The Committee to Protect Journalists and Columbia University Celebrate 30 Years of Defending Freedom of the Press
NEW YORK, March 1, 2011 –

On Friday, March 4th, the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization founded to promote freedom of the press, will be celebrating its 30th anniversary at a half-day conference at Columbia University.  The event is being co-sponsored by the Columbia University Libraries along with the Columbia Journalism School.  High-profile journalists and experts will gather to discuss press freedom challenges, an issue as important and pressing today as ever before.

Featured moderators Dan Rather and Slate editor-in-chief Jacob Weisberg will navigate panelists of New York Times reporters, photojournalists, and renowned correspondents through two distinct, but salient discussions:  "Looking Back: 30 Years of Covering War" and "Looking Ahead: Social Media and Revolution."

Panelists and participants include, among others: Rajiv Chandrasekaran, senior correspondent and associate editor for the The Washington Post; Sheila Coronel, CPJ board member, director of Columbia University's Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, and co-founder of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism; Nazila Fathi, New York Times correspondent and Nieman Fellow; Rebecca MacKinnon, CPJ board member and co-founder of Global Voices Online; and Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, producer and co-host of Al-Jazeera English.

The event will also serve to highlight the Columbia University Libraries’s acquisition of the CPJ Archives, a comprehensive collection of documents spanning nearly three decades of the organization’s human rights work through reports, case files, administrative files, as well as photographs, videos, and a vast collection of newspaper clippings. The archive will be part of Columbia University Libraries’ Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research, which promotes the acquisition and study of primary source documentation on human rights. The collection will be available for research in Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

The Conference will take place in the Kellogg Conference Center, in the International Affairs Building at Columbia University on Friday, March 4, 2011 from 2:00pm – 5:00pm. 

The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1981. CPJ promotes press freedom worldwide by defending the rights of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. 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.

The Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research (CHRDR) at Columbia University Libraries supports the community of teachers, researchers, and law and social justice advocates working in the multidisciplinary sphere of Human Rights. The Center develops global collections – primary and secondary resources, as well as archival collections and internal records from human rights organizations – and enhances the visibility and accessibility of these collections through high-profile programs, collaborative projects and library services. The CHRDR website is the central access point for its activities, archives, and research resources: /content/libraryweb/indiv/humanrights.html

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: