Reporter World provides a variety of safety equipment, identification products, specialized high-visibility clothing, pertinent news, product reviews, book reviews and useful links specifically for reporters, writers, assignment editors, news correspondents, journalists, ENG crews, photographers, production staff, directors, segment producers, media security personnel, and freelancers: in short, anyone who is part of the news gathering, information reporting, or documentary film industries.
Whether you're already in-country or preparing for your overseas assignment, keeping up-to-date on important news that affects reporters, correspondents, writers and other information gatherers is vital. In this section, we outline important stories relating to safety and security of reporters, writers and others. We also list important developments in our industry and the passing of key individuals within the community.
Other good places to look for news about missing, detained, imprisoned, tortured or murdered reporters are the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontiers (Reporters Without Borders) and the New York-based, Committee to Protect Journalists.
Please note that all stories are listed in reverse chronological order within each year as indicated. That is, the most recent stories are listed first within each year and as stories are added, older reports are "pushed down" toward the bottom of this page. If you want to add a story, please contact us using the feedback address on our Terms of Service page. If you wish to remain confidential, we suggest using a Hotmail or Yahoo account to send us your tip.
You can also read news stories from other years by clicking on the applicable link in the menu on the left.
November 25, 2006 Yemen editor jailed over cartoons
SANAA, Yemen Yet another court has meted out punishment for printing a series of Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. In Yemen today a court sentenced a news editor to a year in jail for reprinting the infamous drawings.
The editor, Mr. Kamal al-Aalafi, based his defense on his assertion that he had reprinted the cartoons solely to increase knowledge about the original defamation, not to insult the religion of which he is a devout member. Both Islamic law and modern custom expressly forbid any depiction of the Prophet, banning pictures such as these as idolatry. Perhaps worse for the editor was that one of the cartoons portrayed the Prophet as a terrorist.
The same court ordered the weekly newspaper in which the cartoons were reprinted closed for a period of not less than six months. Mr. al-Aalafi will reportedly appeal his conviction. The court allowed him to make bail and remain free until his appeal is heard.
November 24, 2006 China dismisses appeal for journalist’s jail sentence
BEIJING, PRC A Chinese appeals court today dismissed a motion to overturn the five-year jail sentence of a Singapore newspaper reporter arrested for espionage.
China, which in addition to numerous human rights problems also has one of the world’s largest populations of imprisoned journalists, arrested Mr. Ching Cheong in April 2005 as he was traveling to collect documents for a story he was writing about Mr. Zhao Ziyang. The history and status of the former Chinese Communist Party leader is extremely politically sensitive in this country.
In August, a Beijing court convicted Mr. Ching of spying for Taiwan and sentenced the reporter to five years in prison. In addition, the government confiscated some of his property worth 300,000 yuan (just under $40,000 USD).
November 24, 2006 Cartoonist with toy gun causes evacuation of Miami Herald
MIAMI, FL, USA A cartoonist carrying a toy gun caused an evacuation at the Miami Herald's building today. According to local police, a man who brandished both a knife and a replica pistol held officers at bay for two hours while demanding to see an editor of the newspaper's Spanish-language sister paper, El Nuevo Herald.
After surrendering, Mr. Jose Varela was booked on three counts of aggravated assault with a weapon. The attack was not random but instead stemmed from earlier disputes between the cartoonist and his managers at the paper. Because he worked there, Mr. Varela’s entry and presence in the building was not initially challenged by the papers’ onsite security guards.
An attorney whom Mr. Varela called during the event said he felt the cartoonist just wanted to highlight a conflict of interest at El Nuevo Herald, which Mr. Varela maintains, continues despite the editorial shakeup of September 9 of this year.
November 23, 2006 Mexican anti-cartel reporter dies
TIJUANA, Mexico Mr. Jesus Blancornelas, a journalist who wrote about the powerful, yet secretive drug cartels in this raucous border town, died today. He was 70.
Mr. Blancornelas co-founded a weekly newspaper titled Zeta that crusaded against the cartels and their web of influence over state and local politics. By 1997, he had sufficiently raised the ire of at least one cartel that several gunmen armed with assault rifles tried to assassinate him. Although critically hurt, he survived, albeit with injuries that were to haunt him for the rest of his life. His co-editor and longtime friend, Mr. Francisco Ortiz, wasn’t as lucky as Mr. Blancornelas. Mr. Ortiz was murdered by unknown gunmen in 2004 as two of his children looked on horrified. The editor’s murder has not yet been solved.
Mr. Blancornelas had reportedly suffered from lung problems from a childhood injury and later, from stomach cancer. His health significantly worsened, however, as a result of the murder attempt during which he was shot in the lung.
