On February 16, CPJ held an ambitious international launch of our annual report Attacks on the Press. We coordinated events in six cities on four continents in order to expand the reach of our international headlines while also focusing on specific issues in each region. So how did we do?
CPJ staff made an incredible effort to connect with local media on the ground and with international outlets. All told, we did more than 25 interviews and more than 60 news stories ran about the launch.
Reuters covered our Japan press conference, our first time zone launch, and their wire report was republished in at least 10 outlets including The Washington Post. A Reuters photographer took images of CPJ’s first mission to Japan, including the shot of CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon above. Kyodo News published a short item that was picked up by the English-language edition of Japan Times, and there were a number of Japanese-language stories in local media outlets.
Cairo was host to CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa launch, featuring Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem and CPJ Middle East Representative Kamel Labidi. We got a lot of coverage out of this region, including this Associated Press story and another in the local English-language Daily News Egypt. The Cairo release also garnered interest from Al-Jazeera, which ran the press conference in its entirety and whose interviews with Abdel Dayem and Labidi have run repeatedly on the Arabic-language channel. Al-Arabiya TV interviewed CPJ on the release of the report—the first time they have covered a CPJ event.
In Nairobi, CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Tom Rhodes was well received at a breakfast briefing focused on exiled Africa journalists. With more than 50 journalists attending the event, Rhodes was in demand and did a number of TV and radio interviews including the BBC, Xinhua TV, Radio France Internationale, and interviews for Kenya’s Star Newspaper, the Daily Nation, and KTN TV.
The European leg of the launch was held at the International Press Club in Brussels, where CPJ representatives, including CPJ Europe Consultant Borja Bergareche, met with journalists covering the European Union. We had good exposure in Spain, with coverage in high-profile outlets like ABC.es and El País.
CPJ Senior Program Coordinator for the Americas Carlos Lauría traveled to Bogotá to present Attacks in a joint launch with Colombian press freedom organization La Fundación para la Libertad de Prensa (FLIP). We focused on illegal government spying on journalists and received an incredible amount of coverage in the Spanish-language press. Regional newspapers such as Clarín in Argentina and Bolivia’s La Prensa covered our findings. The Colombian news site Semana.com, headed by CPJ board member Maria Teresa Ronderos, who also participated in the event, ran two stories surrounding the release.
In New York, we held a panel at the United Nations with Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari, CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney, and Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz. Mahoney’s call to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take a “firm stand in defense of freedom of expression” was picked up in a number of outlets, including The New York Times and the BBC, and in wire reports from Agence France-Presse and the AP. CPJ staffers did a number of interviews on the heels of the press conference, with Mahoney speaking to Canada’s CBC Radio and BBC Radio Five Live and Dietz talking to Asian and Pacific outlets, including Radio Free Asia and Radio Australia.