-                                             of News Corp sub-
erty development,                                             sidiary Sky-Italia,
but he remains “It would be difficult to                      Mediaset’s emerg-
best known for imagine a modern and                           ing satellite rival,
his media empire.                                             through his large
A major newspa- industrialized country,                       stake in Medio-
per, the country’s member of the G8 and a                     banca,       which
s e c o n d - l e a d i n g founding member of the            holds a seat on
news magazine, a European Union, where a Sky’s board.
publishing house                                                 “It would be
and an advertis-
                            single figure had so much difficult to imag-
ing company all control over the media,”                      ine a modern
play a supporting                —	Domenico	Affinito,	vice- and industrialized
role for Mediaset, president	of	the	Italian	chapter	 country, member
the Milan-based               of	Reporters	Without	Borders of the G8 and a
media giant that                                              founding member
operates Italy’s largest private film of the European Union, where a
production company and three of single figure had so much control
seven national networks.                    over the media,” Domenico Af-
    But Berlusconi’s influence goes finito, vice-president of the Ital-
beyond that: as prime minister he ian chapter of Reporters Without
has indirect control over Italian Borders (RSF), says. “You might
state broadcaster RAI, which con- expect this kind of concentration
trols three more national networks. of Turkmenistan or Iran, but it

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63   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




                                                                                        AP PHOTO: GREGORIO BORGIA
Demonstrators hold a banner that hints at the scandals surrounding Berlusconi. The
banner reads, “Gianpy, the brunette you sent me was a real dog wasn’t she?” Gianpy is
businessman Gianpolo Tarantini, who has provided escorts in the past.

shouldn’t take place in a country            point to Michael Bloomberg, but
like Italy.”                                 he is a mayor, not a prime min-
   Renzo Santelli, external rela-            ister, and besides, he put his per-
tions director for the National Fed-         sonal holdings into a blind trust,
eration of Italian Media, agreed.            something Berlusconi has always
“There is nobody like Berlusconi             resisted very aggressively.”
anywhere in the world,” Santelli                Berlusconi is a controversial fig-
says. “Some Berlusconi allies try            ure beyond Italy’s borders, where
to draw a parallel with Ted Turner           he often finds himself named
or Rupert Murdoch, but they never            in critical editorials in Europe-
had his political ambitions. Some            an newspapers. The iconic U.K.

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64   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

based news magazine The Econ-          the system, and they hope he’ll
omist ran a close-up photo of a        help them do the same thing.”
pensive Berlusconi with the head-         In its latest report, released in
line “Why Silvio Berlusconi is unfit   October, Reporters Without Bor-
to lead Italy” after he returned to    ders ranked Italy 49th in the world
power following a seven-year hia-      in terms of press freedom, behind
tus in 2001 (Subsequent re-elec-       Surinam, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
tions earned additional covers, one    and Mali, among others. It slipped
with the headline “Not Again” and      from 44th in 2008 and 35th in 2007,
another that read “Mamma Mia!”).       which was its best ranking ever
Le Monde in Paris, Der Spiegel in      (and when Berlusconi was out of
Hamburg, and El País in Madrid         power). On the current list Italy
have all run multiple editorials       ranks behind every other member
criticizing Berlusconi’s flirtations   of the European Union 15—the 15
with law suits, conflict of interest   western member states that made
problems, sex scandals and other       up the EU before its 2004 expansion
alleged abuses of power.               that added ten new members, most-
   But at home, pollsters say, his     ly from the former Warsaw Pact.
approval levels remain remarkably         But how much of that can be
stable. “The Italian political spec-   tied to Berlusconi’s control over
trum is polarized, and so you rare-    the media?
ly see Italian politicians with sky-      “A lot of it is due to Berlusco-
high approval numbers except for       ni,” Affinito says. “But the prob-
brief periods because a large part     lem isn’t Berlusconi, but rather
of the electorate is predisposed       the changes in the culture that he
to oppose them,” says Maria Ros-       fostered. Eventually, he’ll die or
si, co-director of the polling firm    he’ll retire. But he has changed
Opinioni. “But in the case of Ber-     the whole system. That is the real
lusconi, his support among those       problem we are facing.”
he can realistically expect support       In Italy, there are several ways
from is almost unwavering. They        to assert power over the media:
like the fact that he seems to beat    interest groups such as political

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65   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009




                                                                                    AP PHOTO
On Oct. 3, thousands of protestors gathered in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo (People’s
Square) to defend press freedom.

