The Gene Roberts Fund for Emergency Assistance


The Fund

CPJ provides financial support to journalists at risk through its Gene Roberts Emergency Fund, which was renamed in 2014 in honor of Gene Roberts, a veteran U.S. journalist and former chairman of the CPJ board who was instrumental in the creation of the Journalist Assistance program.

The Gene Roberts fund is administered by the CPJ staff in New York and overseen by a special committee of CPJ’s board of directors. It provides modest grants to journalists who qualify for CPJ assistance.

For additional information on requesting support from CPJ, please see How To Get Help.

Gene Roberts

(University of Maryland)
(University of Maryland)

Roberts has taught at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland since 1991, following 18 years as the executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, which won 17 Pulitzer Prizes under his leadership.

He took a hiatus from his university work from 1994 to 1997 to serve as managing editor of The New York Times. In 1998, he returned to the college, where he teaches courses on writing the complex story, the press and the civil rights movement, and newsroom management.

Roberts is a former chairman of the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists. He has served on the boards of the Pulitzer Prize, the World Press Freedom Committee, and the Center for Foreign Journalists. He has co-authored numerous books, including Leaving Readers Behind: The Age of Corporate Newspaper, The Censors and the Schools, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Race Beat. He was editor-in-chief of the American Journalism Review’s “State of the American Newspaper Project,” published in 2000.

Roberts began his career as a farm reporter for North Carolina’s Goldsboro News-Argus. He later joined The New York Times where he led the paper’s coverage of the 1960s civil rights movement in the South and served as chief war correspondent in Vietnam. Roberts received the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Award for Distinguished Contributions to Journalism in 1993.

Supporting the Gene Roberts Fund

The Gene Roberts Fund is supported by private donations. If you are interested in supporting the Fund, please contact CPJ by email at [email protected], by phone at 212-300-9002, or visit Support CPJ.