Byline: Niall McCarthy
The Committee to Protect Journalists, an advocacy group, has released its annual census showing the number of journalists imprisoned across the world. More than 250 journalists are behind bars for the fourth consecutive year and the CPJ said that an authoritarian approach to critical news coverage is more than just a temporary spike. As of December 2019, China is the worst jailer with 48 journalists identified as being in prison there. Turkey came second with 47 while Egypt and Saudi Arabia were tied in third with 26 each.
China and Turkey have consistently vied for the unenviable title of the word's worst jailer of journalists and for the first time in four years, the latter is not in first place. In line with President Xi Jinping consolidating his control over the country and implementing tighter controls on the media, China has continued to imprison members of the media and it has moved into first. Arrests of journalists have been notable amid a Muslim crackdown in Xinjiang province and some of those have been incarcerated for journalism activity carried out years earlier.
Turkey comes a close second for imprisonments with its total falling from 68 last year to 47 today. That decline is not as positive as it seems and does not represent an...