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Gene Roberts

Gene Roberts is a former chairman of CPJ and is the chairman of the Journalist Assistance Committee of CPJ’s board. He 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.

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How CPJ began helping journalists with more than letters

By the late '90s, the Committee to Protect Journalists was solving many of its financial problems and building a strong list of dependable contributors. It became possible to consider expanding our activities. Up to this point we were fighting for a free press around the globe mainly by focusing attention on governments that were imprisoning or killing journalists. We wrote letters to hostile governments. We sent board and staff members abroad several times a year to pressure officials into releasing jailed journalists. We published our annual book, Attacks on the Press, and announced our yearly lists of enemies of the press. All of this was vitally important, of course. We were helping to free and protect journalists by generating publicity about their cases.

August 8, 2011 4:42 PM ET

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