With an audience of 500 strong, Friday’s Journopalooza was rockin’. Held at the National Press Club, the charity concert benefited CPJ’s journalist assistance fund and the press club’s scholarship and training programs. The lineup featured musicians from The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, McClatchy Newspapers, the Washington Independent, and Bloomberg News, playing blues, pop, and indie rock.
The packed house hummed with D.C.-based media, diplomats, and politicos. Outgoing CIA Director Michael Hayden (and his security entourage) caused the biggest buzz. Former Al-Jazeera anchor and CPJ board member Dave Marash was the master of ceremonies, introducing the four feature bands: Nobody’s Business, Anchorage, Suspicious Package and The Surge. Spectators, impressed with the transformation of the normally sedate NPC into a raucous concert venue, were talking about an even bigger Journopalooza next year.
Behind the music was an incredible outpouring of support at a time when journalists around the world are facing crises. Reporters and photographers in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka are approaching CPJ in increasing numbers in search of safe havens. In Russia, editor Michael Beketov is in critical condition in a Moscow hospital after being brutally beaten in retaliation for his political coverage. Journopalooza will enable us to help many of these journalists. That’s rockin’, too.