Cause Celeb: Tom Brokaw
October 23, 2007
Each month, we highlight a celebrity’s work on behalf of a specific charity. This month we speak with Tom Brokaw, who was anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News” for 21 years. Brokaw who continues to report and produce long-form documentaries and provide expertise during breaking news events for NBC News, discusses his involvement with the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Question: What is the Committee to Protect Journalists?
Answer: It’s an organization that a group of us formed in the early 1980’s because we felt that we should extend the privilege that we have in this country to our colleagues around the world. Most of us have worked overseas and we had seen the variable oppressive environment that exists in too many countries for people to practice the craft of journalism. So we got together one night at a little cocktail party over at 21 and out of that grew this now internationally acclaimed, highly esteemed organization. It’s essentially a journalist advocacy organization in which we get people out of trouble or counsel governments or lecture them in some cases or write to them and try to get them to see the importance of sunshine as a disinfectant in their countries.
Q: Why did you get involved in this cause?
A: Well, it was easy for those of us who started because when you travel the world as a journalist you suddenly quit beefing about the minor inconveniences back home. We have the First Amendment here and very strong laws protecting what we do and a great tradition of journalism. So I thought, I’m at a stage in my life where the least I can do is try to extend these benefits to people around the world that I meet, who look to America as the pinnacle of journalism. And they help me a lot when I’m there, so this is one small way of paying them back.
Read the rest of the interview at the MSNBC website.