parties, labor unions or industrial          criticisms of government become
lobbies own almost all the major             less frequent. Censis also noted a
media outlets in the country. Ex-            similar trend with La Stampa, the
erting pressure or influence on              Turin daily owned by the same
that group can have an impact on             group that controls carmaker Fiat
the media outlet’s coverage.                 while the government was negoti-
   For example, the country’s lead-          ating an aid package for the auto
ing business daily, Il Sole 24 Ore,          industry earlier this decade.
is controlled by the industrial as-             It is very easy to make libel
sociation Confindustria. The media           charges against Italian media. Ac-
monitoring company and research              cording to Argia Bignami, a Rome
group Censis has noted that as               attorney who specializes in intel-
government talks on regulating in-           lectual property issues, an arti-
dustry approach, the newspaper’s             cle or television news piece can

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66   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

be considered libelous unless it        most media outlets would buckle
meets three criteria: it must be        under such pressure.
true, it must be newsworthy and            It is also relatively easy for pow-
must meet standards for public de-      erful figures with a range of fi-
cency. The first condition is easy      nancial interests like Berlusconi to
to prove, but the second is more        have problematic journalists fired
subjective, and the third is open to    or transferred. One of the best ex-
wide interpretation.                    amples of this involves author and
    “The court will throw out weak      journalist Marco Travaglio, who
or flawed cases, but the process is     in September, discovered that his
still very slow and very expensive,”    rollover contract as a commentator
Bignami says. “A public figure can      with the RAI current affairs pro-
bleed a media outlet dry, even if the   gram AnnoZero was not renewed.
judge rules in favor of the media          There is no love lost between
outlet. And it’s easy to imagine that   Berlusconi and Travaglio, who in
when that happens, the next time        2001 co-authored a book called
the same outlet sends a journalist to   L’Odore dei Soldi (The Smell of
go toe-to-toe against a powerful fig-   Money), which alleged a strong
ure they think twice about being as     connection between Berlusconi’s
aggressive as they could be.”           rapid rise and his reported ties to
    The Economist is a good ex-         organized crime families. The book
ample of this strategy. Berlusconi’s    has sold 18 million copies so far—
libel charges against the magazine      an astonishing figure in a country
were dismissed by a Milan judge         where only around 100 million
but not until September of 2008,        new books are sold each year—
more than seven years after the suit    and helped set Travaglio up as one
was filed. Berlusconi was ordered       of the most visible critics of the
to replay $1.2 million in court costs   prime minister. RAI officials contin-
(which he did 11 months later),         ue to deny it, but when Travaglio
and The Economist has not backed        lost his soapbox on AnnoZero, few
away from its criticisms of Berlus-     doubted the direct or indirect influ-
coni. But it is easy to imagine that    ence of Berlusconi played a role.

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67   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009

   “I think Berlusconi gave a pre-         “There are very worrying signs
cise order because he wanted to         about the issue of press freedom
silence one of his most vocal crit-     in Italy, but there are positive signs
ics and to send a message to other      as well,” he says. “Maybe the cur-
critics out there,” Travaglio says.     rent Berlusconi era will be seen as
   Michele Santoro, the program’s       a war that the Italian media goes
host (and himself a victim of Ber-      through in order to emerge health-
lusconi’s wrath from 2002 when          ier on the other side.”
the prime minister had him tem-            Others are less sure. “Each law-
porarily moved to an off-screen         suit, each time someone in the
job at RAI), insisted Travaglio be      media loses their job for the news
reinstated. At first RAI offered to     they state, that lowers the quality
do so under specific conditions:        of programming and it acts as a
that the government be given a          disincentive for the best people
voice to rebuke statements during       to go into media,” says Affinito.
the program, for example, or that       “Eventually, that has a big effect
equal time be given to an oppos-        on the public discourse, when
ing voice to counter-balance Trava-     there’s no doubt that a healthy
glio’s views. Santoro refused, and      public discourse is at the heart of
after public outcry over the events     a healthy democracy.”
grew, Travaglio was reinstated.            Berlusconi’s spokesman did not
   Emboldened, Travaglio has            reply to requests to be interviewed
since started Il Fatto (The Fact),      for this article. n
a daily newspaper that he says is
Italy’s first completely free of spe-                   Eric J. Lyman, formerly
cial interest influence. Economi-                       with United Press Interna-
cally supported by ad sales and                         tional and the Wall Street
subscriptions alone, it was profit-                     Journal, has worked as a
                                                        freelancer based in Rome
able out of the gate. It has already
                                                        for the last decade. His
earned a few scoops, and its com-                       articles have appeared
mentaries are raising eyebrows          in more than 200 publications. His web
across Italy and beyond.                personal web site is: www.ericjlyman.com.

