In our quest for a free media, CPJ denounces press freedom violations, meets with heads of state and high-ranking officials, spearheads or advises on diplomatic efforts, and works with other organizations to ensure that justice prevails for imprisoned and killed journalists. We also work within international bodies to influence policy and ensure that press freedom is protected and strengthened as a fundamental right for a free, just society.
On average, more than 30 journalists are killed each year, and their murderers go unpunished in nearly nine of 10 cases. Among the countries leading in journalist murders that evade justice are established democracies where the rule of law should function yet a culture of impunity prevails. The absence of justice in journalist murders deters the rest of the press from critical reporting and leaves the public with a shallow understanding of their world. Journalists reporting on corruption, organized crime, conflict, and politics are the most targeted for exposing vital truths. Through its Global Campaign against Impunity, CPJ is working to secure justice and emboldening citizens to defend those whose reporting has proven deadly.
In Fall 2012, CPJ unveiled its new digital campaign, SPEAK JUSTICE: VOICES AGAINST IMPUNITY, an opportunity to break the cycle by demanding justice for murdered journalists. It is a tool to empower impactful reporting and shield reporters from reprisal. SPEAK JUSTICE is powered by the Committee to Protect Journalists, in collaboration with global and local partner organizations as well as concerned individuals. In 2013, Speak Justice will evolve with web pages, in English and local languages focused on the Philippines, Russia, Pakistan and Mexico, countries where impunity is particularly prevalent.
For more than a decade, courts and legislatures throughout the Americas have found that civil remedies provide adequate redress in cases of alleged libel and slander. But some governments in the region continue to use archaic criminal defamation laws to silence dissent.
CPJ has joined with press groups throughout the region to fight for free expression and against those governments that wish to silence differing views. The campaign, Critics Are Not Criminals, provides information and other resources to help fight the criminalization of speech in the Americas.