The Committee to Protect Journalists has been awarded the 2009 Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice & Human Rights. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) annually presents the Thomas J. Dodd Prize on behalf of his late father whose commitment to human rights was exemplified by his work as a prosecutor in the Nuremburg Trials following World War II.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, founded in 1981, is an advocate for professional journalists around the world. CPJ keeps track of journalists who have been killed, imprisoned, or sued by governments in connection with their work. The group publishes annual reports on journalist rights violations and lobbies governments for journalistic freedom.
The U.S. $75,000 Thomas J. Dodd Prize was awarded largely for the CPJ’s efforts that go beyond advocacy. CPJ has created the Journalist Assistance Program. The program allocates money for medicine and other supplies to care for imprisoned journalists. Since its creation, the Journalist Assistance Program has helped over 400 journalists worldwide.
The Committee to Protect Journalists does some amazing work. It’s very encouraging to see the group being recognized for its efforts to protect the freedom of journalism and information. I think that in the United States, we often take the freedom of the press for granted. I am pleased to see that CPJ is working to protect journalists in danger abroad.