Our Plan

Summary of CPJ’s 2023-2025 strategic plan

In 2022, CPJ’s board approved our 2023-2025 Strategic Plan, which will help us confront threats to press freedom while ensuring we can adapt to a rapidly changing media environment. The plan reflects input from CPJ’s staff, board of directors, and global network of correspondents, as well as from journalists, donors, and representatives of partner organizations.

CPJ has a stake in ensuring that journalists are able to report the truth. With the 2023 – 2025 Strategic Plan, CPJ can continue to defend press freedom principles and our collective right to information globally. 

Our Vision

Our vision is a world in which all journalists are able to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal.

Our Mission

CPJ protects the free flow of news and commentary by taking action wherever journalists are under threat.

How We Work

CPJ’s work is based on three main pillars: Awareness; Advocacy; and Assistance. Through documenting and publicizing cases of journalists under threat, through direct advocacy, and by providing assistance such as advice and emergency aid, CPJ aims to help all journalists work safely.

Our Strategic Framework

This 2023-5 plan identifies five strategic priorities to meet the growing threats to journalists worldwide. The plan aims to bolster significantly the organization’s emergency response capacity, broaden its geographic reach, expand its network of partners, and boost the organization’s resilience.

1) Increase our emergency response and practical support capacity

More journalists require more kinds of help than ever before. Our goal is to enhance the resilience of journalists under threat worldwide by providing more targeted and timely safety information and practical support to meet the growing number of requests for support.

We will:

  • Increase the number of staff providing safety information, support, and research
  • Seek increased funding to expand CPJ’s journalist assistance fund
  • Offer more research and information on safety trends to journalists
  • Build a safety trends forecasting capability 
  • Update and regularly review CPJ’s crisis management plan
2) Invest more in local representation in target countries and regions

Journalists face common global threats. However, the ways that each threat manifests itself varies greatly depending on the local environment. Understanding and being able to respond effectively with context-specific assistance requires local expertise.

We will:

  • Identify and review annually key regions and countries where journalism is under greatest threat and where CPJ has the ability to intervene most effectively
  • Invest in increased staff capacity in these regions and countries if it is safe for on-the-ground personnel
  • Create more defined regional-level roles to support journalist assistance work, research and editing and advocacy at the national and regional level
  • Invest more in professional development for staff at all levels of the organization
3) Refine and enhance targeted content, communications, and campaigning work

The growing threats to journalists have followed, and been enabled by, a decline in trust of and support for journalism globally. In addition to focusing on raising awareness about – and advocating for systemic solutions to – the threats to journalist safety, CPJ will put a renewed focus on making the case for press freedom and journalism in the public interest in ways that focus on reaching different audiences effectively.

We will:

  • Launch a strategic review of our communications functions 
  • Define more clearly, and refine as needed, the various editorial, advocacy, and external communications outputs produced by CPJ
  • Create 3 – 4 advocacy campaigns on global issues that build on CPJ’s expertise, such as criminalization of journalists
  • Review reporting and advocacy around technology and other thematic issues
  • Use more storytelling formats for varied audiences
  • Launch a global, multilingual public campaign to help build wider and stronger public support for journalists, with a particular emphasis on the role of local journalists
4) Build Effective Partnerships

We live in an increasingly connected yet fractured world. Just as the challenges facing democracy and human rights are intersectional, so too are those facing a free press. With an explicit and intentional focus on building effective partnerships in key areas, CPJ will ensure it is able to fully respond to the multitude of challenges facing journalists.

We will:

  • Develop and implement a strategy for use of the Press Freedom Center as a convening space for journalists and supporters, as well as other virtual tools
  • Grow our working relationships with organizations outside of the traditional press freedom sphere, including refugee and asylum organizations, media development organizations, human rights and social justice groups and others such as journalism schools and technology platforms
  • Audit current partnerships and develop clear protocols, processes, and practices for partnerships and relationship management
5) Improve Organizational Resilience

Our goal is to help at-risk journalists become more resilient to deal with current and emerging threats. This requires a staff and organization that are equally resilient, with the skills and training to respond effectively to the needs of those whom we support.

We will

  • Enhance support for staff wellbeing, provide management and leadership training and career development for all staff, and revamp onboarding, offboarding, and orientation processes
  • Adopt a remote working and hiring policy that enables CPJ to hire individuals wherever they will be most effective in carrying out their role
  • Upgrade CPJ’s technology, data, and knowledge management systems and rationalize communications tools
  • Increase development and fundraising capacity 
  • Improve CPJ’s monitoring and evaluation mechanism 
  • Support board development and enhance board involvement in CPJ work