The disturbing displays of violence against the press in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday are concerning to CPJ, especially with regards to the safety of journalists covering civil unrest and political events.
The press reported threats amid the chaos on Wednesday that included intimidation of news crews and destruction of equipment. The words “Murder the Media” were etched on a door inside the building, The New York Times reported, and individuals in the crowd repeatedly threatened and harassed journalists covering the protests.
Late Thursday, CPJ published a feature on our website that highlights interviews with several journalists who reported on Wednesday’s events. To read what they saw and heard, click here.
Meanwhile, CPJ continues to offer safety information to journalists covering protests in the United States. Our Emergencies team’s safety guide includes resources for risk assessment and contact information to report any violations.
If you have any questions about journalist safety, feel free to reach out to our safety experts and sign up for CPJ’s safety email alerts here: www.cpj.org/emergencies
Director of Development and Outreach
Committee to Protect Journalists
Ambassador John Bolton Speaks Again!
The Foreign Press Association invites the media to a press conference with Ambassador John Bolton on Tuesday 12th January at 10:00AM EST on Zoom.
Correspondents will be eager to hear Ambassador Bolton again as he reflects on this extraordinary and challenging period for the United States where the tenets of democracy are under extreme stress, and the challenge to the presidential election result leaves foreign policy particularly vulnerable. Across the world governments show signs of exploiting Washington’s distractions.
Ambassador Bolton will comment on these last days of the Trump administration, and consider the foreign policy challenges facing the incoming Biden administration.
Please register in advance for the event using the button below.
Friday January 8th 2021
Time: 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Our partners at the Overseas Press Club invite us to join for for cocktails and conversation with OPC Past President David A. Andelman, to discuss his book, A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen.
Andelman concludes that there are more red lines—political, diplomatic, social, military— today than at any time in history, many utterly indefensible and destabilizing.
A veteran correspondent for CNN The New York Times and CBS News, Andelman untangles the red lines to help understand the military, political, and diplomatic traps around the globe.
Deborah Amos, international correspondent for NPR, will moderate and FPA President Ian Williams will participate.
On January 15th 2021, International Crisis Group is hosting a Zoom panel about hostage negotiation and diplomacy, in honor of Gianni Picco.
Gianni Picco came to the rescue of Foreign Correspondents abroad, and we should honor his legacy now. We encourage all FPA members to support this event.
Gianni served as Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs at the United Nations from 1973 to 1992. Gianni is best known for his skill as a hostage negotiator, particularly in the case of the Lebanese hostage crisis throughout the 1980s. Some of the accomplishments he has been credited with include playing a key role in negotiating the end of the Iran-Iraq war, helping facilitate the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, and engineering the release of 13 Jewish Iranians, accused by the Islamic Republic of spying for Israel.
A few years ago, Gianni was diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia, and all proceeds from this event will go toward providing for his care. Gianni’s legacy as a negotiator and diplomat is also an excellent framework to use for a discussion of vital import today. Now, with the world even more divided and deadly, a role like Gianni’s is more crucial than ever: someone who will talk to everyone; who is beholden to no government or political actor; but will work with any of them to create a little more peace on our troubled planet.
Please join in honoring Gianni and discussing how such a rich legacy of peacemaking should be carried on. Again, all proceeds will go towards his care.
We encourage all members of the Foreign Press Association to support this event.
Moderated by Christiane Amanpour, speakers include:
All proceeds will go towards the care of Gianni Picco.
The World Press Freedom Conference 2020, takes place on 9 and 10 December.
Prominent journalists, academics, activists, policy makers and other renowned speakers feature in this year’s lineup, among them:
• Christiane Amanpour (CNN Chief international anchor)
• Amal Clooney (Human rights lawyer)
• Maria Ressa (Founder of top Philippines’ news site Rappler)
• Carmen Aristegui (One Mexico’s leading journalists)
• Joe Maalouf (TV host in Lebanon)
• Zeinab Badawi (Journalist and Presenter, BBC)
• Asli Erdogan (Award-winning writer)
• Matthew Caruana Galizia (Director at The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation)
• Soledad O’Brien (Broadcast Journalist and Executive Producer)
• and many more leading media companies, human rights defenders, members of the judiciary, policymakers, academics, youth, NGOs and others involved in defending press freedom worldwide!
Register for the Conference here.
On Monday November 23rd the Foreign Press Association and Overseas Press Club held a joint press conference with Chris Yeung, Chair of the Hong Kong Journalists Association.
Yeung told the OPC and Foreign Press Association (FPA) on Nov. 23 that four months after a sweeping security law went into effect in Hong Kong in June, it has become clear that officials plan to carry out its restrictions in a “rigorous, aggressive manner.”
The OPC and FPA held the joint press conference with Yeung to discuss how the new regime is affecting reporting in Hong Kong.
FPA President Ian Williams introduced the session, saying that China had used the distraction of the U.S. election to tighten its control on Hong Kong, removing elected representatives. When the OPC and FPA reached out to legislators to participate in the press conference, they declined for fear they might violate rules penalizing foreign contacts.