November 23, 2006 Ex-editor of the New York Times dies
NEW YORK, NY, USA The veteran managing editor who took responsibility for the infamous scandal in which one of his writers was caught apparently fabricating and plagiarizing stories, has died.
Mr. Gerald M. Boyd was only 56-years-old but was diagnosed with lung cancer in February of this year. Mr. Boyd was forced to resign in 2003 when Mr. Jayson Blair, a protégé of Mr. Boyd as well as then executive editor, Mr. Howell Raines, was caught inventing some stories and plagiarizing others that appeared in the prestigious paper.
Mr. Boyd, a gifted and talented writer in his own right, quickly rose through the ranks within the New York Times, an organization at which he spent 20 years. During his tenure as deputy managing editor of news, for example, he spearheaded an in-depth series about race relations in America. The series went on to win a Pulitzer Prize.
November 9, 2006 Ed Bradley of CBS’ 60 Minutes dies
NEW YORK, NY, USA The winner of 19 Emmys during his 26-year assignment at CBS News, American broadcaster, Mr. Ed Bradley, died this morning of complications due to leukemia. He was 65.
Born on June 22, 1941 in Philadelphia and graduated from Cheyney State College, Mr. Bradley got his start in broadcasting as a jazz DJ and news reporter in 1963. After spending a year in Paris as a stringer for CBS News, he made the move to the network’s Saigon bureau in 1972 to cover the Vietnam War. It was here where Mr. Bradley was severely wounded while on assignment. After recovering from his injuries, he returned to the US and held a number of positions at the network including White House correspondent. Mr. Bradley joined CBS’ 60 Minutes public affairs program in 1981.
According to CBS News, Mr. Bradley was diagnosed with leukemia in 2004 but the disease was thought to be in remission. Recently, he contracted pneumonia.
November 3, 2006 Canadian government lets secrecy law stand
OTTAWA, ON, Canada The national government here announced it will not appeal a legal decision that found the famed Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”) had worked to intimidate reporters.
Canadian Justice Minister Mr. Vic Toews declared that “it is not in the public interest” to challenge a court ruling issued two weeks ago that struck down key provisions of Canada's post 9-11 anti-terrorist laws. In doing do, the ruling overturned RCMP warrants used to search Ottawa Citizen reporter Ms. Juliet O'Neill’s office and residence in January 2004.
The RCMP raid was supposedly triggered by a story the journalist wrote about the extradition of Mr. Maher Arar, a Syrian-Canadian. In 2002, US border authorities questioned Mr. Arar who was returning through New York on his way back to Canada. After receiving what was later characterized as misleading information from the RCMP, Mr. Arar was sent by the Americans to Syria where he was held and allegedly tortured by police there.
November 2, 2006 Novelist William Styron dies
MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MA, USA Mr. William Styron, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Sophie's Choice", "The Confessions of Nat Turner" and other award winning novels died yesterday of pneumonia. He was 81.
After serving in the US Marines during the second world war, Mr. Styron graduated from Duke University. He was famously fired from his job as a McGraw-Hill copy editor "for slovenly appearance, not wearing a hat, and reading the New York Post."
Besides his more well-known books and essays, Mr. Styron also wrote "Lie Down In Darkness", "A Tidewater Morning", "The Long March", "This Quiet Dust" and "Darkness Visible," an autobiographical work in which the tortured author vividly recalls his own battles with depression and thoughts of suicide.
October 27, 2006 American videographer killed in Mexico
OAXACA, Mexico A 36-year-old American videographer was shot to death earlier today as he was filming a tense situation in which protesters had barricaded streets and occupied buildings to remove the local governor.
Mr. Bradley Roland Will was filming in the volatile city of Oaxaca when gunfire erupted as unidentified men tried to remove a blockade set up by protesters. At press time, it was not clear if Mr. Will had been killed in the crossfire between local armed factions, by police or was specifically targeted due to the nature of his work.
Some official involvement is indicated, however. Mr. Manuel Martinez Feria, a local mayor, announced that five men had been detained by state police. According to Mr. Feria, two of the men are local politicians, two are city police officers and the fifth is a former justice of the peace.
October 26, 2006 Danish court tosses cartoon suit
COPENHAGEN, Denmark A lower court here has thrown out a civil lawsuit against Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on September 30, 2005.
In March of this year, Denmark’s attorney general ruled the cartoons would not warrant criminal charges against the newspaper under the country’s racism and blasphemy legislation. Since these laws are not applicable to civil cases, the seven Muslim organizations that launched the subsequent civil suit alleged defamation and libel.
But the City Court in Aarhus said there was not enough reason to believe the cartoons were intended to be insulting or harmful to Muslims.
