Committee to Protect Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is an American independent non-profit, non-governmental organization, based in New York City, with correspondents around the world. CPJ promotes press freedom and defends the rights of journalists. The American Journalism Review has called the organization, "Journalism's Red Cross."[2] Since the late 1980s CPJ has been publishing an annual census of journalists killed or imprisoned in relation to their work.[3]

Committee to Protect Journalists
Formation1981; 43 years ago (1981)
Type501(c)(3) nonprofit organization[1]
PurposePress freedom and journalist human rights
HeadquartersNew York City, New York
  • United States
Region served
Jodie Ginsberg
AffiliationsInternational Freedom of Expression Exchange Edit this at Wikidata

History and programs


The Committee to Protect Journalists was founded in 1981 in response to the harassment of Paraguayan journalist Alcibiades González Delvalle.[4] Its founding honorary chairman was Walter Cronkite.[4] Since 1991, it has held the annual CPJ International Press Freedom Awards Dinner,[4] during which awards are given to journalists and press freedom advocates who have endured beatings, threats, intimidation, and prison for reporting the news.

Between 2002 and 2008, it published a biannual magazine, Dangerous Assignments.[5] It also published an annual worldwide survey of press freedom called Attacks on the Press between 1987 and 2017.[6] Since 2018, "Attacks on the Press" has been published in digital form.[7]

Since 1992, the organization has compiled an annual list of all journalists killed in the line of duty around the world.[8] For 2017, it reported that 46 journalists had been killed in connection with their work, as compared to 48 in 2016, and 72 in 2015, and that of those journalists killed, 18 had been murdered.[8] A running total of journalists killed over the entire period from 1992 is available on the group's website, as well as the statistics for any given year; as of April 2018 the total was 1285.[9] The organization's figures are typically lower than similar ongoing counts by Reporters Without Borders or the International Federation of Journalists because of CPJ's established parameters and confirmation process.[10] It also publishes an annual census of imprisoned journalists.[11]

The organization works to protect and enhance free press rights within the United States, which, among other efforts, includes its US Press Freedom Tracker project. In 2017, the project had a small infusion of financing after a $50,000 contribution from US Representative Greg Gianforte. The funds arose as a stipulation of a civil settlement Gianforte reached after his election eve attack on The Guardian political reporter Ben Jacobs in May 2017, after Jacobs asked him a question on health care policy.[12] Gianforte was convicted of criminal assault in state court in June 2017 stemming from his assault of Jacobs. He was fined and sentenced to community service and anger management therapy.[13][14][15] As a stipulation of his settlement with Jacobs, Gianforte donated $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which said it would use the funds to support the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.[16]

The organization is a founding member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), a global network of more than seventy non-governmental organizations that monitors free-expression violations around the world and defends journalists, writers, and others persecuted for exercising their right to freedom of expression. In 2016, the Times of Israel reported that the United Nations voted to deny consultative status to CPJ citing concerns with the group's finances, and also because CPJ does not support punishment for hate speech.[17] The ban was overturned and CPJ was granted consultative status in July 2016.[18]

As of 2020, the organization publishes an annual "Impunity Index" of countries in which journalists are murdered and the killers are not prosecuted.[19]

Staff and directors


Foreign correspondent Ann Cooper served as executive director from 1998 to 2006.[20]

Journalist Joel Simon served as the organization's executive director between 2006 and 2021; he had previously served as deputy director since 2000,[21] and as CPJ's Americas program coordinator since 1997.[22]

In January 2022, the organization announced that journalist and advocate Jodie Ginsberg will head the organization starting April 2022.[23] The organization also changed the title of the position from "executive director" to "president."

Its board of directors has included American journalists, including:

See also



  1. ^ "Charity Navigator - IRS Data for Committee to Protect Journalists". Archived from the original on 6 September 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  2. ^ Ricchiardi, Sherry (December 1997). "Journalism's Red Cross – Under-Staffed and Low-Profile, the Committee to Protect Journalists Rides to the Rescue of Reporters and Editors Who Run Afoul of Governments Hostile to the Press". American Journalism Review. Archived from the original on 18 October 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  3. ^ "CPJ's database".
  4. ^ a b c "Committee to Protect Journalists records, 1978-2008". Columbia University Libraries Archival Collections. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  5. ^ Staff (undated). "Dangerous Assignments" Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Attacks on the Press - Committee to Protect Journalists". Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Attacks on the Press". 9 December 2021.
  8. ^ a b Gladstone, Rick (19 December 2016). "Fewer Journalists Were Killed on the Job This Year, Group Reports Archived 11 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
  9. ^ "Journalists Killed Since 1992/Motive Confirmed Archived 8 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
  10. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions Archived 3 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine". Section: "CPJ's list of killed journalists is different from other organizations. Why?" Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
  11. ^ "2015 prison census: 199 journalists jailed worldwide - Committee to Protect Journalists". 22 January 2015. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  12. ^ Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Whitney Bermes, 11 October 2017, Judge releases Congressman Gianforte’s mugshot Archived 26 December 2019 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  13. ^ Marcos, Cristina (21 June 2017). "Gianforte Causes Stir After Becoming Newest House Member". The Hill. Archived from the original on 14 December 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  14. ^ Kyung Lah, Noa Yadidi and Carma Hassan (12 June 2017). "Gianforte pleads guilty to assault in incident with reporter". CNN. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  15. ^ Andrews, Natalie (12 June 2017). "Incoming GOP Congressman Greg Gianforte Pleads Guilty to Assault on Reporter". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Archived from the original on 14 December 2019. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  16. ^ "CPJ to use $50,000 Gianforte donated as part of body slam settlement to track other assaults on press - Committee to Protect Journalists". 27 June 2017. Archived from the original on 13 December 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Press freedom watchdog denied UN credentials". The Times of Israel. Archived from the original on 1 October 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  18. ^ "U.N. body overturns rejection, accredits press freedom watchdog". Reuters. 25 July 2016. Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Fallen Journalists: The Global Impunity Index | Dreier Roundtable". Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  20. ^ [dead link] "Poynter Online Forums" Archived 14 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Poynter Institute.
  21. ^ Staff (n.d.). "Our People". Committee to Protect Journalists. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  22. ^ "Our People". Archived from the original on 1 March 2021.
  23. ^ "Committee to Protect Journalists names Jodie Ginsberg as its new president". 10 January 2022.

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