CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Joel Simon

Joel Simon is the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. He has written widely on media issues, contributing to Slate, Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Review of Books, World Policy Journal, Asahi Shimbun, and The Times of India. He has led numerous international missions to advance press freedom. His book, The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom, was published in November 2014. Follow him on Twitter @Joelcpj. His public GPG encryption key can be found here.

Letter to Ahmadinejad: Release the hikers

December 2, 2009 2:30 PM ET

I hope Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad checked his fax machine this morning because he received an important letter urging the release of three American hikers held now for five months without charge. I joined 79 signatories from a dozen countries in signing the appeal because I am gravely concerned that the hikers...

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Maziar Bahari, Iran, and the impact of world pressure

November 23, 2009 8:45 AM ET

Maziar Bahari’s chilling account of his 118 days in an Iranian prison is the cover story of Newsweek this week. Bahari, a renowned journalist and documentary filmmaker, was arrested soon after the disputed June 12 elections. While in prison, he was subjected to psychological and physical abuse. His captors...

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A letter to the American hikers being held in Iran

November 16, 2009 5:00 PM ET

The families of Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd, the three hikers detained in Iran, said today they are concerned about their children’s emotional well-being after nearly four months in prison. They asked supporters to send letters, which they will seek to deliver to them in Evin Prison in...

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Paul Steiger's challenge: Double your donation to CPJ

November 16, 2009 2:48 PM ET

We want to thank all of you who responded to the challenge set out by our chairman, Paul Steiger, calling on individuals who care about independent media to support CPJ. His e-mail has already generated an unprecedented response, but we still have a ways to go before reaching our goal....

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Playing the spy card against WSJ in Pakistan

November 9, 2009 1:31 PM ET

Last Thursday, Pakistan’s The Nation newspaper published a reckless and unsubstantiated story accusing Wall Street Journal South Asia correspondent Matthew Rosenberg of being a spy. It’s an accusation that gravely endangers Rosenberg’s safety. Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson responded with a scathing letter to The Nation’s editor, Shireen Mazari, expressing...

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On dangerous assignments, risk becomes 'normal'

October 22, 2009 3:40 PM ET

David Rohde’s gripping five-part series on his abduction in Afghanistan and Pakistan ends today with his dramatic escape from his abductors.  His series—and the reaction to it—bring into high relief the challenges that journalists face as they confront growing risk around the world.  Rohde, for example, felt the need, both...

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It's an honor

October 6, 2009 12:33 PM ET

Yesterday, CPJ received the Thomas J. Dodd Prize for International Justice and Human Rights at an outdoor ceremony at the University of Connecticut. It was one of those perfect, crisp fall mornings in New England with a strong wind blowing clouds across the sun and shaking the first leaves...

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Helping the Hikers

August 7, 2009 11:59 AM ET

The notion that three American hikers could innocently wander across the border from Iraqi Kurdistan into Iran has elicited some understandable skepticism. But a statement from their friend who stayed behind in his hotel because he was ill helps explain how the situation unfolded. ...

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Walter Cronkite's press freedom legacy

July 17, 2009 9:14 PM ET

Walter Cronkite had such a profound impact in so many ways that one might overlook an important part of his legacy--his long efforts on behalf of international press freedom and his advocacy on behalf of local journalists around the world. Cronkite was a vital participant in the launch of the...

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Who will lead UNESCO?

June 19, 2009 10:47 AM ET

Being director general of UNESCO is the definition of a plum diplomatic job. Headquartered in Paris, UNESCO's mandate is to promote cultural exchanges and scientific research, or, as its charter more grandly puts it, "peace in the minds of men." With the term of the current UNESCO head coming to...

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