October 24, 2006 AP Photog released unharmed
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories An Associated Press photographer was released by his kidnappers just before midnight tonight after spending the day in captivity. He was grabbed earlier today as he left his apartment.
Mr. Emilio Morenatti was tonight driven to the office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by Fatah officials and the Spanish photographer released. The government here and many of the warring factions had earlier denounced Mr. Morenatti’s abduction and denied involvement. No demands were known to have been made for his release.
Since 2004, relatively frequent cases of financially and politically motivated kidnappings have occurred within the Territories. Often the victims are used as bargaining chips to get relatives released from local jails, as pay-back in an ongoing vendetta or, in rare cases, gain comparatively high-paying government jobs. The motivation behind Mr. Morenatti’s kidnapping (and quick release) are unknown at this time.
October 24, 2006 AP photog kidnapped in Gaza
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories Unidentified gunmen today kidnapped a 37-year-old Associated Press photographer as the man was exiting his apartment block on the way to an assignment.
Mr. Emilio Morenatti was reportedly heading for his waiting AP car when four gunman approached the car’s driver, ordered him to give them his keys and mobile phone and turn away.
Mr. Majed Hamdan, the AP driver and translator, said the gunmen then marched Mr. Morenatti to a waiting white car and drove off. At press time, no group had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. The practice of temporarily kidnapping journalists in Gaza has been increasing in recent years, although no murders have yet been reported.
October 19, 2006 RSF publishes report about Cuba Internet control
PARIS, France Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has published a report entitled "Going online in Cuba Internet under surveillance" with the results of tests carried out on the island in August.
The report includes a survey of the Internet control methods used by the authorities and the personal account of a French journalist who spent several weeks there this summer.
Those interested in the report can download it from http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=19335
October 16, 2006 Senior manager at Itar-Tass knifed to death
MOSCOW, Russia Mr. Anatoly Voronin, a senior manager at Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency, was found dead today, an apparent victim of a knife attack.
According to local police, Mr. Voronin failed to return to work after a brief holiday. His driver and a few of Mr. Voronin’s colleagues went to his apartment where they found his body. Moscow’s prosecutor’s office has already opened an investigation into his murder.
This is Moscow’s fifth high-profile murder this month, including Ms. Anna Politkovskaya, a prominent journalist who was critical of the Kremlin’s policies. Unlike Mr. Voronin’s murder which the local prosecutor has characterized as being likely unconnected to his job, Ms. Politkovskaya’s death was widely reported as a professional hit and designed to discourage other investigative journalists.
October 8, 2006 Crusading Russian journalist murdered
MOSCOW, Russia A journalist known for her critical articles against the Russian government was found shot dead today. According to local police, the lifeless body of Ms. Anna Politkovskaya, was found in the elevator of her Moscow flat. She was 48.
Although Ms. Politkovskaya had recently written a critical book about Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin, she had been a thorn in the side of various authorities for quite some time. She initially gained notoriety for her coverage of the ongoing military campaign in Chechnya when her writings documented the widespread abuse of local civilians by Russian troops. Ms. Politkovskaya was subsequently banned from local Chechnya hospitals where she had gathered much of the background information for her stories.
In 2004, on a commercial plane trip to cover a disastrous school hostage crisis in Beslan, Ms. Politkovskaya was intentionally poisoned by unknown persons who drugged her tea. Although she took weeks to recover in hospital, it later emerged she had been targeted to prevent her from covering the hostage crisis and later, the botched rescue attempt during which hundreds of children were killed.
September 23, 2006 H-P chairwoman resigns over probe news
PALO ALTO, CA, USA Embattled computer giant, Hewlett-Packard, announced its chairwoman had resigned late yesterday amid increasingly bad news about the company’s own investigation into press leaks.
Ms. Patricia Dunn was also removed from the company’s board of directors in an apparent move to further distance the executive blamed for launching the probe. H-P’s initial investigation resulted in nine journalists being impersonated by the company’s contractors, their phone records being illegally accessed and, in some cases, even physical surveillance of reporters’ family members being performed to ascertain who was leaking confidential information from the company.
The investigation found that a member of H-P's own board of directors was responsible for the leaks by tracing the phone records of the director and the individual journalists. The spying affair has spiraled out of control for the company and has led to criminal investigations being launched at both the state and national levels.
September 22, 2006 Belgium court quashes Google appeal
BRUSSELS, Belgium A Belgian high court has ruled against Mountain View, California-based Google Inc. and ordered the world’s largest search engine to immediately implement a lesser court's requirement that the company publish a ruling from a recent case it lost.
Google faces daily fines of over EUR 500,000 for refusing to post the details of the earlier ruling on its Belgian home pages, Google.be and news.google.be. The court also ordered the company to stop publishing news bites and thumbnail photos from Belgian, French and German newspapers without first paying the news organizations for the content or seeking permission from the respective copyright holders.
