Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

CPJ Announces Funding From Hedge Fund Manager Peter Thiel

Posted by Tom Foremski - October 28, 2009

The Committee for Protection of Journalists last night announced funding from Peter Thiel, head of hedge fund Clarium, for the defense of online freedom of the press.

The amount was not revealed but described as a "substantial check."

Peter Thiel told SVW, "Technology can have positive and negative aspects. I want to help the CPJ defend the rights of online journalists."

The CPJ says that 33 journalists have been killed this year, and 760 killed since 1992, of which 482 were murdered. Increasingly, it is online journalists that are being targeted.

Some details about CPJ:

How did CPJ get started?
A group of U.S. foreign correspondents created CPJ in response to the often brutal treatment of their foreign colleagues by authoritarian governments and other enemies of independent journalism.

CPJ has a full-time staff of 23 at its New York headquarters, including area specialists for each major world region. CPJ has a Washington, D.C. representative, and consultants stationed around the world. A 35-member board of prominent journalists directs CPJ's activities.

CPJ is funded solely by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations. CPJ does not accept government funding.

Without a free press, few other human rights are attainable. A strong press freedom environment encourages the growth of a robust civil society, which leads to stable, sustainable democracies and healthy social, political, and economic development. CPJ works in more than 120 countries, many of which suffer under repressive regimes, debilitating civil war, or other problems that harm press freedom and democracy.

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.


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