The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit
organization founded in 1981. We promote press freedom worldwide
by defending the right of journalists to report the news without
fear of reprisal.
did CPJ get started?
A group of U.S. foreign correspondents created CPJ in response
to the often brutal treatment of their foreign colleagues by authoritarian
governments and other enemies of independent journalism.
CPJ has a full-time staff of 22 at its New York headquarters,
including area specialists for each major world region. CPJ also
has a Washington, D.C., representative and an Asia program consultant
based in Bangkok, Thailand. A 35-member board of prominent U.S.
journalists directs CPJ’s activities.
is CPJ funded?
CPJ is funded solely by contributions from individuals, corporations,
and foundations. CPJ does not accept government funding.
Why is press freedom important?
Without a free press, few other human rights are attainable. A
strong press freedom environment encourages the growth of a robust
civil society, which leads to stable, sustainable democracies
and healthy social, political, and economic development. CPJ works
in more than 120 countries, many of which suffer under repressive
regimes, debilitating civil war, or other problems that harm press
freedom and democracy.
does CPJ protect journalists?
By publicly revealing abuses against the press and by acting on
behalf of imprisoned and threatened journalists, CPJ effectively
warns journalists and news organizations where attacks on press
freedom are occurring. CPJ organizes vigorous protest at all levels—ranging
from local governments to the United Nations—and, when necessary,
works behind the scenes through other diplomatic channels to effect
change. CPJ also publishes articles and news releases, special
reports, a biannual magazine, and the most comprehensive survey
of attacks against the press worldwide.
does CPJ get its information?
CPJ has full-time program coordinators monitoring the press in
Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Central Asia, and the Middle
East and North Africa. They track developments through their own
independent research, fact-finding missions, and firsthand contacts
in the field, including reports from other journalists. CPJ shares
information on breaking cases with other press freedom organizations
worldwide through the International Freedom of Expression Exchange,
a global e-mail network.
would a journalist call upon CPJ?
- In an emergency. Using local and foreign contacts,
CPJ can intervene whenever foreign correspondents are in trouble.
CPJ is also prepared to notify news organizations, government
officials, and human rights organizations immediately of press
- When traveling on assignment. CPJ can advise journalists
covering dangerous assignments.
- When covering the news. Attacks against the press
are news, and they often serve as the first signal of a crackdown
on all freedoms. CPJ is uniquely situated to provide journalists
with information and insight into press conditions around the
- When becoming a member. A basic membership costs
only US$45, and each donation helps CPJ defend journalists.
Members receive CPJ’s magazine, Dangerous Assignments;
its annual book, Attacks on the Press; and its e-newsletter,
CPJ Update. If you are interested in becoming a member,
please click here.
CPJ Investigates and Classifies Attacks on the Press
staff documents more than 600 reports of attacks on the press each year. Each
case that is identified as a violation of press freedom is corroborated by more
than one source for factual accuracy, confirmation that the victims were journalists
or news organizations, and verification that intimidation was the probable motive.
CPJ defines journalists as people who cover news or write commentary on a regular
basis. For additional information on individual cases, contact
us by email, phone, fax, or post. CPJ classifies the cases in this report
according to the following definitions:
In the case of journalists, wounded or assaulted. In the
case of news facilities, damaged, raided, or searched;
non-journalist employees attacked because of news coverage
Murdered, or missing and presumed dead, with evidence
that the motive was retribution for news coverage or commentary.
Includes journalists killed in cross fire.
Officially suppressed or banned; editions confiscated; news
When the motive for a journalist's murder is unclear but there is reason
to believe that it was related to his or her professional dutes. CPJ continues
to research the reasons for the crime and encourages local authorities to pursue
Forced to leave a country because of news coverage or
Credentials denied or suspended; fined; sentenced to prison;
visas denied or canceled; passage of a restrictive law;
libel suit intended to inhibit coverage.
Access denied or limited; materials confiscated or damaged;
entry or exit denied; family members attacked or threatened;
dismissed or demoted (when it is clearly the result of political
or outside pressure); freedom of movement impeded; detained
for less than 48 hours.
Kidnapped or detained by nongovernment forces for at least
48 hours; disappeared.
Arrested or detained by a government for at least 48 hours.
Menaced with physical harm or some other type of retribution.
Board of Directors
Tom Brokaw, NBC News
Dean Baquet, Los Angeles Times
Josh Friedman, Graduate School of Journalism,
Anne Garrels, National Public Radio
C. Goodale, Debevoise & Plimpton
Cheryl Gould, NBC News
Alberto Ibargüen, The
Gwen Ifill, PBS
Steven L. Isenberg
Jane Kramer, The New Yorker
David Laventhol, Columbia
Marash, ABC News
Geraldine Fabrikant Metz, The New
Victor Navasky, The Nation
del Olmo, The Los Angeles Times
Burl Osborne, The
Dallas Morning News
Charles L. Overby, The
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune
Potts, McClatchy Newspapers
Dan Rather, CBS News
Gene Roberts, Philip Merrill College of Journalism,
University of Maryland
Sandra Mims Rowe, The Oregonian
John Seigenthaler, The Freedom Forum First
Paul E. Steiger, The Wall Street Journal
C. Tash, St. Petersburg Times