Google News debuted four years ago and currently scans hundreds of news outlets and categorizes each story under a series of standard headings. In addition, many Google slugs carry a thumbnail image used within the original piece as well as the story lead.
The company immediately announced it would again appeal the decision maintaining its service is both lawful and beneficial for content providers because it drives traffic to the Belgian sites when visitors click through to read the entire story. You can read an update to this story by clicking here.
September 21, 2006 American reporters face jail for refusing to reveal sources
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA Two San Francisco Chronicle reporters were sentenced to a maximum of 18 months in prison today. The two journalists refused to reveal who leaked them sealed grand jury testimony relating to the ongoing drugs trial of baseball player Mr. Barry Bonds and other American athletes.
According to authorities, Mr. Lance Williams and Mr. Mark Fainaru-Wada wrote a series of articles as well as a book using allegedly leaked testimony of a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (“BALCO”), a nutritional supplement company based in Burlingame, just south of this city.
Ironically for the two reporters who each face a year and a half in jail, Mr. Greg Anderson, an athletic trainer and one of five defendants convicted in the BALCO steroids scandal, served just three months for providing the illegal drugs to the athletes.
September 11, 2006 Computer company investigated for impersonating, pre-texting
PALO ALTO, CA, USA Computer and electronics giant, Hewlett-Packard, has announced it has been contacted by the United States Attorney's Office concerning a botched company investigation into press leaks of its confidential information.
In an official SEC filing required by publicly listed companies when news of a material nature could affect their stock price H-P said it is cooperating fully with the inquiry. The SEC filing also mentioned a parallel investigation in progress by the California State Attorney General's office.
It has emerged in recent days that in order to find a source of leaks of confidential information, Hewlett-Packard hired a private investigation company that, in turn, may have used illegal means to monitor activities of H-P’s own board members and some journalists covering the Silicon Valley business and computer beats.
According to the unfolding inquiry, investigators hired by H-P illegally used personal information such as Social Security Numbers to impersonate targeted board members and journos. Their impersonations convinced various phone companies into turning over detailed call records of home and cellular phone calls for selected reporters from The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, the New York Times and CNET Networks Inc.'s News.com.
September 9, 2006 Journalists fired for not disclosing they received government money
MIAMI, FL, USA Ten American journalists based here have been fired from their jobs for not disclosing they received American government money for their off-hours, and possibly on-hours, work.
Among the ten journos were three who worked for El Nuevo Herald, a Spanish-language newspaper often seen as leaning editorially against Fidel Castro's communist regime. El Nuevo Herald shares office space with, and is published by, the same company that publishes The Miami Herald.
According to the company, one journalist who reports on Cuba and wrote op-ed pieces for El Nuevo Herald, was paid almost $175,000 over a six-year period. His job was to host shows on Radio and TV Marti, two outlets run by the US government that promote democracy in Cuba. Another reporter wrote about Cuban culture for El Nuevo Herald and received almost $75,000 during the same period.
Non-disclosure issues among some members of the press and media have come to the forefront in recent years. In 2005, for example, the US government hired a popular newspaper columnist to write favorable coverage concerning the administration’s No Child Left Behind Act. Last year, the LA Times exposed a covert Pentagon operation that paid several Iraqi newspapers to print favorable stories about the Iraq war
September 7, 2006 TV reporter beaten while doing stand-up
SAN DIEGO, CA, USA An ENG crew doing an investigative stand-up on an alleged local real estate swindle was attacked by a man and woman on Tuesday. During the incident, which was filmed by the cameraman, the couple punched, beat and tackled the reporter to the ground where he was apparently further assaulted.
Mr. John Mattes, a reporter for Fox 6 News, says he was treated for cracked ribs, bite wounds and numerous cuts to his face but did not require an overnight stay in hospital. Police identified the couple and arrested them on a variety of charges including making a terrorist threat, felony assault, battery and theft for allegedly grabbing the microphone of Fox cameraman, Mr. Dennis Waldrop.
According to local police, the two posted bail on Tuesday night and were released. By press time, no charges had been laid in the original real estate transactions that precipitated the stand-up.
August 21, 2006 Pulitzer Prize winning photog dies
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA Mr. Joe Rosenthal, an Associated Press photographer who won a Pulitzer Prize for snapping an enduring pic of World War II servicemen raising the American flag during a decisive battle at Iwo Jima, died yesterday of natural causes. He was 94.
On Feb. 19, 1945, an estimated 30,000 Marines and other servicemen landed on the southeast coast of Iwo Jima, a small but strategic island about 750 miles south of Tokyo. During the five week battle for the island, over 6,800 Americans and over 20,000 Japanese soldiers were killed.
