The Press & the World



You’re a young reporter teamed with a novice photographer working for a wire service and you are out to report on events in one of the following countries (countries will be assigned by drawing a number).


  1. Algeria
  2. Bosnia
  3. Cambodia
  4. China
  5. Columbia
  6. Cuba
  7. Egypt
  8. Iran
  9. Iraq
  10. Kosovo
  11. Lebanon
  12. Malaysia
  13. Mexico
  14. Nigeria
  15. Pakistan
  16. Philippines
  17. Russia
  18. Rwanda
  19. Sierra Leone
  20. India
  21. South Africa
  22. Turkey
  23. Thailand
  24. Venezuela
  25. Zimbabwe
  26. Jordan
  27. Vietnam


Before you leave home, you want to understand what you’ll be facing—you know that the protection of the US Constitution and the 1st Amendment only reaches to the border. You want to find answers to several questions:


  1. In “your” country, what cases of censorship, oppression, violations of human rights can you cite? In other words, have journalists been victims of any of the above?

  2. What restrictions, limitations or freedoms pertaining to the press can you expect to find in this country? Try to find the country’s constitution or any official document regarding the press in this country.

  3. What is going on in this country? What will there be to report on? Civil war or other military conflict, political unrest, a recent coup d’etat, corrupt government, illegal drug trade? Be a detective. Read the local paper if you can.

  4. How does this country “measure up” to the International Code of Practice for the Safe Conduct of Journalism? In other words, do the actions and/or practices of this country regarding the press meet the ideals set for in this document? Explain how.

  5. What organizations exist to help protect you when you are far from home? How do they protect? What do they do?

  6. Are there any journalism heroes from this country? Who and why are they heroes? (this is extra effort).


After you learn the truth about what to expect, you have to decide if you still want to go, knowing that if you do not go, you will lose your job. What is your decision? What is the basis for your decision? File a report with your editor (me and the class) that includes a detailed summary of the information you found while trying to answer your questions, your decision about the job and your rationale for that decision. Your report will be oral.


Your report should be professional and well organized. Follow this format:

  • Greet the editorial board

  • State the purpose for wanting to talk to us (Wanting us to know more about the country you may visit, Trying to decide if it’s safe)

  • Give us a complete report (the information from this report comes from your answers to the questions; do not, however, simply list the answers)

  • Tell us your decision about taking the job or not and restate your main reason

  • Thank us for listening



This report is worth 100 points. You do not have to hand anything in, but please do not interpret this to mean that you do not have to take notes or prepare. Look at the scoring rubric so you know how you will be graded.




Need help? Try the following sources:


Amnesty International

IFJ—International Federation of Journalists

CPJ—Committee to Protect Journalists

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Freedom Forum 

International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX)

International Journalists' Network

Index on Censorship

Survival Guide For Journalists

World Press Freedom Day


Wire Services:


Associated Press


Your best resources will be from newspapers.

News Online

Use the Internet to find International Papers as well as American Papers

  Find many international papers at


Try the Electric Library


Search terms: Do a Boolean search and use your country name with any of the following:

  • press statutes

  • press freedom

  • press limitations (or restrictions)

  • reporters or journalists in danger

  • journalists and human rights

  • journalists and violence


Be a good detective/researcher; don’t give up if you don’t find what you’re looking for. Keep trying. Help each other.