Correcting the record on journalists (female or male, young or old)

Postings this week on two Web sites erroneously attributed statements about young female journalists to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Because the statements are completely contrary to our fundamental principles, we are taking a moment to make sure the record is clear. 

CPJ makes absolutely no judgments based on age or gender. We defend all journalists of all backgrounds throughout the world. We offer no opinions on the multifaceted decisions that journalists in the field must make in pursuing an assignment–and we certainly make no judgments based on whether the journalist involved is male or female, young or old.

The erroneous attributions appeared in a June 17 post by Myles Spicer on Daily Kos and in a June 19 column by Marney Rich Keenan in The Detroit News. Spicer has included a note in the comments section of his post to correct the record; The Detroit News has removed an attribution to us.

The statements erroneously attributed to CPJ say that “young, highly educated female journalists” are taking unprecedented risks in the field and go on to question the motivation of these journalists.

Not only did we not make these statements, we wish to point out that there is no factual evidence for any such claim about risk-taking. While we respect everyone’s right to express an opinion, we do not in any way make judgments based on any individual’s background.

Every day, journalists of all backgrounds make difficult decisions in complex situations. We defend their rights without judgment.

The misattributions may have been triggered by a June 8 posting on NowPublic that includes an accurately rendered statement from CPJ. The post goes on to offer the author’s own comments about female journalists.