CPJ Update

CPJ Update
June 16, 2006
News from the Committee to Protect Journalists

CPJ begins 25th anniversary celebrations

At CPJ, New York Times’ Dexter Filkins describes reporting in Iraq
CPJ hosted and participated in a series of events in September to mark our 25th anniversary beginning with an Open House and discussion with New York Times Baghdad correspondent Dexter Filkins. Moderated by CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon and attended by a large group of CPJ friends and supporters, the September 14 discussion with Filkins focused on journalist safety and the increasingly dire conditions for reporters in Iraq. Filkins, an award-winning journalist who has covered the war in Iraq since it began in March 2003, is a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University this year. He offered a stark portrait of daily life for reporters in Baghdad. In the following audio report, Filkins describes a typical day in the Times’ Baghdad bureau.

CPJ salutes Walter Cronkite, its honorary co-chairman
CPJ friends and supporters honored former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite in Manhattan on September 19. Cronkite joined CPJ at its inception, lending worldwide credibility and recognition, and later participated in a mission to Turkey that led to the dismissal of charges against a journalist. In a recent interview with CPJ, he said: “To most of us who had had any experience in wartime it seemed clear that a strong organization to protect journalists was necessary. Our American reputation for the defense for press freedom makes us particularly good ambassadors in extending those freedoms to nations where they have been denied.” See photos from the event.

CPJ receives Emmy for work on behalf of press freedom
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored CPJ for its work in defense of press freedom at the 27th annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards on September 25. Also honored were the International Press Institute and Reporters Without Borders. In his acceptance remarks, CPJ Honorary Co-Chairman Terry Anderson dedicated the award to the 106 journalists and media workers who have died in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. Read Anderson’s remarks.

CPJ hosts impunity panel at Columbia University
CPJ Board Member and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Clarence Page moderated an animated panel discussion on impunity and ways of seeking justice for murdered journalists at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism on September 28.

Panel members included Judea Pearl, father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl; Myroslava Gongadze, the widow of Ukrainian journalist Georgy Gongadze who talked about the ongoing trial of her husband’s killers six years after his death; Bob Rivard, executive editor of the San Antonio Express-News, who said he will continue campaigning for the apprehension of the men convicted in absentia of the 1998 murder of his reporter Philip True; Sheila Coronel of Columbia University who emphasized the positive effect that justice in these cases can have on other instances of murdered journalists. To see photographs of the panel, click here: http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/2006/anniversary/impunity.html

CPJ alarmed by detention of AP photographer in Iraq
CPJ is alarmed that a Pulitzer Prize-winning freelance photojournalist working for The Associated Press in Iraq has been held by U.S. military forces for five months without charge. The photographer, Bilal Hussein, is an Iraqi citizen who began working for the AP in September 2004. AP reported that he had photographed events in Fallujah and Ramadi until he was detained on April 12 this year. One of Hussein’s photos was part of the package of 20 photographs that won a Pulitzer Price for breaking news photography. His contribution was an image of four insurgents in Fallujah firing a mortar and small arms during the U.S.-led offensive in the city in November 2004. To learn more about Hussein’s case, click here: http://www.cpj.org/news/2006/mideast/iraq17sept06na.html

CPJ releases groundbreaking report on 15 years of journalist deaths worldwide
An investigation by CPJ shows that journalists have been killed in direct relation to their work at a rate of more than three per month, and that Iraq is the deadliest country in the world for the press. “Deadly News,” an analysis of 580 journalists killed over the last 15 years, is the most extensive study of its kind ever undertaken. The study, released on September 20, shows that most of those killed were local beat reporters, editors, and photojournalists, and that few of the cases have ever been solved. Seven out of 10 journalists were murdered, many on the orders of government and military officials. The report includes a database of research from each of the 580 cases and will be featured in the fall edition of CPJ’s biannual magazine Dangerous Assignments. To read the report, click here: http://www.cpj.org/Briefings/2006/deadly_news/deadly_news.html