Their News [Archives:2008/1217/Local News]

December 18 2008

World's Press Calls for Press Freedom in Arab World

The World Association of Newspapers has condemned the absence of press freedom in much of the Arab world and has called on governments in North Africa, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf to end their repressive policies and release all imprisoned journalists, bloggers and freedom of expression advocates.

The hostility toward independent and opposition media and critical voices at large has become alarming and the mechanisms of repression of free expression, either subtle or blatant, are being used by political and religious leaders, law enforcement and the judiciary, the WAN Board said in a resolution, issued during its meeting in Beirut, Lebanon, on Monday (15 December).

In most of the region, those who dare to express a dissenting opinion, investigate government failures or wrongdoings, challenge untenable policies and call for reforms, face charges of criminal defamation, blasphemy or endangering national security and are regularly sentenced to hefty fines and imprisonment,” said the resolution, which can be read at

WAN issued five other resolutions to:

– Condemn the apparent impunity granted by the government of Burkino Faso to the alleged murderer of journalist Norbert Zongo, who was killed ten years ago, and to call on President Blaise Compaore to ensure that political protection is removed and the killers are brought to justice (read the full resolution at 17949.html );

– Condemn the increasing violence facing journalists in Pakistan, and to call on the government to do its utmost to create a safe environment ( );

– Call on the Philippine authorities to take measures to end the violence against journalists who report on issues such as crime, corruption, misappropriation of public funds and land disputes ( );

– Call on the ruling junta in Burma to end its crackdown on freedom of expression, and to appeal to members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to abandon its discredited policy of non-interference and bring pressure on Burma's rulers ( );

– Call on the Cuban leadership to release 26 journalists who were sentenced to lengthy prison sentences and to create an environment where the independent press can develop ( )

Columbia Journalism School: now offering generous tuition scholarships

Our 10-month Master of Science program offers aspiring and experienced journalists the opportunity to study the skills, the art, and the ethics of journalism by reporting and writing stories that range from short news pieces to complex narrative features. Application Deadline: December 15, 2008

Our 9-month Master of Arts program is designed for experienced journalists and professionals with proven skills who would like to deepen their knowledge of journalism. Each student selects a major in one of four areas: arts & culture, business & economics, politics, or science and health. Application deadline: January 12, 2009

New Media components

All students receive new media training in the fall and spring semesters, including photo production, Web production, Audio, Video, and Flash.

Our students

We seek students who are skilled writers; curious about the world; interested in searching for the truth and writing about it; determined and resourceful; motivated to dedicate their careers to journalism, and who exhibit leadership potential.

Generous scholarships available: each year we offer approximately $4.4 million in fellowships and scholarships

Any questions, please contact:

Monica Burnette, Assistant Director, Admissions & Financial Aid

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +1 212-854-6344

Apply now:

International Women's Media Foundation seeking regional coordinators

The International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) is soliciting proposals for regional coordinators to oversee research on the status of women's employment in news organizations in 15 geographic areas of the world. We are particularly interested in securing coordinators from West Africa, Northern Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Eastern Europe and Western Europe.

The regional coordinators' work is central to the IWMF's study titled “Global Report on the Status of Women in News Media.” The study is being conducted in 66 nations in order to obtain a current, accurate assessment of how and whether women are advancing within news organizations from nation to nation. The data we obtain will provide a useful baseline of research for journalists and professional organizations to use, as well as suggest recommendations for best practices with regard to gender equality within news organizations.

This will be the first comprehensive baseline study of its kind, and IWMF intends to replicate it every 3-5 years. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the RFP with instructions on how to apply to be a regional coordinator, please email Jagruti Bhakta, project assistant, at [email protected].

To learn more about the IWMF, go to

Hillman awards to honor journalism on social, economic justice

The U.S.-based Sidney Hillman Foundation is now accepting nominations for the 2009 Hillman Awards, honoring journalism that explores issues related to social and economic justice.

Categories for 2009 include Books (non-fiction), Newspaper Reporting, Magazine Reporting, Film and Broadcast Journalism (includes television and radio), Photojournalism, and Blogs.

The 2009 prizes are given for work produced, published or exhibited in 2008. Awards are open to journalists (and subjects) globally, but work must be published or exhibited in the US. Winners will be announced in May 2009 and will be published in the New York Times. Winners are awarded a US$5,000 prize and statuette.

For more information and past winners, visit

Registration open for video journalism award

Journalists and filmmakers around the world have until January 16 to submit their best works to the Concentra Award for Outstanding Video Journalism, based in Belgium.

The Contest Award will recognize videos from broadcast TV, news Web sites, newspaper sites, and digital TV stations. Stories that are produced in one day and last up to five minutes will also be considered for the Breaking News Award.

Entries must last between one and 10 minutes. All submissions, including entries in English, must include English subtitles.

The award ceremony will be held on March 4, 2009 in Brussels. The winning journalist will receive EU$10,000 (about US$13,000) in prize money.

For more information or to download the entry form, visit