MediaWireWorld: Detained Vice journalist working on ‘an exclusive story’ according to captors

Ukraine

On Wednesday, Committee To Protect Journalists reported that journalists are missing or being held as hostages in eastern Ukraine and a newsroom was destroyed.

CPJ reports that Ukrainian photojournalist Yevgeny Gapich hasn’t been heard from since Tuesday. American journalist Simon Ostrovsky with Vice News is also still being held.

Today, CPJ spoke to Stella Khorosheva, spokeswoman for the self-declared mayor of Sloviansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, who had earlier confirmed holding Ostrovsky in a pre-trial facility. Khorosheva told CPJ that Ostrovsky was detained by military units on suspicion of carrying out subversive activities and of covering the situation in Sloviansk from only one side.

Khorosheva told CPJ that Ostrovsky “is safe, alive, well fed, and working on an exclusive story” in detention. Khorosheva said Ponomaryov had vowed to release Ostrovsky “when the time comes.” She said the journalist has not been charged with a crime.

On Tuesday, according to CPJ, “unknown assailants threw Molotov cocktails at the newsroom of the local newspaper Provintsiya (Province) in the eastern city of Konstantinovka, in Donetsk region, Telekritika reported. The newsroom burned down.”

On Wednesday, Kyiv Post ran a tally of people kidnapped by Russian-backed insurgents. So far — 16. Eight of them are journalists.

Syria

On Thursday, Jose Gonzalez reported on “The Dangers of Freelance Journalism in Syria” for PBS MediaShift.

This climate is making many journalists think twice about reporting from the conflict. With most major news agencies pulling their staff journalists out of Syria, the burden is increasingly falling on freelance and citizen journalists, though it may now be too dangerous for freelancers to work in the country. Freelancers are often more vulnerable to the surrounding violence in conflict-stricken areas, and have limited access to resources such as protective clothing or training on how to report safely within a war zone.

United Kingdom

Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, has joined the board of directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ reported on Thursday. That board includes Christiane Amanpour, Norman Pearlstine and Paul C. Tash, chairman and CEO of Times Publishing Company and chairman of Poynter’s Board of Trustees.

Hong Kong

On Thursday, Jeffie Lam wrote in the South China Morning Post that journalists in Hong Kong are self-censoring.

Those are the findings of a new press freedom index which was carried out before two events that rocked the city’s faith in journalistic liberty.

On a scale of zero to 10, where 10 indicates “very common”, journalists rated media self-censorship at 6.9, while the public gave 5.4, as part of the first Hong Kong Press Freedom Index.

Chile

Finally from Newseum today, there’s this front page from Las Ultimas Noticias, in Santiago, Chile, in which it appears that Sergio Mendoza is demonstrating how to sign a Ricky Martin hit.

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