After the war, Mr. Rosenthal left the AP and joined the San Francisco Chronicle, where he worked as a photographer for 35 years before retiring.
August 14, 2006 Brazil TV channel airs kidnap video
SAO PAULO, Brazil A popular TV channel here has broadcast a video produced by a gang protesting the conditions in the country’s prisons. The video was aired after the gang reportedly kidnapped one of the TV channel’s own reporters at gunpoint.
After its reporter, Mr. Guilherme Portanova, was seized on Saturday, Globo TV broadcast the video produced by the First Command of the Capital group, often referred to locally as the “PCC”. Many of the group’s leaders are serving prison terms and the government blames the PCC for the recent outbreaks of violence.
An unidentified masked man appeared in the video demanding better prisons and more humane conditions. Mr. Portanova was released physically unharmed after more than 40 hours of captivity.
August 9, 2006 Four Iraqis held in Jill Carroll case
BAGHDAD, Iraq Four local men have been arrested and detained by US forces here in connection with the kidnapping and detention of Ms. Jill Carroll, a 28-year-old American reporter working for the Christian Science Monitor.
Ms. Carroll was kidnapped from a Baghdad suburb on January 7 and her Iraqi interpreter shot dead. Ms. Carroll was subsequently released 82 days later. She was flown to the United States on April 2.
According to US military sources, an American officer on patrol became suspicious about a house he saw in Habbaniya, a short distance from Fallujah. Thinking it matched the description given by Ms. Carroll as belonging to her captors, the officer questioned the owner of the house and inside found an AK-47 rifle along with a piece of paper on which had been written Ms. Carroll’s name. Based on further questioning, the Americans raided two nearby sites. Here, they found two additional hostages and arrested three more captors. You can read about Ms. Carroll's release earlier this year here.
August 8, 2006 Reuters dismisses Beirut photographer
LONDON, United Kingdom Press service Reuters has withdrawn from sale an entire photo collection taken by a freelance photographer after determining it was likely the images had been modified using computer software. The two images in question were taken in Lebanon during a recent Israeli air raid.
Mr. Adnan Hajj has denied his two photographs had been purposely enhanced to show additional smoke and ordinance from bombers, instead suggesting he had cleaned them up before submitting them to his editor.
A Reuters investigation was launched after bloggers reportedly compared Mr. Hajj’s images to others that had been snapped during the same raid. It was only after several significant visual differences in two of his shots were found that questions were raised about their authenticity.
June 16, 2006 Missing Pakistan journo found murdered
KARACHI, Pakistan A Pakistan journalist who went missing six months ago has been found, shot dead.
The body of Mr. Hayatullah Khan, 30, was discovered near the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan. With hands still secured behind his back, it is thought by local police that Mr. Khan was executed recently. His body was found in an area considered by many to be controlled by tribal warlords, rather than the national government.
Mr. Khan was kidnapped on December 5, 2005 shortly after reporting that Mr. Abu Hamza Rabia and four other suspected al-Qaeda members had been killed by a targeted US missile strike. The journalist’s story contrasted with official Pakistani government reports that Mr. Rabia had instead been killed by his own doing as a result of a bomb making accident.
May 30, 2006 US court affirms rights of online journos
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA A California court has ruled that journalists who write for online publications have the same rights as those who work for print, radio and TV outlets.
Apple Computer had brought the civil case against several writers who published information online concerning a future product launch. In its suit, Apple sought to discover who had leaked the information to the reporters and subpoenaed certain records of the site publishers and in one case, its e-mail provider, to reveal the sources of the articles.
In overturning the subpoena, the judges ruled against the company, citing California’s so-called Shield Law, as well as the rights of press freedom afforded to journalists under the US Constitution.
May 30, 2006 Two journos killed; one seriously injured by bomb blast
BAGHDAD, Iraq Two British journalists were killed and an American correspondent was seriously injured yesterday when a convoy in which they were riding was attacked, apparently by a remote controlled car bomb.
Mr. Paul Douglas, a cameraman, and Mr. James Brolan, a soundman, both from Britain, were killed Monday. Ms. Kimberly Dozier, a 39-year-old American working for CBS News, was in critical but stable condition after undergoing two surgeries. According to US military sources, an American soldier and an Iraqi interpreter were also killed in the same attack. Numerous other soldiers were also injured.
According to CBS News, all three journalists were riding in an armored vehicle and all three were wearing protective body armor. Mr. Douglas is survived by his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren. Mr. Brolan leaves his wife and two children.
May 10, 2006 Retired New York Times executive editor dies
NEW YORK, NY, USA Mr. A.M. “Abe” Rosenthal, an influential editor who helped guide a struggling New York Times to recovery in the 1970s and climb back to regain its high position of journalistic excellence, died today from complications of a recent stoke. He was 84.
