New York, NY, March 13, 2019 — The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, today announced the launch of “The Last Column,” a book and digital campaign that highlight the human cost of reporting the news.
Developed with support from News Corp, the Dow Jones Foundation, and HarperCollins Publishers, “The Last Column’” book (www.thelastcolumn.com) features the 24 final works of journalists killed in the service of newsgathering, including Daniel Pearl of The Wall Street Journal, Marie Colvin of The Sunday Times of London, and Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post. CNN’s chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, wrote the introduction.
The global initiative includes publication of the book, a mini-documentary, live events, and educational content to raise awareness of CPJ’s work, including the organization’s Global Campaign Against Impunity, which advocates for justice and an end to the impunity endemic to murders of journalists.
“We’re currently living in one of the most dangerous times for journalists, with reporters being imprisoned in record numbers and murders on the rise. We can’t allow violent forces to determine what we know about the world,” said Courtney Radsch, advocacy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “With ‘The Last Column’, we hope to inspire everyone to learn more about these brave journalists, celebrate freedom of the press, and protect those out there who continue to inform their communities in the face of threats and hardship.”
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According to CPJ research, nine out of ten journalist murders go unpunished. Too often the root of this impunity is a lack of political will, and enlisting the public is critical to fighting for justice when journalists are killed in reprisal for their work. A digital campaign featuring the friends and family of the fallen journalists will aim to engage the public in this conversation.
“The Last Column reminds us that while we have lost our journalists, our colleagues, our friends, there are still many more we can save and it is not too late to help protect them,” said Ilana Ozernoy, VP, Communications at News Corp and formerly a war correspondent. “The legacy of those who have fallen is now in our hands.”
The campaign includes launch events in New York and Washington D.C.; a panel on the human cost of reporting at SXSW, and a series of international events that will be open to the public. Details to come.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide and defends the right of journalists to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal. Its Global Campaign Against Impunity and annual global Impunity Index seek to hold to account those who murder journalists.