Lester Holt, Matt Murray, and Norman Pearlstine join CPJ board of directors

Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes news veterans

New York, February 20, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists today announced that Lester Holt, anchor at “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” and “Dateline NBC;” Matt Murray, editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires; and Norman Pearlstine, executive editor of The Los Angeles Times, have joined the organization’s board of directors.

“Lester, Norm, and Matt are powerful newsroom leaders and we are delighted they are joining the CPJ board of directors,” said Kathleen Carroll, chair of the board. “They know firsthand how treacherous newsgathering has become around the globe. Their voices will be invaluable in CPJ’s ceaseless efforts to protect journalists from the despots, autocrats, thugs, and criminals who menace them.”

Holt has worked in journalism for over four decades and has served as the principal anchor of “Dateline NBC” since September 2011. His work has been recognized with the Los Angeles Press Club’s Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism, and the Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Journalism from the National Press Foundation.

“Our profession is under attack every day, from network news broadcasts to local community papers in every corner of the world. And that’s why the job of journalists — to shine light in dark places and hold the powerful accountable — has never been more important. I’m proud to join CPJ’s fight to ensure my colleagues across the globe can continue to report, to question, to seek answers and to inform. It’s our mission.” Holt said.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Murray previously served as executive editor, deputy editor in chief, and national editor. He joined Dow Jones & Company in 1994 as a reporter for the Pittsburgh bureau. He is the author of “The Father and the Son” and the co-author of “Strong of Heart.”

“As journalists face new threats around the world, CPJ stands proudly for independent, unfettered reporting and for the rights of newsgatherers to pursue information without fear of reprisal,” Murray said. “I’m honored to help advance this mission on behalf of the Journal.”

Before joining The Los Angeles Times in 2018, Pearlstine served as vice-chairman of Time Inc.

He has held leadership roles at Bloomberg L.P. and The Wall Street Journal, among other outlets. Pearlstine has earned the American Society of Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame, the Gerald Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Business & Financial Journalism, and the National Press Foundation’s Editor of the Year Award. He is the author of “Off the Record: The Press, the Government, and the War over Anonymous Sources.”

“The mission of the Committee to Protect Journalists is close to my heart,” Pearlstine said. “At a moment where the free press is increasingly under attack, I am so pleased to be able to rejoin the board and contribute to this important work.”

Pearlstine was a CPJ director from 2004 to 2014 and since served as a senior adviser to the organization.

Holt, Murray, and Pearlstine join CPJ’s board at a challenging time for global press freedom. For the third year in a row, CPJ documented over 250 journalists in prison, while the number of journalists murdered for their work nearly doubled in 2018. CPJ’s board recently passed a resolution denouncing the arrest of Rappler editor and veteran journalist Maria Ressa in the Philippines.

CPJ has also participated in events to celebrate press freedom, most recently as the charity honoree at the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York City, where Holt and Murray were among a group of journalists who rang in 2019. CPJ’s board of directors is composed of leading journalists from the United States and around the world.