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68   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009               BOOk REVIEW

Journalists Will Benefit from
Learning About Lying and Liars
by Steve Weinberg



r
      oBErt  fELDman has been researching de-
      ception for more than 25 years. A University
      of Massachusetts psychology professor, Feld-
man did not write a book about lying primarily as
a primer for journalists. The journalists who read
The Liar in Your Life, however, will benefit profes-
sionally (and personally) from almost every page.
It turns out that a lot of what journalists think they
know about lying sources is misguided.                    Steve Weinberg
   Many journalists I know (okay, myself included)        reviews books
                                                          regularly for
think they have become especially accomplished
                                                          this magazine,
at detecting liars: They refuse to look journalists in    concentrating
the eye. They sweat. They stutter under pressure.         on journalistic
Their voice shatters, their tonality alters. Their body   technique rather
language changes.                                         than summaries
   Sometimes, sure. But as Feldman demonstrates           of content.
from information based on hundreds (maybe thou-
sands) of research studies (some by him, some by
others), accomplished liars often exhibit none of
the so-called tell-tale characteristics.
   The overarching theme of Feldman’s book—the
global message—is that everybody lies to almost
everybody else on a consistent basis. Many of the
lies are interpersonal in nature and not meant to
harm: “Your new haircut looks fine”; “You are a

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69   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                BOOk REVIEW
strong candidate for the job of the high-powered résumés
opening.” Those lies, in the pri- his firm receives. He checks
vacy of a home or a workplace, the educational backgrounds of
probably carry little interest for chief executive officers and vice
journalists.                             presidents, then compiles what
   Other lies, needless to say, he calls the Liars Index—a sta-
carry    great     interest                      tistic that represents the
for journalists and the                          number of résumés with
members of the journal-                          inaccuracies divided by
ists’ audience. Lies by                          the total number of ré-
a commander-in-chief                             sumés he has checked.
about the basis for de-                          In 2008, the Liars Index
claring war, lies by a                           was nearly 16 percent.
chief executive officer                          That’s down from the
about why the corpora-                           high of 23.3 percent
tion marketed a deadly                           reached in 2000.”
product, and lies by a                              Journalists who fail
candidate for a job af- THE LIAR IN YOUR LIFE: to check the résumés of
                            The Way to Truthful
fecting society about                            legislators, judges, ex-
                               Relationships
professional      training By Robert Feldman ecutive branch officials,
are by definition “news” Published by Twelve, first-time candidates for
if exposed.                 part of the Hachette government positions,
   My experience in 40          Book Group       corporate bosses and
years as an investigative                        others with outsized
journalist is that perhaps 25 per- influence (including, locally,
cent of individuals with impor- school principals and classroom
tant jobs lie on their résumé. My teachers) are at best negligent.
selective sample is validated by           Feldman devotes a chapter
a passage in Feldman’s book:             to journalists who lie not only
   “Jude M. Werra, the head of to obtain jobs, but also to their
a headhunting firm in Wiscon- readers, viewers and listeners.
sin, conducts a biannual review Jayson Blair of The New York

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70   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009               BOOk REVIEW
Times and Stephen Glass of the        Lie to Me, a weekly fictional pro-
New Republic are recent, well-        gram on the Fox network. The
known examples. It is impos-          protagonist on the drama can
sible to know how many other          look at facial expressions, body
liars work for journalism orga-       language and other nonverbal
nizations. As for bloggers and        indicators to determine if some-
other communicators who have          body is lying. For the sake of
never been taught the overarch-       the mass audience seeking en-
ing journalistic ethic of factual/    tertainment, the protagonist is
contextual accuracy, lies spew        almost always correct.
forth from some of their post-           In the real world, one of Ek-
ings. If “lies” sounds overly         man’s most important findings
harsh, then “inaccuracies” can        for journalists is the phenom-
serve as a substitute. Whatever       enon of “duping delight.” It de-
the terminology, Feldman urges        scribes liars who find pleasure
consumers of news to check ev-        in deceiving others. Cracking
erything independently when-          the code of duping delight is not
ever practical.                       an easy task for journalists, who
   In his book, Feldman discuss-      are usually generalists rather
es the research of Paul Ekman,        than highly trained laboratory
a University of California-San        researchers. That said, detecting
Francisco professor interested in     lies and publicly exposing liars
detecting deception from non-         is an important mission for all
verbal behavior. Ekman is author      journalists. Learning from Feld-
of the book Telling Lies: Clues to    man’s book is a step in the ap-
Deceit in the Marketplace, Poli-      propriate direction. n
tics and Marriage, first published
in 1985 and recently available in
an updated edition. Ekman’s re-
search has reached an especially
large audience in the past year
because of the television drama

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71   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009               fINAL WORD

