Press Releases


Press Releases

UN Secretary General pledges to take action on journalist safety

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged UN Secretary General António Guterres to take steps to address the urgent issue of safety of journalists.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Secretary General Christophe Deloire and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Executive Director Joel Simon met with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres today to discuss the #ProtectJournalists campaign to appoint a UN Special Representative for the safety of journalists. David Callaway, board nominee for president of the World Editors Forum, part of WAN-IFRA, an early supporter of the campaign, also attended the meeting.

"On behalf of RSF, I welcome Secretary General Guterres' strong personal commitment to the safety of journalists and a free and independent press, said Christophe Deloire, RSF's Secretary General. The UNSG believes that these issues are fundamental to democracy and human rights and has pledged to take action. We are counting on him to make the UN more efficient so that journalists can be better protected."

"As journalists around the world are increasingly under attack physically and verbally it is encouraging and gratifying to have this kind of support from the Secretary General, said Joel Simon, CPJ's Executive Director. "We look forward to working with him to move this commitment forward."

February 23, 2017 6:18 PM ET

Press Releases

Sustained threats to journalists' safety demand fresh approach

CPJ launches Emergencies Response Team to promote and advance journalist safety

New York, February 21, 2017--Much work remains to be done to improve journalists' security in the face of unprecedented threats, including the spread of violent non-state actors, the shrinking rule of law, resurgent authoritarianism, and an industry shift toward reliance on freelancers, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in a report released today. Journalists, news outlets, and press freedom groups must find approaches that go beyond traditional training and advocacy, which is why CPJ has launched a new Emergency Response Team.

February 21, 2017 9:25 AM ET

Press Releases

CPJ welcomes new EU Representative and Advocacy Manager, Tom Gibson

Brussels/New York--The Committee to Protect Journalists is pleased to announce that Tom Gibson has joined CPJ in the role of European Union Representative and Advocacy Manager. Gibson will be based in Brussels and will lead advocacy efforts involving the institutions of the European Union.

"The governments and institutions of the European Union can and should play an important role in preserving press freedom worldwide," said Gibson. "Press freedom standards within the European Union should set a bar for global press freedom norms. We look forward to expanding our partnerships with EU institutions and member states and to developing new ones as we continue to expand our coverage in the continent."

January 27, 2017 2:26 PM ET

Press Releases

CPJ Launches 2017 Free the Press Campaign

Governments using anti-state legislation to silence the press

New York, January 26, 2017--The Committee to Protect Journalists today launched its annual Free the Press Campaign to raise awareness of journalists imprisoned worldwide with an event at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. This year, the campaign will highlight the cases of 10 journalists imprisoned around the world.

"The imprisoned journalists whose cases we are highlighting this year are jailed under sweeping, vague national security or anti-terrorism laws. But journalism is not terrorism," said CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch. "We repeat our urgent call for these and all journalists jailed for their work to be freed, and for the reform of the easily abused laws that put them behind bars in the first place."

January 26, 2017 4:23 PM ET

Press Releases

Killing of journalists eases from record levels

Syria is most deadly country for the fifth consecutive year

New York, December 19, 2016--The number of journalists killed in the line of duty is on track to decline in 2016 from recent record levels as fewer journalists were targeted for murder and war became the deadliest beat, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in its annual analysis. Deaths in combat or crossfire ticked to their highest number since 2013 as conflicts in the Middle East dragged on.

At least 48 journalists were killed in relation to their work between January 1 and December 15, 2016, compared with 72 in the previous calendar year. CPJ is investigating the deaths of at least 27 more journalists during the year to determine whether they were work-related. CPJ's data is researched and vetted according to strict journalistic criteria.

More than half of the journalists killed in the year died in combat or crossfire, making up the highest proportion of killings since CPJ began keeping records. Syria was the most deadly country for journalists for the fifth year in a row. At least 14 journalists were killed in Syria in 2016, the same number as in 2015, bringing the total number killed there in the line of duty since conflict broke out to at least 107.

December 18, 2016 11:59 PM ET

Press Releases

A record number of journalists are in jail, CPJ census finds

Turkey holds at least 81 journalists, fueling global high of 259

New York, December 13, 2016--Turkey's unprecedented crackdown on media brought the total number of jailed journalists worldwide to the highest number since the Committee to Protect Journalists began taking an annual census in 1990.

