New York, July 17, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists recalls Walter Cronkite, the CBS News anchor and CPJ honorary co-chairman who died today, as an instrumental leader in the international press freedom movement. Throughout CPJ's 28-year history, Cronkite was active in efforts to protect local journalists working in dangerous situations around the world.
"From putting his own life on the line to cover the
battlefields of World War II to challenging the 'thugs' who physically harassed
his reporters on the floor of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Walter
Cronkite knew firsthand the challenges journalists face bringing news to the
public, and he never forgot them. Whenever press freedom needed a champion, he
was there. We will miss him," said Paul Steiger, CPJ board chairman.
CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon
describes Cronkite's many contributions in an entry on the CPJ
Blog. CPJ will be posting remembrances of Cronkite over the next few days.
We urge all who knew his work in the press freedom community to share their
thoughts and stories online.