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December 5, 2008
Online journalists targeted
The headline at Editor and Publisher grabbed my attention:.
Online Journalists Jailed More than Any Other Medium
What? My peace loving, law abiding colleagues at AT and other sites, even those with opposing views, jailed and then jailed again? But reading further my initial shock gave way to understanding the revolution of the internet and gratitude once again for the freedoms of this country
Unless we commit actual crimes, let's say robbing a bank, online journalists are safe. You see, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
“Online journalism has changed the media landscape and the way we communicate with each other,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said in a statement. “But the power and influence of this new generation of online journalists has captured the attention of repressive governments around the world, and they have accelerated their counterattack.”
The increase in online journalists in jail correlates with a rise in the imprisonment of freelance journalists, according to CPJ. Its annual survey found 45 of the journalists counted to be freelancers, and most of them work online. This number has increased more than 40% in the last two years.
So no, these online journalists living in countries with "repressive governments" granting minimal civil rights are not being jailed for what we would consider criminal activity, they're being jailed for the crime of expressing themselves.
Which countries are the dishonorable leaders of jailing online journalists who dare question their governments? Despite the howls from liberals around the planet the past eight years that President Bush destroyed our basic civil rights, turning this country into the most repressive in the world, the US isn't on the list. Surprised?
But two countries liberals love were in the top five. Surprised?
China, where 24 of 28 journalists in prison worked online, continued to jail the most journalists and has held the “worst” ranking for 10 consecutive years. Other countries in the top five are Cuba, Burma, Eritrea, and Uzbekistan. Twenty-nine nations made the list.
The US was not on the list. Whew! I am like so relieved to learn this because I was like so worried that my fellow AT writers would be imprisoned because they questioned some Bush decisions and opposed Obama for president and now that he is president he would send his thugs out to arrest them.
I guess he won't.