When the national security law went into effect in June, some observers thought it might have been little more than a “paper tiger,” but after several cases demonstrating that police would enforcing the law rigorously, it had become “a scary real tiger.”
“Media organizations and journalists are in particular worried that sooner or later, media will be a target,” he said, adding that those fears have been bolstered by public statements from officials including Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam who said “media is one of the sectors that she said should be ‘rectified.’ The other sectors are teachers and civil servants.”
Teachers had already been disqualified using the law, and civil servants are required to sign a declaration or take an oath of allegiance to the city. “This is seen as a kind of political vetting,” Yeung said.
The national security law includes an article calling for stepped-up regulation and supervision of media, Yeung added, saying it does not include details about how that might be carried out, “but we are expecting that the government will tighten control and regulation of the media.”
OPC Past President Bill Holstein asked what mechanisms Hong Kong police were using to pressure local journalists. Yeung said that police are demanding IDs and accreditation for journalists covering protests, citing concerns about what they call “fake journalists” who might break laws during rallies.
“It’s a pretty gloomy picture. One positive sign is that journalists are still resilient here, and there’s still strong support for a free and independent press.”
Yeung said that some Hong Kong journalists have already moved out of the city, but “the overall fleet of journalists is still in relatively good shape here. But the spirit, the mood perhaps, the sentiments are quite bad. I would say it’s the worst time in many decades,” he said. “We have to speak out and get society’s support to defend our rights and freedoms.”
November 19th 8PM EST / 5PM PST
In a remarkable show of solidarity, media outlets, journalists, and advocates will come together to celebrate the free press at the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 30th annual International Press Freedom Awards. Distinguished guests will underscore the value of a free press and call on leaders everywhere to support freedom of expression and the free flow of information.
The virtual event, hosted by veteran broadcast journalist Lester Holt, will honor journalists from Bangladesh, Iran, Nigeria, and Russia for their bravery; the four have faced harassment, legal threats, and imprisonment in the pursuit of truth. CPJ’s 2020 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom awardee, Amal Clooney, will be interviewed by celebrated journalist Maria Ressa and presented with her award by actor Meryl Streep.
The event will be streamed on news networks and platforms across the world. Alongside sponsoring media partners ABC News, Bloomberg, CBS News, HuffPost, NBC News, and Yahoo News, the event will also be streamed by supporting media partners Drik Picture Library Ltd, Nation Media Group, PBS NewsHour, Premium Times, Rappler, RTÉ, and RFE/RL.
Yesterday we held a press conference with Professor Jacob Mundy to discuss the recent events in Western Sahara with Brahim Ghali, leader of the independentist Polisario Front declaring the end of a 29-year-old ceasefire with Morocco.
Foreign Press Association President Ian Williams is joined by Professor Jacob Mundy who traces the origins and outcomes of an obscured but important struggle that calls the UN Charter into question.
Jacob Mundy holds a PhD from the University of Exeter and is an Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Colgate University. During the 2018–19 academic year, he was a visiting professor at the Université de Tunis as a Fulbright Scholar.
His research focuses on armed conflict and foreign intervention in North Africa, where he has conduced field research in Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Western Sahara. Among his books are Libya (Polity Press, 2018) and a new updated second edition of Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution, co-authored with Stephen Zunes.
Fresh from preposterously claiming to be the “official” voice of foreign correspondents in the USA, while breaking ranks with every genuine press organization by endorsing Homeland Security’s attempt to restrict “I” Visas, Thanos Dimadis took time off from suing journalists in Greece to issue a press release claiming that the Guardian had “corrected” its “false” story about his efforts to get paid by Bayer for influence peddling while he was Executive Director of our organization.
Carey Gillam, the award-winning journalist who wrote the article firmly rebutted his claims.
"There were no errors in the story I authored as a freelancer for the Guardian, which is why the Guardian did not issue a correction. It is simply false to say otherwise. Anyone who doubts the facts laid out in the story can determine for themselves Thanos Dimadis’ actions and intentions involving Bayer AG by reading through the email correspondence:
The Guardian did add a quote from Dimadis co-conspirator Nancy Prager Kamel, which, however, does not contradict in anyway Gillam’s evidence of their pay-for-praise deal with the maker of Roundup. As the emails prove, former FPA President David Michaels refused to engage in any pay-for-play agreement, but presumably the organization Dimadis set up is less scrupulous and has allowed him to benefit.
Dimadis’s mendacious press release compounds his extraordinarily unethical behavior and should be a warning for any journalists or bodies dealing with him or his organization.
Real journalists check facts, not collect checks.
CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta on the Election and history’s most unconventional presidency
Thursday November 19th 1 PM EST
TV and radio analyst Michael Zeldin will speak with CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta, to hear details of history’s most unconventional presidency and its unprecedented relationship with the DC press corps.
Acosta, considered one of the nation’s foremost political correspondents, will reveal the backstories the public has yet to hear about the White House and its contentious dealings with reporters.
Acosta will share highlights from his best-selling book,“The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America”.