Alerts   |   CPJ, Colombia, Pakistan, USA

Rebecca MacKinnon, Ahmed Rashid, and María Teresa Ronderos join CPJ board

New York, December 21, 2009—The Committee to Protect Journalists announced the addition of three leading journalists to its board of directors today: Rebecca MacKinnon of Global Voices, Ahmed Rashid, journalist and scholar, and María Teresa Ronderos of Semana.com.

“CPJ welcomes these three exceptional journalists to our board,” said CPJ Chairman Paul E. Steiger. “They bring expertise in the emerging field of digital and online reporting and broaden CPJ’s international scope. They will be an invaluable addition to our efforts to promote freedom of the press worldwide.”

Rebecca MacKinnon is co-founder of the citizen media Web site Global Voices Online, a passionate advocate of free expression online, and a leading authority on the growing power of online and social media. Her blog, RConversation, covers a wide range of issues related to blogs, social media, and international news, as well as worldwide governmental efforts to censor the Internet, particularly in China. She is currently an Open Society Fellow, working on her first book about authoritarianism in the Internet age. In 2010, she will be a visiting fellow at Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy. From 2007-2009 MacKinnon was an assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre, where she taught online journalism and conducted research about Chinese Internet censorship. Along with CPJ, MacKinnon is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative, an organization composed of major technology companies and human rights organizations that have joined to protect and advance freedom of expression when faced with pressure from local governments.

Ahmed Rashid is one of the world's foremost experts on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Taliban. Journalist Christopher Hitchens has called him “Pakistan’s best and bravest reporter.” He is the author of many influential books on the region, including the bestselling Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. Published prior to the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Taliban became a critical guide to understanding the Taliban in their wake. Rashid has since written two more books on the region: Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, and Descent Into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. Rashid is a champion of local media development and donated a quarter of the profits from Taliban to create the Open Media Fund for Afghanistan. He also enlisted the Open Society Institute, AOL Time Warner Foundation, and Internews Network to provide financial support for local Afghan journalists. Until 2009, Rashid was the Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and frequently contributes to the U.S. and British media including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The New York Review of Books, the Daily Telegraph, and the London Evening Standard.

María Teresa Ronderos is the director of Semana.com, the online edition of Colombia’s leading weekly newsmagazine. She is a role model and mentor for young journalists across Colombia as teacher, reporter, and press freedom advocate. For eight years, she was the president of the Foundation for Freedom of the Press, Colombia’s foremost press freedom advocacy organization, and now serves on the board. She was Semana’s managing editor from 2005-2007. Ronderos has worked as a columnist and editor at various Colombian publications including La Nota, El Tiempo, and El Espectador. She directed the television news programs “Buenos Dias Colombia” and “Testimonio.” Ronderos was a 1997 Knight Fellow at Stanford University and was awarded the Cabot prize in 2007 for outstanding reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean

CPJ is a New York-based independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1981 to promote press freedom worldwide. CPJ is active in more than 120 countries. CPJ’s board represents a broad spectrum of U.S. and international journalism. Board members accompany staff members on missions, support efforts to win the release of imprisoned journalists around the world, and oversee the activities of the organization.

The other board members are: Andrew Alexander, Franz Allina, Christiane Amanpour, Terry Anderson, Dean Baquet, Kathleen Carroll, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Sheila Coronel, Josh Friedman, Anne Garrels, James C. Goodale, Cheryl Gould, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Gwen Ifill, Jane Kramer, David Laventhol, Lara Logan, David Marash, Kati Marton, Michael Massing, Geraldine Fabrikant Metz, Victor Navasky, Andres Oppenheimer, Burl Osborne, Clarence Page, Norman Pearlstine, Dan Rather, Gene Roberts, Sandra Mims Rowe, Diane Sawyer, David Schlesinger, Paul C. Tash, Mark Whitaker, Brian Williams, and Matthew Winkler.

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