Mr. Rosenthal spent virtually all of his working life at The Times, beginning as a stringer in 1943. His career took him quickly from the crime beat to foreign correspondent to managing editor and finally to the role of executive editor. In 1986 and facing mandatory retirement, Mr. Rosenthal stepped down as executive editor and became an op-ed columnist. He stayed at the paper for an additional 13 years. During his long career at The Times, he earned a number of awards including a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and two Polk awards.
Born in Canada, Mr. Rosenthal held a fierce sense of American democracy. The Times published the "Pentagon Papers," an in-depth exposé of the country’s secret involvement in Vietnam thus winning the paper one of its many Pulitzer Prizes.
May 3, 2006 TV Financial Expert Louis Rukeyser Dies
HARTFORD, CT, USA Mr. Louis Rukeyser, the charming, pun-filled host of a high profile financial TV program, died yesterday at the age of 73. The broadcaster, author and writer died at his home in Greenwich after a long bout with multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer.
Mr. Rukeyser rose to fame as the cherubic and good natured host of "Wall $treet Week With Louis Rukeyser" which ran on the American PBS TV network from 1970 until 2002. His specialty was to bring the complex topics involved with finance and money, strip them of unnecessary jargon and serve them to his loyal followers.
Mr. Rukeyser also won numerous awards and honors but ran into difficulties in February 2002 when long-time producers, Maryland Public Television, moved to re-tool the show. Rather than submit to what he considered a demotion, he left PBS and moved to CNBC, a network specializing in finance. He made his last appearance on CNBC on Oct. 31, 2003. The show continued on with guest hosts for some time but Mr. Rukeyser himself never returned.
May 1, 2006 Turkey turns down editor's appeal
ANKARA, Turkey A Turkish court has quashed the appeal of a journalist who argued his writings had not “insulted Turkishness”.
Mr. Hrant Dink, a writer of Armenian descent, was given a six-month suspended sentence last October after an article he wrote about the Ottoman Armenian genocide nine decades ago was published.
Earlier this year, the prosecutor's office decided that Mr. Dink's writings in no way insulted Turkey and urged his charges be reversed and the writer cleared. Today, however, the court ruled the original interpretation of Mr. Dink’s articles did indeed insult the country and that the punishment should stand.
April 30, 2006 Afghans free US videographer
KABUL, Afghanistan An American documentary-maker was freed today after serving most of his two-year sentence for his part in supposedly torturing Afghans and running a private jail in Kabul. Mr. Edward Caraballo was arrested along with two other Americans in 2004.
Following a tip in September 2004, local police raided a private house in the capital and found eight Afghans being held captive. In his defense, Mr. Caraballo claimed he was responsible only for filming Mr. Jonathan Idema and Mr. Brent Bennett.
In turn, Mr. Idema and Mr. Bennett, currently serving sentences of five years and three years respectively, claimed they were working on behalf of the US and Afghan governments to hunt down al-Qaeda operatives. This claim was denied by the two representatives of both countries at trial.
April 28, 2006 Egypt's al-Jazeera chief charged
CAIRO, Egypt Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief here was held for more than a day on charges that he falsely reported a blast in the country’s eastern province.
Mr. Hussein Abdel Ghani was released after posting bail of 10,000 Egyptian pounds (approximately $1700 USD). According to his news organization, he was charged with “propagating false news designed to disturb national security and cause chaos”.
A number of local media reported that bomb blasts in the resort town of Dahab had killed 18 people. According to a government spokesman, however, the explosions never happened. Previous to his assignment at al-Jazeera, Mr. Ghani worked for the Arabic service of the BBC.
April 15, 2006 British Writer Muriel Spark Dies at 88
FLORENCE, Italy Dame Muriel Spark, a popular British writer, has died in Tuscany, Italy. She was 88.
According to Mr. Massimiliano Dindalini, mayor of Civitella della Chiana, Ms. Spark died Thursday in a hospital in Florence. She had lived in the small city near here for almost three decades.
Ms. Spark wrote more than 20 novels, including "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie", "The Girls of Slender Means", "The Driver's Seat," and "The Abbess of Crewe". In 1963, she became a fellow of The Royal Society of Literature, and in 1978 was made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was named a dame in 1993.
March 30, 2006 Jill Carroll released by kidnappers
BAGHDAD, Iraq Ms. Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter working for the Christian Science Monitor, was released earlier today after almost three months of captivity.
