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Six Of The Most Outrageous Articles On World Press Freedom Day

Lauren Madow |
May 3, 2013 | 10:25 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Egyptian journalists protest a colleague's arrest (Evan Hill, Al Jazeera English)
Egyptian journalists protest a colleague's arrest (Evan Hill, Al Jazeera English)
World Press Freedom Day is intended to be a day for celebrating freedom of the press where it exists, and for shining a light on censorship, repression, and persecution where it doesn't.

The UN General Assembly declared May 3 World Press Freedom Day in 1993. 20 years later, journalists, activists and other observers use the occasion to highlight some of the most outrageous and remarkable situations across the globe. 

Here are ten of the best recent articles on the subject:

1) Getting Away With Murder by the Committee to Protect Journalists

CPJ's 2013 Impunity Index ranks countries where journalists killed because of their work is most likely to go unpunished. At the top of CPJ's list is Iraq, with 93 unsolved cases. Somalia is a distant second, with 23.

The most dangerous subjects to cover anywhere in the world: politics, unsurprisingly, followed by corruption.

2) Obama's War On Whistleblowers by Dana LiebelsonMother Jones

When will heads of state learn that jailing whistleblowers and journalists puts them on the wrong side of history? Not yet. US Secretary of State John Kerry gives a statement for Press Freedom Day that hits the right notes, while Obama cracks down on whistleblowers who work in national security. Tom Devine of the Government Accountability Project told Liebelson, "We've warned the White House many times, if you put whistleblowers in jail your legacy will be defined for prosecuting them for exercising free speech rights."

3) Russian Journalist Forced Into Mental Institution After Criticizing Government by Christopher Plummer, Human Rights First

Ruslan Makarov of Siberian newspaper LIStok was forcibly committed after publishing a satirical fake lawsuit critical of Altai Republic Governor Alexander Berdnikov. He is awaiting trial and faces a possible sentence of up to five years. Russia has seen a recent increase in charges based on the tsarist-era hooliganism law against journalists and artists.

4) In Turkey, the Right to Free Speech is Being Lost by Mehdi Hasan, the Guardian

Which country has the highest number of imprisoned journalists in the world? Iran? China? No, it's "model democracy" Turkey. As of December 1, 2012 CPJ puts the number at 49. Of these, 37 are affiliated with pro-Kurdish media outlets.

5) The 2013 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders

RSF's Annual Report is subtitled "Dashed Hopes Follow Arab Spring," in reference to the return to pre-"Spring" levels of press freedom in affected countries. The top three countries with freest press, according RSF's index, are Finland, the Netherlands, and Norway. The three most restrictive, for the second year in a row: Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Eritrea.

6) Biden Press Office Apologizes For Demanding Student Journalist Delete Photographs, CBS DC 

University of Maryland journalism student Jeremy Barr was approached by Biden staffer Dana Rosenzweig after photographing the Vice President at an event in Rockville, Maryland. After she insisted he delete the photos and allow her to check his iPhone to make sure he had done so, College of Journalism Dean Lucy A. Dalglish demanded, and got, a public apology from Biden's office.

Reach Executive Producer Lauren Madow here. Follow her here.



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