Imagine if your colleagues were routinely murdered just for doing their job, and if in only one out of every 10 cases were the perpetrators prosecuted. Imagine if your colleagues were imprisoned regularly because of their work, or physically attacked and harassed. And think of what it must take to carry on despite the threats and violence. This is the case for journalists who have been killed and imprisoned in record numbers over the past three years. It has never been a more dangerous time to be a journalist, nor more vital to protect the role journalism plays in our societies. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is dedicated to protecting those who gather and disseminate information.
Founded in 1981 by a group of journalists, CPJ believes in upholding the right to report the truth safely and without fear of reprisal. Whether established international correspondents covering conflict, or journalists exposing corruption at the local level, when a country's press is silenced so too are its people. At least 20 journalists have already been killed this year. Hundreds of others are behind bars. Journalists are regularly silenced because they seek to voice an inconvenient truth. CPJ speaks up when oppressors prefer silence.
Who we are and where we work:
CPJ is a nonprofit, nongovernmental, global press freedom organization funded solely by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations. CPJ does not accept any government or intergovernmental funding.
How we protect journalists:
Emergency Assistance: CPJ’s Journalist Assistance program helps journalists who have been physically assaulted and need medical attention; those who need to go into hiding or exile to escape threats; and those in prison. Last year, after more than 30 Ethiopian journalists fled after a campaign of arrests, CPJ traveled to Nairobi in Kenya to meet some of them, assess their needs, and provide financial support. We also met with the local office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to advocate on their behalf, and are strengthening our partnership with the refugee agency to help meet the needs of the more than 400 journalists forced into exile whom we have helped since 2009.
CPJ publishes an in-depth journalist security guide in nine languages. The organization maintains close relationships with local journalist organizations and coalitions around the world.
Using journalism to help journalists: CPJ believes in using journalism to protect journalists. CPJ documents cases where journalists are censored, harassed, threatened, jailed, kidnapped, or killed for their work. We systematically document each case of a journalist killed in the line of work and conduct an annual prison census. The combination of daily reporting, statistical data, and in-depth reports provides the basis of our case-driven and long-term advocacy. Through publicizing attacks on the press, CPJ raises the cost of attempting to silence critical voices.
Advocacy and Action: CPJ conducts campaigns that range from using social media to raise awareness and build public pressure to high-level meetings and policy consultations with international bodies such as the United Nations as well as governments around the world. The Press Uncuffed: Free the Press campaign highlights nine journalists imprisoned for their work and offers specific action supporters can take on their behalf. We also conduct missions to meet with governments in places such as Turkey and Egypt to seek the release of imprisoned journalists and obtain commitments on how governments will improve press freedom conditions in their countries. The Right to Report in the Digital Age campaign raised awareness about the threats mass surveillance and hacking pose to journalists, and included a public petition and high-level meetings with the Obama administration to call for limits on such spying.