Another photojournalist shot that day, U Si Thu, 36, was hit in his left hand as he was holding his camera to his face and photographing soldiers in Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city. He said he believes the soldier who shot him was aiming for his head.

“I had two cameras,” he said, “so it was obvious that I am a photojournalist even though I had no press helmet or vest.”

“I’m sure that the military junta is targeting journalists because they know we are showing the world the reality on the ground and they want to stop us by arresting or killing us,” he added.

Of the 56 journalists arrested, half have been released, according to a group that is tracking arrests. Among those freed were reporters for The Associated Press and the BBC.

But 28 remain in custody, including at least 15 who face prison sentences of up to three years under an unusual law that prohibits the dissemination of information that might induce military officers to disregard or fail in their duties.

Ma Kay Zon Nway, 27, a reporter for Myanmar Now, live streamed her own arrest in late February as she was running from the police in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. Her video shows the police firing in the air as protesters flee. The sound of her labored breathing is audible as the police catch up and take her away.

She is among those who have been charged under the vague and sweeping statute. She has been allowed to meet just once in person with her lawyer.

Mr. Swe Win, the Myanmar Now editor, himself served seven years in prison for protesting in 1998. “All these court proceedings are being done just for the sake of formality,” he said, adding, “We cannot expect any fair treatment.”

With mobile communications blocked, Facebook banned and nightly internet shutdowns, Myanmar’s mainstream media has come to rely on citizen journalists for videos and news tips, said Mr. Myint Kyaw, the former press council secretary.

One of them, Ko Aung Aung Kyaw, 26, was taking videos of the police arresting people in his Yangon neighborhood when an officer spotted him. The officer swore at him, aimed his rifle and fired, Mr. Aung Aung Kyaw’s video shows.

The bullet hit a wall in front of him.

“I know that recording these kinds of things is very risky and I might get shot to death or arrested,” he said. “But I believe I need to keep doing it for the sake of having a record of evidence to punish them.”

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India’s New Media Rules Could Silence Online News Outlets

NEW DELHI — Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, has cultivated and cowed large parts of the country’s normally raucous news media in recent years as part of a broader campaign against dissent.

One group remains untamed: A relatively new generation of scrappy, online-focused news outlets. With names like The Wire, The Print, The Scroll, and NewsLaundry, these publications lack big corporate owners that Mr. Modi’s party can court. They also don’t depend on government advertising money that officials can threaten to withhold.

Now, the platforms say, Mr. Modi is working to rein them in, too.

India’s media outlets had until Saturday to comply with new government rules that they say will force them to change or take down content if online trolls mount a concerted campaign of complaints against their coverage. It would also give the government sweeping new powers to quickly take down articles or other material.

The rules, they say, will force them to toe Mr. Modi’s line or close their doors as the prime minister pushes his most ambitious and controversial initiatives.

freedom of the press has eroded under Mr. Modi’s watch.

Still, while his efforts enjoy broad support in India, critics of his campaigns — from remaking the country’s money system overnight to changing citizenship laws to disadvantage Muslims — have found a home in the robust online space. Their potential audience is vast: India could have more than 800 million smartphone users by next year.

responded by threatening the critics and international platforms like Twitter.

In February, it also enacted online content rules that empower complainers. Online platforms must name a grievance officer who acknowledges complaints within one day and resolves them within 15. The complaint must be taken swiftly to a three-layer system, with a final stop at a government-appointed body that can order platforms to delete or change content.

The new rules also give the government emergency powers to take down content immediately if officials believe it threatens public order or the country’s security or sovereignty.

Netflix and Amazon. The full scope of the law is unclear; some people believe that it could apply to international news publishers like The New York Times.

The government has said it wants to protect average users from online abuse. Officials have cited the spread of deliberate disinformation, harassment of women, abusive language and disrespect of religious groups. Mr. Modi’s ministers have said the rules create a “soft-touch oversight mechanism” that would protect India and prevent “internet imperialism” by major social media platforms.

ownership structure behind many Indian media outlets makes them too dependent on advertising and investors, he argues, influencing their editorial decisions. With The Wire — owned by the Foundation for Independent Journalism, a trust — he wanted to explore a different arrangement.

The Wire operates from a crammed southern New Delhi office. Mr. Varadarajan sits in a corner. To save money after India’s stringent Covid-19 lockdown last year, The Wire vacated a floor.

“We have all been downgraded,” he told a columnist one recent afternoon who had looked for him at his old office upstairs. “Cutbacks.”

sudden increase in the fortunes of the son of one Mr. Modi’s most important lieutenants. They have also scrutinized business deals that may have favored companies seen as friendly to the prime minister.

At a recent meeting at The Wire newsroom, the conversation ranged from coverage plans for state elections, to how to shoot video quickly, to how to balance working at home and in the office as coronavirus cases tick up.

But much of the talk focused on the new regulations. Mr. Varadarajan told his staff that The Wire’s first court hearing had gone well but that the authorities were watching the digital platforms closely.

“Now that you know they will be waiting for opportunity to latch onto anything, look at it as extra responsibility,” Mr. Varadarajan said. “We have to be 150 percent careful to not leave any wiggle room to troublemakers, to not make their life any easier.”

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Iowa Journalist Who Was Arrested at Protest Is Found Not Guilty

An Iowa jury acquitted a journalist on Wednesday in a highly unusual trial of a reporter who was arrested last spring as she covered a protest against racism and police violence.

