journalism

With the launch of a Portuguese-language internet edition on Tuesday, EL PAÍS has embarked on what is probably its biggest professional and business venture since the newspaper was founded 37 years ago. The Spanish daily has always had the vision of becoming a global newspaper, something that was proved in March when it launched an Americas edition. Now the Portuguese internet portal, EL PAÍS Brasil, broadens that scope.

The Venezuelan authorities on Saturday released an American journalist who had been detained and questioned by military intelligence officials. The journalist, Jim Wyss, is the Andes region bureau chief for The Miami Herald. He was detained Thursday near Venezuela’s western border with Colombia while on a reporting trip. In a telephone interview in Caracas, where he was released, Mr. Wyss said the authorities who had questioned him never explained to him why he had been detained.

Back in June, the Greek government tried and failed to shut down ERT, the country’s equivalent of the BBC. At the time, not particularly enthused about the prospect of losing their jobs en masse, the newly unemployed journalists and technicians occupied the station's studios and continued broadcasting 24/7 via the internet. The staff managed to hold on to the building for an incredible five months, until—acting on the orders of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras—riot police entered the building in a pre-dawn raid on Thursday and escorted everyone outside.

I've written many times over the years, and still believe, that the news out of China is more good than bad. (For details: here, here, and here by me, plus this nice photo feature yesterday from Matt Schiavenza.) But the bad news is real, and needs to be reported -- and shakiness on this point is what has gotten the Bloomberg organization into what appears to be big trouble.

The decision came in an early evening call to four journalists huddled in a Hong Kong conference room. On the line 12 time zones away in New York was their boss, Matthew Winkler, the longtime editor in chief of Bloomberg News. And they were frustrated by what he was telling them. The investigative report they had been working on for the better part of a year, which detailed the hidden financial ties between one of the wealthiest men in China and the families of top Chinese leaders, would not be published.

Jim Wyss, the Miami Herald’s Andean bureau chief, was detained by Venezuelan authorities Thursday while reporting on the country’s chronic shortages and looming municipal elections. Wyss remained in custody Friday afternoon. According to local sources, Wyss was initially detained by the National Guard then transferred to Venezuela’s counter military intelligence, Dirección General de Inteligencia Militar (Dgim), in San Cristóbal, Táchira.

France said on Sunday two French journalists found dead in the northern Mali region of Kidal had been “coldly assassinated” by militants and vowed to step up security measures in the area. Radio journalists Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont were abducted after interviewing a member of the MNLA Tuareg separatist group in northern Mali.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to review a media law passed by parliament that has sparked outrage among the media. Kenyatta asked journalists on Saturday to report more responsibly, but said he would closely examine the law, which will only become effective once he signs it. "I shall look at the bill once it is forwarded to me with a view to identifying and addressing possible grey areas to ensure the new media law conforms to the constitution," a statement from the presidency said, quoting Kenyatta at a public rally near the capital Nairobi.

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