posts about or somewhat related to ‘foreign affairs’

Considering Journalist Safety, Worldwide

Visiting the campaign site for the Committee to Protect Journalists is quite startling. There are maps, statistics, and there are the numbers of journalists killed recently, and as far back as 1992

We spoke with them recently the state of journalist safety worldwide, and their new digital campaign: Speak Justice

Here’s what Maria Salazar-Ferro, the Coordinator of CPJ’s Impunity Campaign, told us about violence and threats against journalists:

CPJ tracks a wide array of attacks on the press worldwide. Here are some numbers from several of our indicators.

* In 2012, 57 journalists have been killed in direct retaliation for their work worldwide. With this background in mind, the countries with the worse records in targeted murders of journalists this year are Somalia with 12 journalists murdered in retaliation for their work; Pakistan with five, and Syria with three.

* As of December 1, 2011, the countries with the highest number of jailed journalists were Iran, China, Eritrea, Burma, and Vietnam. We will be putting out new stats for 2012 next week.

* The top countries for impunity in murders of journalists—that is where journalists are routinely killed for their work and their killers go free are: Iraq, Somalia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Colombia.

And here’s Maria on what many killed journalists were covering, and who they were:

Of course each case is different, and trends vary between countries and regions. Most journalists who have been murdered covered one of five beats: corruption, politics, crime, armed conflict or human rights—all issues of vital importance to everyday life, and to democracy. They covered these stories at a very local level, which made them more vulnerable. More than 10% were freelancers, which meant they had little institutional support. But most importantly, they received very little protection from authorities—this is evident in the fact that in about 4/10 cases of murdered journalists there had been threats prior to the murder, which meant that the killing could have probably been prevented.

And on their main concern — impunity:

CPJ has found that impunity is a cycle in which journalists are killed, authorities are ineffectual, and for fear, the rest of the press corps self-censors. Speak Justice is looking to demand justice for murdered journalists from the grassroots up, and gain convictions in countries with high rates of impunity. In 2013, our advocacy will focus on the Philippines, Mexico, Russia and Pakistan.

The Speak Justice site will go live next week.

FJP: We’ve covered the violence against Mexican journalists a great deal, and those interested may want to look under our Mexico tag, and see this piece, as well as our interview with documentary filmmaker Bernard Ruiz.

Some Notes On Twitter Diplomacy →

International imponderables via Brian Solis:

Twitter is redefining the way we communicate – and that includes our world leaders: 15 of the G20 governments use it. But the question is who follows who, who doesn’t follow who, and do world leaders even realize the diplomatic significance of their tweets and Twitter friendships?

Barack Obama was the first to use the micro-blogging service to communicate with his electorate in 2008. His Twitter account @BarackObama, is now the most followed of all world-leader accounts, with 7.4 million followers (only @LadyGaga, @JustinBieber and @BritneySpears have more!) Twenty-eight different world leaders follow @BarackObama, yet notably the @WhiteHouse – the US government’s official Twitter account – doesn’t. Is this because the White House appreciates that the @BarackObama account was set up by Obama for America committee with one sole purpose in mind – to win him the US presidency?

Or is it simply a classic case – not atypical – of a world leader not quite appreciating the art of Twitter diplomacy? Twitter connections between world leaders say so much about current diplomatic relations, and while world leaders are starting to ‘make friends’ on social networks, they are not all mutually following each other. The Australian prime minister (@JuliaGillard) doesn’t return the follow of her counterpart in New Zealand (@JohnKeyPM), Israel’s prime minister Benjamin @Netanyahu doesn’t return Palestine’s friendship (@PMFayyad): look closely and these are but two of dozens of diplomatic faux pas on the Twitter social network.

I remember not understanding how big a deal it was that Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shook hands. I can only imagine the future: BREAKING - Pakistan unfollows India! — Michael