As of December 1, 2016, there were 259 journalists in jail around the world. Turkey had at least 81 journalists behind bars, according to CPJ's records, the highest number in any one country at a time--and every one of them faces anti-state charges. Dozens of other journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, but CPJ was unable to confirm a direct link to their work.

China, which was the world's worst jailer of journalists in 2014 and 2015, dropped to the second spot with 38 journalists in jail. Egypt, Eritrea, and Ethiopia are third, fourth and fifth worst jailers of journalists, respectively. Combined, the top five countries on CPJ's census were responsible for jailing more than two-thirds of all journalists in prison worldwide.

"Journalists working to gather and share information are performing a public service and their rights are protected under international law. It is shocking therefore that so many governments are violating their international commitments by jailing journalists and suppressing critical speech," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "Turkey is at the vanguard of this authoritarian trend. Every day that Turkey's journalists languish in jail in violation of that country's own laws, Turkey's standing in the world is diminished."

December 13, 2016 12:01 AM ET

Press Releases

Journalists honored for courageous reporting

International Press Freedom Awards go to Indian freelance reporter, Egyptian
photojournalist, Turkish editor, and El Salvadoran investigative reporter

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22: International Press Freedom Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on November 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

New York, November 23, 2016--Journalists from India, Egypt, Turkey, and El Salvador were honored Tuesday night at the Committee to Protect Journalists' 26th annual International Press Freedom Awards for courageous work amid risks including imprisonment, threats, and legal action.

"These awardees are truly remarkable journalists, all of whom have carried out their work with the knowledge that doing so puts them in real danger," said Sandra Mims Rowe, CPJ Board Chairman. "It is heartening to see such resolve, and to know that even under the most threatening conditions, journalists will always find a way to do their job."

Malini Subramaniam, who has reported on issues including abuses by police and security forces, and sexual violence against women in her home state of Chhattisgarh, received the award from Susan Chira, former deputy executive director for The New York Times and CPJ board member. Award-winning U.S. photojournalist Lynsey Addario presented an award in absentia to Mahmoud Abou Zeid, the Egyptian photojournalist also known as Shawkan, who has been imprisoned since August 2013. Can Dündar, the former editor-in-chief of Turkish daily Cumhuriyet who is facing imprisonment on charges of disclosing state secrets, received his award from Lindsey Hilsum, international editor for the U.K.'s Channel 4 News. Héctor Tobar, op-ed contributor to The New York Times and former LA Times journalist, presented the award to Óscar Martínez, an investigative reporter for the online news magazine El Faro. Martínez has been threatened for his coverage of gang violence and extrajudicial killings in El Salvador.

November 23, 2016 11:34 AM ET

Press Releases

Extremist groups get away with murders of journalists

Somalia, Iraq, Syria top CPJ's 2016 Global Impunity Index

New York, October 27, 2016--Some of the highest rates of impunity in the murders of journalists can be attributed to killings by Islamist militant groups, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in its latest annual Global Impunity Index, released today.

At top of the list--which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go free--are Somalia, Iraq, and Syria, where extremist organizations such as the Islamic State group and Al-Shabaab have repeatedly targeted journalists for murder. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Pakistan also appear on the index for at least the second consecutive year.

Local officials and criminal groups also frequently murder journalists in retaliation for their work without facing justice, in index countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Philippines, and Russia.

October 27, 2016 7:45 AM ET

Press Releases

Connecting Cuba: Slow steps toward press freedom

New York, September 28--Cuban journalists are finding more space to be critical but restrictive laws, the fear of persecution, and limited and expensive access to the internet is slowing the country's press freedom progress, CPJ found in a report released today. The report finds that although President Raúl Castro's call for reforms five years ago has energized the press scene, many bloggers remain wary of publishing content that is too critical.

September 28, 2016 8:45 AM ET

Press Releases

Cuba's internet restrictions stifle independent media

New York, September 28 - Internet restrictions are curbing independent voices in Cuba and leaving Cubans disconnected from the rest of the world, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in a special report released today. Only a fraction of Cuba's 11 million people have internet access, and it is expensive, slow, and heavily censored, CPJ found.

September 28, 2016 8:45 AM ET
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