When a Sacred Trust Is Distorted
by Stuart Loory



o
       n  sEpt.  25,  mELIssa  HILL of Minneapolis,
       Minn., was arrested in Pittsburgh, Pa., while
       she was “covering” protest demonstrations
at the G-20 summit meeting. She was there as a
journalist representing Minneapolis Independent
Media, an anti-establishment online publication.
   She said her camera was broken and her record-
ed material taken when she was arrested. She was
charged with disorderly conduct and a month later      Stuart Loory, an
she was convicted and fined $300. She is appealing     international
the fine.                                              journalist, is Lee
                                                       Hills Chair in Free-
   I became interested in Hill’s situation because     Press Studies at the
more than 40 years ago, I was arrested in Chicago      Missouri School
while covering a demonstration at the raucous Dem-     of Journalism and
ocratic National Convention that nominated Vice        editor of Global
President Hubert H. Humphrey to oppose Richard         Journalist.
M. Nixon in the presidential election that year.
   On my way to the Convention Hall to cover
Humphrey’s acceptance speech for the Los Angeles
Times, I stopped to listen to the famous comedian
Dick Gregory address thousands of anti-Vietnam
War demonstrators in Grant Park.
   He announced that Chicago authorities had re-
fused demonstrators’ permission to parade to Con-
vention Hall for a demonstration there. But, he
said, he was staying in an apartment near the hall
and invited all of the demonstrators to walk to the
apartment for a party.

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72   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009             fINAL WORD
   The good-humored dem- told that if we crossed we would
onstrators started off on their be arrested. “We are covering
“walk,” and my friend Erwin the story,” one of us said as we
Knoll, editor of The Progressive stepped off the curb.
magazine, and I walked with         “Be very careful with these
them, thinking there might be a men, they are gentlemen of the
good story in the making. There press,” the officer-in-charge said
was.                              as we were delicately lifted into
   In a darkened part of the a paddy wagon.
city at the corner of 8th Street    We were driven to the lo-
and South Michigan Ave., there cal jail, fingerprinted, mugged,
was a barricade                                  charged       and
of trucks with                                   taken to night
mounted snow- At first, I had great              court where we
plows blocking sympathy for Melissa Hill         were all released
the street and
a police line at
                   but the more I read about on our own We
                                                 cognizance.
                                                                re-

the sidewalk. As her and her organization, arrived back at
the lead walkers the feeling evaporated.         the Conrad Hil-
approached the                                   ton Hotel before
corner, a policeman announced dawn and were asked to show
through a bullhorn that anyone room keys. At first I refused and
going through the police line got into an argument with the
would be arrested for disorder- security people. Knoll, known
ly conduct. A priest, a rabbi, for a droll sense of humor, said,
a paraplegic Vietnam veteran, “Stuart, you know what I think
a college president and a half- about you?”
dozen others stepped off the        “What?” I barked.
sidewalk and were hustled into      “I think you are becoming a
a waiting police van. Knoll and hardened criminal, that’s what,”
I, showing our press credentials, he said. Hardened criminals or
approached the line and were not, we walked into yet another

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73   GLOBAL JOURNALIST Winter 2009                  fINAL WORD
story. Followers of Sen. Eugene            And Hill herself was a can-
R. McCarthy, the defeated anti-         didate for the Minnesota City
war candidate for the Democrat-         Council at the same time that
ic nomination, staged a sit-in in       she was in Pittsburgh. She was
front of the elevator bank, and         running on a Civil Disobedience
the police were breaking it up          ticket.
by whacking those who refused              The difference between my
to move with billy clubs.               status in 1968 Chicago and Hill’s
   The Progressive and the Los          in 2009 Pittsburgh was insig-
Angeles Times together hired            nificant. As journalists we were
the Times’s anti-trust law firm,        both entitled to the same right
Chadwell, Keck, Kayser, Ruggles         to cover a story, and authorities
& McLaren to defend us as we            had no right to prevent us. But
pleaded not guilty to the disor-        obviously there is a vast differ-
derly conduct charge, which car-        ence between those who rep-
ried a $25 fine. The organiza-          resent organizations seriously
tions spent thousands of dollars        interested in covering news and
to protect the rights of journalists.   those who have a bias.
     Knoll returned to Chicago             That is one of the problems
to testify for us, and the court        created by the unlimited Internet
dropped the charges.                    access those representing them-
   At first, I had great sympathy       selves as journalists have. At
for Melissa Hill, but the more I        the very least they should make
read about her and her organi-          their prejudices known. Unless
zation, the feeling evaporated.         they do, they can be taken seri-
Minnesota Independent Media             ously as reporters in whom the
has a bias mentioned in its mis-        public places a sacred trust. n
sion statement: “We do not claim
neutrality; rather, we report from
inside social movements against
capitalism, imperialism, and in-
justice.”

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