Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ): More online journalists are jailed

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that 45% off all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors. This is the first time that online journalists represent the largest professional category in CPJ’s prison census.

According to CPJ’s data, at least 56 online journalists are jailed worldwide. For the first time this surpasses the number of print journalists imprisonment tally. In it’s report, CPJ noted: The number of imprisoned online journalists has steadily increased since CPJ recorded the first jailed Internet writer in its 1997 census.

CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon was quoted saying:

Online journalism has changed the media landscape and the way we communicate with each other,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.

There is more interesting points in CPJ report. According to CPJ’s data, 45 of 56 journalists on CPJ’s census are freelancers; most of them work online. These freelancers are not employees of media companies and often do not have the legal resources or political connections that might help them gain their freedom. The number of imprisoned freelancers has risen more than 40% in the last two years.

The future of journalism is online. Blogging including online social networks have become influencial as illustrated in the recent US presidential campaigns and elections.

In the Philippines, new media (online journalism) has also emerged to become a forceful influence in forming public opinions.

As the 2010 presidential elections come closer, it is expected that political blogging become more and more aggressive.

One political blog that catch the attention of many online readers is the Mar Roxas for President in 2010 blog by a college sophomore, Kevin Ray Chua. His blog was the first blog about 2010 polls.

In Cebu, bloggers formed the Cebu Blogger’s Society which partly aimed to help each blogger-member. But the group has still much to work on to ready itself on the scenario when freedom of free flow of information is curtailed – and on worst scenario when a blogger is sent to jail.

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