CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (April 16, 2002) — The Committee to Protect Journalists has been selected by Harvard University’s Nieman Fellows to receive the 2002 Louis Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism.
“The Nieman Fellows selected the Committee to Protect Journalists because of its tireless commitment to guard reporters and editors from persecution, torture and death in their quests to accurately report and concisely tell the stories of the world,” said Jeffrey Fleishman, spokesman for the class. “As increasing numbers of journalists face censure and physical intimidation, the CPJ is a loud and aggressive voice against regimes, governments and terrorists that seek to threaten human rights and pervert the truth.”
For more than 20 years, the committee has effectively worked to raise public awareness of the dangers and threats faced by journalists around the world and to stand up for and protect journalists in peril.
By publicly revealing abuses against the press and by acting on behalf of imprisoned and threatened journalists, the committee effectively warns journalists and news organizations of attacks on press freedom. It organizes vigorous protest at all levels — ranging from local governments to the United Nations — when press freedoms are threatened. When necessary, it works behind the scenes through a variety of other channels to effect change.
The Committee to Protect Journalists also publishes articles and news releases, special reports, the magazine Dangerous Assignments, and a comprehensive annual report on attacks against the press around the world.
In announcing this year’s Lyons Award, the Fellows also made a special mention of the 10 journalists from eight nations who have lost their lives while covering the conflicts in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East, related to the military actions following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
The Lyons Award honors Louis M. Lyons, a beacon for journalistic integrity during his career, including 25 years as curator of the Nieman Fellowship Program. The award, which carries a $1,000 honorarium, will be presented to Ann Cooper, executive director of the committee, in Cambridge on May 16, 2002 by the 2002 class of Nieman Fellows.
There have been 22 individuals, groups and organizations recognized since the award was established by the 1964 class of Nieman Fellows. The class initiated the award in honor of Lyons’ retirement as Nieman curator. He headed the Nieman program from 1939 to 1964. The award’s mission is to recognize and honor displays of conscience and integrity by individuals, groups or institutions in communications.
The Nieman Foundation administers a mid-career fellowship program that, since 1938, has brought more than 1,000 American and international journalists to Harvard University for a year of academic study.