Our History

The Committee to Protect Journalists was founded in 1981 by a group of U.S. correspondents who realized they could not ignore the plight of colleagues whose reporting put them in peril on a daily basis.

The idea that journalists around the world should come together to defend the rights of colleagues working in repressive and dangerous environments led to CPJ’s first advocacy campaign in 1982. At the time, three British journalists—Simon Winchester, Ian Mather, and Tony Prime—were arrested in Argentina while covering the Falklands War. A letter from CPJ Honorary Chairman Walter Cronkite helped spring them from prison.

Today, CPJ’s networks are made up of journalists, researchers, and advocates, working together to support journalists and press freedom around the world.