Andrea Sahouri, a public safety reporter for The Des Moines Register, was arrested May 31 while covering a sometimes chaotic demonstration near the Merle Hay mall in downtown Des Moines. Police ordered protesters to disperse and used pepper spray against them. Ms. Sahouri, who said she identified herself as a reporter, was arrested along with her then-boyfriend, Spenser Robnett, who had accompanied her that day.

Ms. Sahouri, 25, pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges of failing to disperse and interference with official acts, each punishable by up to 30 days in jail. On Wednesday, a six-person jury found Ms. Sahouri and Mr. Robnett not guilty of both charges.

“I’m thankful to the jury for doing the right thing,” Ms. Sahouri said in a statement after the verdict. “Their decision upholds freedom of the press and justice in our democracy.”

part of a nationwide movement that sprang up after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed last May while in police custody in Minneapolis.

The Register decried the charges against Ms. Sahouri as “a violation of free press rights and a miscarriage of justice.”

The trial, which took place at the Drake University Legal Clinic in Iowa City, started on Monday, with Judge Lawrence P. McLellan presiding. It was also live-streamed.

body cam footage taken by another police officer that captured Ms. Sahouri stating that she was a journalist for The Register. “This is my job!” she shouted.

Amnesty International, said the prosecution represented “a clear violation of press freedom and fit a disturbing pattern of abuses against journalists by police in the U.S.A.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a project comprising a number of press freedom organizations, said that 11 other journalists working for U.S. publications were facing criminal charges after being arrested while covering protests last year.

Kirstin McCudden, the managing editor of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, expressed concern about the prosecution of Ms. Sahouri. “It’s a concerning precedent for her to have not only been arrested and assaulted with pepper spray while reporting but then to also face trial,” she said.

Tomas Murawski, a reporter for The Alamance News in North Carolina, is among the other journalists facing prosecution. He was arrested Oct. 31 while covering a protest in Graham, N.C., and charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing a police officer. The case is set for a March 31 court hearing.

April Ehrlich, a reporter for Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland, Ore., was arrested Sept. 22 while reporting on a police action to clear homeless people from a park in Medford, Ore. Ms. Ehrlich, who won an Edward R. Murrow award last year, was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest. A pretrial conference hearing is scheduled for March 16.

Another journalist who has been charged is Richard Cummings, a freelance photographer. He was arrested June 1 while covering a demonstration in Worcester, Mass. He had a court hearing on Monday, and his next court date is April 20.

Thomas J. Healy, a constitutional law professor at Seton Hall University law school, said that arrests and prosecutions of journalists could have “a chilling effect on the press.”

“We rely on journalists to cover protests and the police response to protests,” he said. “This kind of transparency is how our democracy functions effectively.”

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Court Dismisses Trump Campaign’s Defamation Suit Against New York Times

A New York State court on Tuesday dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by the re-election campaign of Donald J. Trump against The New York Times Company, ruling that an opinion essay that argued there had been a “quid pro quo” between the candidate and Russian officials before the 2016 presidential election was protected speech.

The Times published the Op-Ed, written by Max Frankel, a former executive editor of The Times who was not named as a defendant in the suit, in March 2019 under the headline “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo.” Mr. Frankel made the case that in “an overarching deal” before the 2016 election, Russian officials would help Mr. Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in exchange for his taking U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Russia direction.

Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign, Donald J. Trump for President Inc., filed the suit in New York State Supreme Court in February 2020, alleging defamation and accusing The Times of “extreme bias against and animosity toward” the campaign.

In his decision on Tuesday, Judge James E. d’Auguste noted three reasons for dismissal. He wrote that Mr. Frankel’s commentary was “nonactionable opinion,” meaning it was constitutionally protected speech; that the Trump campaign did not have standing to sue for defamation; and that the campaign had failed to show that The Times had published the essay with “actual malice.”

sued Gawker Media in 2012 over the publication of a sex video. That suit, secretly funded by the conservative tech investor Peter Thiel, resulted in a $140 million decision that prompted Gawker Media’s bankruptcy and sale.

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They Were Journalists, and Women, and Targeted for Both

Though she noted that she was unaware of the station receiving any threats specific to the murdered women or female employees generally, “Being a journalist in Afghanistan is a risk. There’s no other way to put it,” she said. “Even just going to work or walking home from work, as we saw happen yesterday, can pose a risk.”

Since 2018, more than 30 media employees and journalists have been killed in Afghanistan, according to a recent United Nations report. It has been particularly bad for them, and for other civil society figures, during an increase in targeted killings documented by The New York Times since peace negotiations started in September 2020.

“I feel like we’re living in a horror movie these days,” said Rada Akbar, a Kabul-based photojournalist and artist. “So many people left the country. A lot of people got killed. And everyone else who is in the city is just …” she trailed off, then continued. “Everyone is so silent. It’s very scary.”

Mariam Alimi, a Kabul-based photojournalist, remembers the precise moment she heard that the three media workers in Jalalabad had been killed. “I was at my brother’s house,” she said. “I heard that three journalists had been killed, so I switched on the TV, and saw the story.”

The news, she said, was “a warning to me.” She travels throughout the country for her work, often alone. For years, she said, she felt safe enough doing so that she preferred to drive to assignments across the country rather than fly, which she considered a hassle. More recently, however, she has been threatened and followed by unknown men while on assignment. Her clients have canceled assignments and warned her not to travel.

And then came the killings on Tuesday, which felt like a message she couldn’t ignore.

The New York Times documented the deaths of at least 136 civilians and 168 security force members in such targeted killings and assassinations in 2020, more than nearly any other year of the war.

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