2009 Dodd Prize Recipients

The Committee to Protect Journalists

For nearly 30 years, the Committee to Protect Journalists has been defending the rights of journalists worldwide to report the news without fear of reprisal. Every year, CPJ receives more than 2,000 reports of press freedom violations ranging from censorship and harassment to arbitrary detention and homicide. Their five regional program coordinators – representing Africa, the Americas, Asia, Central Europe and the former Soviet republics, and the Middle East – track developments through independent research, fact-finding missions, and firsthand contacts in the field, including reports from other journalists.

By publicly revealing abuses against the press and by acting on behalf of imprisoned and threatened journalists, CPJ effectively warns journalists and news organizations where attacks on press freedom are occurring. CPJ organizes vigorous public protests and works through diplomatic channels to effect change. CPJ publishes articles and news releases; special reports; and Attacks on the Press, the most comprehensive annual survey of press freedom around the world.

In 2001, CPJ created the Journalist Assistance Program to provide direct assistance to journalists whose needs could not be addressed by advocacy alone–journalists who must go into hiding or exile to escape threats; journalists in need of medicine and other material support in prison; and journalists injured after violent attacks, to give some examples. Since then they have helped more than 400 journalists from 52 countries.

Mariane Pearl was five months pregnant when her husband, The Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and brutally murdered by a militant Islamic fundamentalist group in Pakistan in 2002. Determined not to be broken, Mariane wrote a memoir celebrating the values of humanism and dignity while offering a detailed account of the investigation led in Pakistan to rescue her husband. The book won international praise and was translated into 15 languages. In 2007, it was released as a major feature movie starring Angelina Jolie in the role of Mariane Pearl. Her story, in her own words are that of “integrity, beauty and resilience.”

Read Senator Dodd’s remarks.

Read CPJ’s acceptance speech.

2009 Dodd Prize Ceremony Photo Collection