Brazilian journalist awaiting trial for alleged criminal ties plans book

After 20 days in prison, journalist Maritânia Forlin, suspected of working with drug dealers in Paraná state, was released by police pending her trial and announced that she would launch a book of memoirs to defend her image, Folha de S. Paulo reports.

Brazilian reporter arrested in Russia, accused of working without permission

Freelance journalist Solly Boussidan was arrested by Russian authorities Friday, Jan. 28, in the city of Sochi, accused of reporting without the necessary accreditation, reported the newspaper Estado de S. Paulo, the news outlet with with which he collaborates.

Gov’t pressure leads opposition media in Venezuela to tone down criticism

Tension between the private media and the government of President Hugo Chávez is nothing new. However, U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks (cable 10CARACAS219) reveal that the conflict is now such that the U.S. ambassador in Caracas believes Chávez is “is close to his goal of 'domesticating' or eliminating the remaining free and independent media in Venezuela,” El País reports.

Radio producer sentenced to 15 years for kidnapping Venezuelan journalist

A Venezuelan court sentenced Francisco Contreras to 15 years in prison for his role in the April 2010 kidnapping of Globovisión journalist Luis Núñez, El Universal reports.

Brazilian radio host arrested and charged with extortion

Radio announcer Ivan Carlos de Oliveira Silva was arrested Jan. 26 in the northeastern Brazilian city of Salvador, Bahia, and charged with extorting his former boss: businessman Diogo Medrado, son of Federal Deputy Marcos Medrado of the Democratic Labor Party (PDT). According to A Tarde, the host was fired from the younger Medrado’s station in December and had allegedly asked the businessman for almost $90,000 in cash and a $40,000 car to not release unflattering recordings.

Cuban journalist Fariñas detained by police for second time in 24 hours

Dissident journalist Guillermo Fariñas – famous worldwide for hunger striking for 135-days before Cuban released more than 50 political prisoners – was arrested for the second time in less than 24 hours for demonstrating in front of the jail where other dissidents were still being held, Reuters reports. He was freed after five hours, The Associated Press reports.

U.S. offers to help Honduras solve journalist killings

Honduran President Porfirio Lobo announced that he had received an offer from the U.S. government to help investigate the deaths of ten journalists who were killed in 2010, EFE reports.

Present and future challenges for international reporting

The business of international journalism has changed a lot over the last several decades. Media companies have cut back on foreign bureaus and correspondents due to the economic crisis and new technology and cultural changes have transformed the global media. Journalist Richard Sambrook explores the new trends in international reporting in his book for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Nicaraguan activists and journalists allege “low intensity warfare” against independent media

The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) announced that in the coming weeks it will present a report to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (CIDH) about press freedom violations in the country, AFP reports. In recent months, two newspapers have alleged persecution at the hands of President Daniel Ortega, while an opposition TV network went off the the air several days ago.

Cuban police detain journalist Fariñas and 15 other dissidents

Dissident journalist Guillermo Fariñas and 15 others were arrested on Jan. 26 in the central Cuban city of Santa Clara, EFE and AFP report. They were released without being charged, but ABC and El País report that they were given a “strong warning” for having engaged in civil disobedience.

BBC cuts Caribbean Service; region’s journalists call for a homegrown replacement

News this week of major cutbacks to BBC World Service, including the end of BBC’s Caribbean service on March 31, has raised concerns over the loss of news for audiences in more than two dozen nations. At the same time, some journalists are pushing for the immediate creation of a Caribbean-based alternative.

TV crew in Peru attacked while covering law firm’s alleged criminal ties

A Panamericana Television crew was attacked by a group of thirty people while they covered a protest against a Lima law firm, headed by Orellana Rengifo, with alleged links to organized crime, La República reports. Cameraman Juan Carlos Vera’s right eye was injured by a rock and journalist Renzo Santana had multiple facial wounds, El Comercio explains.