The Red Cross of Journalism:
How the ‘Committee to Protect Journalists Organization’ helps journalists, is a history that very few people know about. The Committee to Protect Journalists (“CPJ”), has been termed journalism’s Red Cross. This small nonprofit organization has become the defender of journalists when they are suddenly jailed or held against their will in some remote region of the world. A group of U.S. Foreign correspondents founded this organization in 1981 in response to the harassment from authoritarian governments. CPJ is the determined force when journalists need rescuing from ruthless governments who hold the press responsible for their country’s upheavals and to keep information from leaking out.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is a New York City based organization who has saved the lives of many journalists on assignment that have been caught up terrible plights. They are a great international weapon, whose main tools are the latest in mobile technology. CPJ uses their mobile communication tools to make loud international outcries to reach the highest levels of a nation’s government, including the White House, embassies, and world bodies like the United Nations.
The Committee also works with human rights groups like Amnesty International to plan rescues, to provide immediate safe havens, and the missing journalists throughout the Middle East and the world. CPJ further used their Board of Directors, staff and high powered journalists whose names read like Brokaw and Cronkite, Katharine Graham, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Bill Kovach, Gene Roberts, Dan Rather, Bernard Shaw and John Seigenthaler. CPJ has a Who’s Who on their Board today, who also are ready to get into the trenches, when needed.
CPJ’s Back Work To Save Lives:
The Committee to Protect Journalists is currently working to help a Sudanese journalist, a Wall Street journalist jailed in Iran, and the trial of three Egyptian journalists. CPJ is also working other journalists who are in danger in Bahrain, injured journalists in Beirut, and other issues which keep their cell phone and tablets working overtime. CPJ also refers journalists to resources, including information on grants, fellowships, and awards. Additional examples of their work includes:
- Contributing to legal funds for journalists facing prison.
- Evacuating journalists at risk into temporary havens.
- Helping get medical care for journalists following brutal assaults in retaliation for their work, or for journalists suffering from mistreatment in prison.
- Providing support for families of imprisoned journalists.
- Supporting journalists forced to go into hiding or to relocate within their countries to escape threats from local officials, militia, or criminal gangs.
The Committee to Protect Journalists’ mission is to fill a gap between journalists and the government’s where they are assigned. The former Executive Director of CPJ, Bill Orme, stated that CPJ “operates on the notion that even cold-hearted dictators are sensitive to international pressure, especially if it is tied to the threat of losing economic aid – we practice a delicate combination of diplomacy and advocacy.”
CPJ is like the archival account of journalists who were murdered, intimidated and imprisoned in more than 100 countries. Many of these accounts were witnessed first hand by CPJ who conducted investigations on-site in some of the more dangerous areas in the world. When CPJ investigates press violations on international sites, members of the staff sometimes find themselves staring down the barrel of an AK-47 automatic rifle at checkpoints or being grilled by grim-faced Gestapo-like guards.
The Overall Benefits of CPJ:
Not many people, especially the public in the U.S. are aware of The Committee to Protect Journalists, but the Committee’s President reports that foreign nation’s certainly knows who CPJ is. Not only is CPJ on the front lines to help journalists, there are similar organizations, that includes the Canadian Committee to Protect Journalists and Reports. However, CPJ is the only American organization that is designed to solely document, publicize, and respond to specific cases of press freedom violations. The Committee also provides traveling advice on body armor, first aid kit packaging, fact-finding missions, and warnings about current danger zones. Every year The Committee to Protect Journalists hosts the International Press Freedom Awards. The awards honors journalists or their publications around the world who show courage in defending press freedom despite facing attacks, threats, or imprisonment.
Jorge Ramos was the recipient of the International Press Freedom Award in 2014. As the anchor of Univision News and Fusion, he gave a speech that mirrored the mission of CPJ, in his remarks: “
sadly, we stayed silent before the war in Iraq and thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraq civilians died unnecessarily,” he continued. “We have to learn from that. Silence is the worst sin in journalism. But the best is when journalism becomes a way of doing justice and speaking truth to power.” The Committee to Protect Journalists promises to continue promoting press freedom and to defend the right of journalists to report new without the fear of reprisals.
The Deal with Iran
Many people have a lot to say when it comes to President Obama’s deal with Iran. The truth is, there are very few of them that are happy with the deal. While some people think that it will eliminate many of the chances that the Middle East could eventually declare nuclear war on the United States, Israel or any number of other countries, there are an equal number of individuals that think this deal is a huge mistake. It is only understandable that this is a controversial subject, and it would probably be virtually impossible to please everyone with any type of deal or lack thereof. However, some people are concerned that the deal may actually make things worse in the long run. There are even some individuals that think that the deal itself is actually a precursor to the end of the world.
The Problems Associated with This Deal
The truth is, no one really knows how this deal is going to affect foreign policy or world politics, at least not right now. It will take a number of years before anyone can tell for sure whether this will be advantageous or detrimental to the overall safety of other nations. However, there are some very alarming concerns. For example, one of the problems stems from the fact that the United States agreed as part of the deal not to interfere with Iran’s nuclear program after a certain number of years. It effectively gives them a license to make a nuclear missile after just a few years of being involved in this deal. Furthermore, the United States now has to give at least 48 to 72 hours notice before doing any spot inspections, a huge difference from the impromptu inspections that used to occur. Obviously, it allows the country to make all kinds of nuclear missiles without getting caught because they have plenty of time to move everything to another location. This is one of the biggest problems that people have with this deal. Even the most objective person would have to ask themselves why anyone would ever agree to such a thing in the first place.
The Dire Consequences
The United States made the deal with Iran based on the idea that they would actually be truthful with what they are doing. Past history dictates that they will do anything except be truthful. More often than not, they have agreed to do one thing or another and then done the exact opposite. As a direct result, people are left to wonder how long this deal will be in place before something catastrophic happens. Whether they send a missile to Israel or to US interests somewhere around the globe, it effectively means that the United States will be drawn into what amounts to World War III if and when a missile is deployed. This is a country that has been wanting to hit someone with a missile for years, so it only seems that giving them a license to develop a program is essentially giving them the green light to do exactly that. Worse yet, it leaves everyone else to pay the price and ultimately, to pick up the pieces when it is all said and done.