The reporter was kidnapped on January 7 from Adil, a suburb of Baghdad where she had gone to interview Sunni Arab politician, Mr. Adnan al-Dulaimi. During Ms. Carroll’s kidnapping, her translator/guide was killed. A group calling itself the Revenge Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack and demanded the release of all female detainees in Iraq by February 26. If their demands were not met, they said, they would kill Ms. Carroll.
Ms. Carroll was reportedly handed over to the Iraqi Islamic Party office in the Amiriya neighborhood of western Baghdad. She was then transferred to American authorities here. You can read about her initial kidnapping earlier this year here.
March 19, 2006 ABC News Anchor Bill Beutel Dies
NEW YORK, NY, USA Mr. Bill Beutel, a longtime ABC news anchor and host of "AM America," the show that later became the network’s popular "Good Morning America," has died. He was 75.
Mr. Beutel won several Emmy awards and a Peabody award during his journalism career. He began work as a radio reporter in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio and moved to television in 1962. He held the positions of national reporter for ABC News as well as ABC's London bureau chief. Mr. Beutel returned to New York to anchor the local desk in 1970.
He retired from the desk in 2001, but continued reporting for ABC for another two years. He loved overseas work and, at age 70, filed reports from battle-torn areas in Sierra Leone where local warlords were waging murderous skirmishes battling each other with small arms over the illicit diamond trade.
March 18, 2006 Seven killed during Uruguay TV show
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay Seven TV show contestants were killed today and at least a dozen more were seriously injured, during a television stunt gone horribly wrong.
According to shocked witnesses, contestants were trying to hand push and pull a train and its two connected rail cars when the train unexpectedly gained speed and ran them over. Several more people fell under the moving train in the confusion and resulting mayhem.
Ironically, the incident happened during the popular “A Challenge to the Heart” competition designed to raise money for a local hospital in Young, about 400 miles away from the capital city.
March 18, 2006 Jailed Iranian Journalist Freed
TEHRAN, Iran A dissident Iranian journalist who spent the last six years in solitary confinement was released today. Although thankful to be out of prison, Mr. Akbar Ganji said he would continue speaking out against the country’s hard-line clerics. The 46-year-old journalist appeared gaunt and considerably older than his years. According to his wife, Mr. Ganji weighed just 49 kilos.
Mr. Ganji was jailed after he wrote a series of articles in Fath, Khordad and Sobh-e-Emrouz. In them, Mr. Ganji blamed Iranian Intelligence Ministry agents working under the official orders of senior clerics within the country’s government for the 1998 murders of five dissidents. The government denied Mr. Ganji’s claims but jailed him nevertheless.
In moves widely seen as efforts to staunch free speech, Iran's hard-line government has shuttered over 100 newspapers and magazines since 2001.
March 18, 2006 Arrests in Iraq reporter killings
BAGHDAD, Iraq This country’s Defence Minister, Mr. Saadoun al-Dulaimi, has announced that six men have been arrested in connection with the murder of a female journalist and her ENG crew all working for the al-Arabiya TV network.
Last month, Ms. Atwar Bahjat, her cameraman and soundman were seized by several gunmen and shot dead near Samarra. The three journalists were covering the bombing of the al-Askari shrine in the city.
Ms. Bahjat, aged 26, was an Iraqi citizen and had recently joined al-Arabiya from rival al-Jazeera. Mr. Adnan Khairallah, cameraman, and Mr. Khaled Mohsen, soundman, worked for a local production company hired by al-Arabiya.
February 13, 2006 Author Peter Benchley Dies at 65
NEW YORK, NY, USA Mr. Peter Benchley, the man who wrote fictional blockbusters including "Jaws", "The Deep" and "The Island," but was most proud of his environmental work, died yesterday. According to a release issued by his family, Mr. Benchley was 65 and suffered from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a degenerative lung disease.
Previous to his fiction career, Mr. Benchley worked at The Washington Post, Newsweek and even wrote speeches for then American President Lyndon Johnson, during the Vietnam War period.
Besides his writing, he worked on various projects relating to shark conservation, hosted countless wildlife documentaries for television and penned articles for National Geographic.
February 13, 2006 Prophet cartoon publishers jailed
ALGIERS, Algeria It has been announced that magazine publishers, Mr. Kamel Boussaad and Mr. Berkane Bouderbala were arrested last week and their respective magazines, Errissala (“The Ambassador”) and Essafir (“The Messenger“) banned from publication here by government authorities.
The images of the Prophet Mohammed were first published in a Danish paper and have angered many Muslims around the world who believe the drawings blaspheme their religious founder.
Ironically, both Arabic magazines had been critical of the original 12 cartoons and had asked their respective readers to protest their publication to the Danish authorities. According to Algerian law, however, both journalists now face between three and five years in jail for what amounts to insulting the Prophet.
