CPJ Update

CPJ Update
October 20. 2004

News from the Committee to Protect Journalists

International Press Freedom Awards
We’re proud to honor four journalists who have endured years of harassment, threats, or imprisonment to report the news. Our 2004 International Press Freedom Awards will be presented November 23 to Svetlana Kalinkina, who stood up to bureaucratic coercion as editor of a popular Belarusian daily; Aung Pwint and Thaung Tun, Burmese filmmakers and editors imprisoned for their work; and Alexis Sinduhije, who overcame government intimidation to make Radio Publique Africaine one of Burundi’s most popular stations.

We’ll also honor Paul Klebnikov, editor-in-chief of Forbes Russia, who was gunned down in a contract-style killing in Moscow in July. John Carroll, editor and executive vice president of the Los Angeles Times, will receive CPJ’s Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement.

To read more about the awardees, please click here: http://www.cpj.org/awards04/awards_release_04.html

The benefit is coming–buy your tickets now!
The award winners will be honored at our benefit dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on Tuesday, November 23. Tony Ridder, chairman and CEO of Knight Ridder, is chairman of the black-tie dinner, and PBS News anchor and CPJ board member Gwen Ifill is the host. UBS is sponsoring a pre-event reception, and Newsday is hosting the post-awards dinner reception.

To purchase tickets, please contact CPJ’s development department at (212) 465-1004 ext. 109.

Coming soon in Dangerous Assignments
The growing role of “fixers” in international news coverage is explored in the Fall/Winter edition of our magazine, Dangerous Assignments, which will be distributed in early November. Elisabeth Witchel, our journalist assistance coordinator, discusses the mounting dangers facing these local journalists who serve the international media as guides, translators, and arrangers. “In a climate of heightened danger for the press, local fixers, though they may blend in more than Westerners, have become targets themselves because of their association with international media outlets. And as fixers’ work becomes more substantial and more dangerous, news organizations face tougher questions in navigating this new terrain,” Witchel writes in our cover story, “The Fixers.”

Also in the coming issue of Dangerous Assignments … Executive Director Ann Cooper examines the unsolved murders of journalists in Russia and the return of Soviet-style repression. … Deputy Director Joel Simon looks at the lessons in a major victory over criminal libel laws in Latin America. … Senior Editor Amanda Watson-Boles interviews an Internet journalist persecuted for his work. … Mitch Prothero, CPJ’s representative Baghdad, describes the deteriorating security for journalists in Iraq. … and Washington representative Frank Smyth takes on federal prosecutors in a commentary about the government’s willingness to compel reporters to reveal confidential sources.

To read a preview of Prothero’s story: http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/2004/DA_fall04/Iraq_Prothero_DA_fall04.html

To read a preview of Smyth’s commentary:

The dangerous facts on Iraq
The conflict in Iraq has become one of the dangerous in recent history, and Iraqi journalists are bearing an ever-greater burden, a new CPJ analysis has found. Our data show that Iraqis constituted 16 of the 22 journalists and all 11 of the media workers killed so far in 2004. Insurgent actions–from targeted killings to suicide bombings–are the most common cause of deaths among journalists. We’ve compiled a breakdown of the death toll, with historical background and comparable data from previous conflicts.

To read our summary: http://www.cpj.org/news/2004/Iraq19oct04na.html
To see the statistics: http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/2003/gulf03/iraq_stats.html

Hope, skepticism in Togo
Adam Posluns
and Alexis Arieff, our former and current Africa program researchers, explore the opportunities and pitfalls in Togo’s promise to loosen its repressive hold on the media. In a new special report, “Promises and the Press,” they describe the West African nation’s efforts to regain millions in European Union aid by undertaking political and press reforms. They also talk with a skeptical Togolese press, and a cautious EU.

To read the report: http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/2004/Togo_oct_04/Togo_oct_04.html