Editor of political news site arrested on extortion charges in Brazil

The founder and editor of Pura Política, João Andrade Neto, was arrested and accused of demanding money from business people in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia in exchange for not publishing allegations against them, Correio reports. He is being held on charges of extortion and attempted extortion.

Newspaper in Latin America’s deadliest city wins PEN International award

El Diario de Juárez, a major newspaper in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez – one of the world’s most violent cities – won the 2011 award for journalistic excellence, organized by the Mexico branch of PEN International.

Brazilian digital newspaper accuses state government of censorship

The site Midiamax, a digital newspaper in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, said in a message sent to the Brazilian Press Association (ABI in Portuguese) that it is being censored by the state government. According to Midiamax, access to its site is blocked on public computers connected to the system of the Superintendency of Information Management.

Peruvian journalists protest harassment from regional government

Journalists and media outlets in the western Peruvian city of Chimbote have joined to protest the president of the Ancash region, who they say is persecuting and harassing reporters who have criticized his government, CPN Radio reports.

Paramilitary group threatens five more Colombian journalists

In a climate of increasing hostility to freedom of expression in Colombia, five journalists received death threats from a paramilitary group, which warned that the time had arrived to “exterminate and annihilate all those people and organizations that pose as human rights defenders,” La Vanguardia and El País Vallenato report.

Brazilian ex-governor involved in electoral censorship sues successor for media abuse

Carlos Gaguim, the former governor of Tocantins state, and two federal representatives have brought a case to the Supreme Electoral Court against current the current governor and vice-governor, Siqueira Campos and João Oliveira, respectively. Gaguim, who was defeated in the October elections, has charged the current administration with vote-buying and media, political, and economic abuse, Terra reports.

Threats, bribes and other challenges of reporting on Guatemala's elections (Interview with Héctor Cordero)

Héctor Cordero, a correspondent for Guatevisión TV in the Guatemalan department (state) of Quiché, answered questions for the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas about the difficulties of being a journalist and the importance of adhering to journalistic ethics during an election season. For example, members of the Patriotic Party's communications team attacked two Channel 2 journalists at a press conference in January. Cordero, also a member of GuateDigital, a network of journalists from the interior of t

ProPublica, NYT journalists among winners of ASNE best in journalism awards

The American Society of News Editors (ASNE) has announced the winners of its 2011 awards for best U.S. journalism. The awards will be presented at the annual ASNE convention, April 6-9 in San Diego, Calif.

73% of Argentine journalists support controversial media law, survey finds

A new poll of Argentine journalists by Ibarómetro shows that 80 percent of those surveyed believe “there is freedom of expression” in the country, the state-run news agency Télam reports. 73 percent say they support a controversial media law that has stoked ongoing tensions and legal conflicts between the government and the country’s largest media companies.

Public pressure leads Brazilian paper to rehire journalist

In a small-scale mirror of a controversial firing, then rehiring in Mexico, the Brazilian newspaper A Tarde says it will rehire Aguirre Peixoto and annul the suspension it leveled against him, Portal Imprensa reports.

IAPA urges Honduran Supreme Court to rule on revoked TV frequency

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) called on Supreme Court to rule on the ownership and frequency concession of a local TV station, Canal 8, that was taken over by the government, El Heraldo reports.

New CPJ report highlights Latin America’s “return to censorship”

Episodes of press censorship in Latin America are at the highest levels since many countries began to return to democracy 30 years ago, writes Carlos Lauría, senior program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Lauría’s analysis of censorship in the continent was part of the CPJ’s annual report titled Attacks on the Press 2010.