February 10, 2006 Muslims to sue newspapers over religious cartoons
PARIS, France A new Muslim organization in this country has moved to sue several French news outlets that reprinted cartoons satirizing the Prophet Mohammed.
The French Council of Muslim Faith condemned the five French newspapers that published the 12 cartoons. The organization claims to represent about five million Muslims in France but cannot bring the legal charges itself due to the fact it has only been in existence for three years. Accordingly, it has announced one of its member organizations will file the paperwork in French court.
Although the satirical “Charlie Hebdo” is apparently the only confirmed target of the lawsuit, “France Soir”, “Liberation”, “Le Figaro” and “Le Parisien” have also published the cartoons.
February 7, 2006 Chinese editor dies after alleged police beating
BEIJING, PRC Mr. Wu Xianghu, a crusading newspaper editor who was the victim of an alleged police beating, has died as a result of his injuries.
Mr. Wu had been in hospital since the attack in October 2005 after an article appeared in the Taizhou Evening News. The article, written by Mr. Lu Weibo, one of Mr. Wu’s reporters, exposed a local police racket of charging illegal bicycle fees. One senior police official, Mr. Li Xiaoguo, was fired for his role in the incident according to China’s official state news agency, Xinhua.
Local news media report that nobody has been charged in Mr. Wu’s murder.
January 30, 2006 ABC Anchor and Cameraman Stable After Attack
TAJI, Iraq ABC World News Tonight co-anchor Mr. Bob Woodruff and cameraman Mr. Doug Vogt were very seriously injured yesterday when the joint US/Iraqi Army convoy with which they were traveling was attacked by an unidentified group. Both journalists were apparently hit by shrapnel as they were filming in an open hatch of an Iraqi armored personnel carrier (“APC”).
Mr. Woodruff and Mr. Vogt were listed in stable condition following surgery to serious wounds at an American military hospital in Iraq. According to ABC News head David Westin, the two were to be evacuated to more advanced care facilities in Germany. Despite their wounds, soldiers on the ground suggest the two were alive only because of the protective helmets and body armor they were wearing.
Mr. Woodruff, an American, has been at ABC News since 1996 and co-anchors the nightly news with Ms. Elizabeth Vargas. Mr. Vogt, a Canadian who lives in France, has won three Emmy awards for his work with the CBC, BBC and for ABC News.
January 24, 2006 Iran blocks BBC Persian Web site
LONDON, UK The BBC has announced that its Persian-language news site, the second most-viewed site after its English language offering, is being actively blocked, likely by the Iranian government.
According to the London-based news organization, BBC Persian.com usually receives about 30 million page impressions a month. Approximately half of its visitors normally view the service from inside Iran. Inter-country site traffic has dropped precipitously in recent days but no explanation has been offered from the government.
The English language version of the same site remains available. BBC’s English and Persian radio transmissions from the BBC World Service are likewise not blocked and are still available in Iran.
January 7, 2006 CSM Freeelancer Kidnapped in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq Ms. Jill Carroll, 28, a freelance writer working for the Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped today while being driven to a meeting in a Baghdad neighborhood notorious for its violence.
Ms. Carroll was in the area to interview a local politician, who police say, failed to appear for the interview. Ms. Carroll's translator was killed, but her driver escaped. A group claiming responsibility for the kidnapping later released demands that Ms. Carroll's freedom could be exchanged for those of several female prisoners currently being held by the US government.
January 2, 2006 Two American Journos Released After Kidnapping
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Two kidnapped American journalists were freed over the weekend after a ransom of $40,000 was paid for their release. Mr. Alain Maximilien, 33, originally from New York, and Mr. Frank Eaton, a documentary filmmaker from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, were kidnapped last Wednesday from Petionville, an upscale suburb of the capital.
According to the pair, they were held in Cite Soleil, a sprawling slum on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, and only released after friends and family scraped together the money for ransom. Along with the $40,000, the journalists also indicated that ten pairs of sneakers as well as a radio were also needed to secure their release.
Haiti continues to be a country plagued by lawlessness with acts of random and targeted violence common. Journalists are urged to exercise extreme caution in this region.
January 1, 2006 Chicago's City News Service Closes
CHICAGO, IL, USA Members of this area's City News Service filed their last stories for the bureau yesterday. After providing an important training ground for literally generations of journalists and reporters including Mike Royko, Kurt Vonnegut and Seymour Hersh, the news bureau was closed for financial reasons by its recent acquirer, The Chicago Tribune.
Founded in 1890, the service was jointly owned by many of the papers located in the Chicagoland area and acted as a pool from which many newspapers could draw stories. In 1999, The Chicago Tribune purchased the bureau from the other members of the consortium and promptly renamed the venerable organization "New City News Service".
End of the 2006 News page.