Knight Foundation Supports Campaign for Justice when Journalists are Slain

New York - The Committee to Protect Journalists announced today that its efforts to obtain justice in the murders of journalists will be supported by an additional $100,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“When the killers of journalists routinely go unpunished, the flow of news and information is stifled,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “We are working to bring justice to slain journalists and send a warning to those who would seek to silence the messenger with deadly violence.”

Approximately 90 percent of journalist murders go unsolved, CPJ research shows. The grant will help to continue and strengthen CPJ’s Global Campaign Against Impunity, begun in 2007 as a pilot project focusing on Russia and the Philippines. The two countries are among the deadliest nations for journalists, and among the worst in solving these murders.

The campaign will build on CPJ’s successes in Mexico and Russia during 2010, when it secured unprecedented commitments from senior officials to pursue justice. Specifically, CPJ will use the Knight grant to intensify reporting and advocacy efforts in Russia and the Philippines, and to strengthen its Global Campaign Against Impunity. This year, CPJ will launch its fourth annual Impunity Index, which ranks countries with the worst records of solving journalist murders.

“Nations where journalists are murdered with impunity are the same lawless places where judges or prosecutors or citizens themselves can be slain without even a whisper of justice,” said Eric Newton, the Knight Foundation’s journalism program vice president.  “The fight against impunity is a fight for civilization.”

Since 1950, the Knight Foundation has granted more than $400 million to advance quality journalism and freedom of expression worldwide.

In April 2010, with the support of the Knight Foundation, CPJ hosted its first-ever Impunity Summit, bringing together press freedom advocates from around the world to seek justice in journalist murders. Representatives from Russia, Mexico, the Philippines, Pakistan, and many other countries attended the summit. The meeting resulted in a common commitment, to be led by CPJ, to expand and coordinate advocacy in 2011. Additional work supported by other funders will target impunity in Mexico, India, and Iraqi Kurdistan.

CPJ is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

Media contacts:

  • Gypsy Guillén Kaiser, Advocacy and Communications Director, Tel: +1.212-300-9029, E-mail: ggkaiser@cpj.org
  • Marc Fest, Vice President/Communications, Tel: +1.305-908-2677, E-mail: fest@knightfoundation.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.