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AP

Under President Ilham Aliyev, the economy of Azerbaijan has expanded spectacularly. An oil boom has fueled a 10 fold increase in the size of its economy since he took power in 2003.

But under Aliyev, the country of 10 million has been one of the hardest and cruelest places in the world for journalists. According to Freedom House, Azerbaijan’s government has used spurious charges to jail journalists and human rights activists. Disseminating information that harms the “honor and dignity” of Aliyev is a criminal offense. 


Travis McMillen / RJI

At first glance, media in Pakistan and the Ukraine have little in common.

But in both the South Asian nation and the former Soviet republic, independent private news outlets are relatively new and face a host of challenges both from government restrictions and outside actors. They're also among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

On this special edition of Global Journalist, we interview journalists from prominent media outlets in each country who are visiting the U.S. on fellowships from the University of Missouri-based Alfred Friendly Press Partners.


Russian police have stepped up the search for an American student who went missing on a hike in the mountains on Sunday. 

AP

Russia is no stranger to conflicts, but under Vladimir Putin its most enduring one may be the war over news and information. Over the past decade the Kremlin has tightened control over television and the Internet.

Outside Russia, it’s also sought to offer its own version of the news in English and other languages. This is often an anti-American narrative about conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe at odds with news from other agencies.

Online, allies of the Kremlin have reportedly hired hundreds if not thousands of so-called “trolls” to spread disinformation on social media and in the comments section of news sites.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at Russia’s information offensive.


AP

For months now, the world has watched as more than a million refugees and migrants from countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have risked their lives to try and find safe haven in Europe.

But this influx has created enormous tensions in the European Union about how many newcomers to accept and which countries should take them. Governments in Sweden and Germany have each taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants–and taken criticism both from other European states and their own people.

So, who foots the bill for settling the hundreds of thousands of immigrants? And if no one, where will these people go?


AP

After wars in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda killed nearly a million civilians, 120 nations came together to create what we know as the International Criminal Court. The goal: to prosecute those responsible for future genocides, crimes against humanity and other terrible war crimes.

But 13 years after it was created, the ICC has seen its share of controversy. Some African leaders are threatening to withdraw from the court for what they see as its unfair focus on prosecuting African cases. Others question the usefulness of a court that has convicted just two people in 13 years.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss the controversies surrounding a court set up to prosecute the world's worst criminals.


William Browder's new book, Red Notice, is named for the type of warrant the Russian government has sought from Interpol in hopes of capturing him.

The hedge fund manager made huge profits with Hermitage Capital Management, a company he started in Russia in 1996. That, he says, drew the attention and machinations of a corrupt group of Russian officials.

Honoring the Kyiv Post

Jan 8, 2015
Kyiv Post

This episode of Global Journalist is audio only.

We interviewed Brian Bonner and Katya Gorchinskaya of the Kyiv Post, which received a 2014 Missouri Honor Medal, about their careers and the future of journalism. The Kyiv Post is an English language, independent newspaper that became a prime source of information for the west when Russian actions in Ukraine escalated.

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Sergei Karpukhin, Pool / Associated Press

Note: this episode originally aired on 1 May 2014.

This week, we're looking at the increasingly complex state of energy politics in Eastern Europe. Conflicts between Russia, which supplies much of the region's natural gas, and its neighbors are escalating. The United States government has increased sanctions on the Russian energy sector in response to the country's actions in Crimea and the Ukraine. How have markets been reacting to this? What does it mean for the area's balance of power?

Joining us this week:

This post was last updated at 6:40 p.m. ET.

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 298 passengers and crew aboard has crashed in eastern Ukraine in an area of the country that has been wracked by a separatist insurgency.

Sergei Chuzavkov / AP Photo

This week, our focus turns, once again, to Ukraine. Since the Euromaidan movement at the end of 2013, clashes between pro-Russian and anti-Russian groups have intensified throughout eastern Ukraine. The United Nations estimates that more than 400 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine since this April, and that more than 46,000 have fled their homes. Journalists have also been attacked. Vice News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky was detained by unknown militants in the city of Sloviansk, and others have faced intimidation, threats and other pressures for trying to do their jobs.

russia-pipeline
Sergei Karpukhin, Pool / Associated Press

This week, we're looking at the increasingly complex state of energy politics in Eastern Europe. Conflicts between Russia, which supplies much of the region's natural gas, and its neighbors are escalating. The United States government has increased sanctions on the Russian energy sector in response to the country's actions in Crimea and the Ukraine. How have markets been reacting to this? What does it mean for the area's balance of power?

Joining us this week:

What's next in Crimea?

Apr 10, 2014
Max Vetrov / Associated Press

This week, we take another look at the escalating conflict in Crimea, and what it means for the rest of Eastern Europe.

Manu Brabo / Associated Press

Syria has been an extremely dangerous place for reporters and photographers to work. The regime of President Bashar al-Assad regime has banned foreign journalists. Now, they face dangers from all sides, including desperate rebels and hostile Islamist militants.