NATIONAL TELEVISION ACADEMY TO HONOR
FIGHTERS FOR WORLD PRESS FREEDOM
Committee To Protect Journalists, International Press Institute,
Reporters Without Borders To Be Recognized
New York, N.Y. – August 16, 2006 – At this year’s News & Documentary Emmy® Awards, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will honor three press organizations for their work in the defense of freedom of the press worldwide. The honorees are: New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, The International Press Institute (Vienna) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans Frontieres), headquartered in Paris.
The News and Documentary Emmy Awards will be presented on Monday, September 25 at a black-tie ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, attended by more than 700 television and new media industry executives, news and documentary producers and journalists. Sponsors for the 27th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards include Grass Valley, a Thomson brand, and Television Week, the print partner.
As previously announced, PBS journalist Bill Moyers will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at this ceremony.
“By all reports, 2005 was one of the deadliest and most dangerous years for journalists around the world,” said Peter Price, President/CEO, National Television Academy. “In this time of conflict, the importance of a free press is paramount and yet challenged as never before. The works these organizations do in spotlighting censorship and abuses of press freedom and in supporting journalists under fire are particularly important today.”
“When an estimated one-third of the world lives in countries with little or no press freedom, it is important to recognize the efforts of these dedicated organizations,” said Bill Small, Chairman of the News & Documentary Emmy Awards. “All three organizations are on the forefront of the fight for press freedom worldwide.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting press freedom worldwide by defending the rights of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. Created by a group of U.S. foreign correspondents in 1981, CPJ works in more than 120 countries, many of which suffer under repressive regimes, debilitating civil war or other problems that threaten press freedom and democracy. Through its well-respected and influential publications, news releases and special reports, including lists of journalists murdered and imprisoned and its yearly book, Attacks on the Press, CPJ effectively warns journalists and news organizations where attacks on press freedoms are occurring. CPJ also organizes vigorous public protests and works through diplomatic channels to effect change. Each November, the organization presents the prestigious International Press Freedom Awards to courageous journalists from throughout the world.
CPJ Honorary Co-Chair Terry Anderson, who will accept the award for CPJ, said: “We’re grateful to the Academy for honoring press freedom and paying tribute to the work of our colleagues who are putting their lives on the line in record numbers all over the world.”
The International Press Institute (IPI) is a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, dedicated to furthering and safeguarding press freedom and promoting the free flow of news and information. Founded in New York in 1950, IPI is the world’s oldest global press freedom organization. IPI provides legal representation and support in court cases and in appeals to governments and other official bodies, including the UN, UNESCO, the OSCE and the Council of Europe. Each year in a different country, IPI holds an annual World Congress, where journalists share their experiences with other journalists, academics and political figures. The annual IPI World Press Freedom Review reports on media violations worldwide, as do other IPI publications and reports, including the IPI Death Watch, which lists journalists killed because of their investigative reporting or because they were caught in the crossfire while covering dangerous assignments.
On behalf of IPI, David Laventhol, former Editor-in-Chief, The Los Angeles Times, and IPI Chairman (1993-95), stated, “The IPI is a unique world forum for protecting the rights of journalists and the free flow of information. It is truly global and no one else is doing this job on a global scale. Its presence has saved lives, freed arrestees, and gotten the truth out.”
Peter Preston, former Editor-in-Chief, The Guardian (UK), and IPI Chairman (1995-97), added: “The IPI exists to help journalists in distress and to organize real occasions – seminars and meetings – which can offer real assistance. It is a worldwide network dedicated solely to the defense of press freedom.”
Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans Frontieres) was founded in 1985 with headquarters in Paris and offices in New York and Washington, D.C. and a network of 130 correspondents worldwide. In addition to exposing abuses of press freedom, the organization maintains a French-English-Spanish website, www.rsf.org, for journalists to join petitions against offending countries. Each year on May 3, the organization marks World Press Freedom Day, publishing a full report on the status of press freedom in 150 countries. Once a year, Jailed Journalist Day encourages the international community and hundreds of media agencies to support those who have been jailed for their reporting. Reporters Without Borders also presents an annual Journalist of the Year award to the journalist who has contributed the most to press freedom in his own country, and provides financial and legal assistance to independent media, fight against impunity and conduct fact finding missions throughout the year.
Robert Ménard, Secretary-General, Reporters Without Borders, said, “We try every day to be vigilant and effective in our role as press freedom watchdogs. We try every day to do more to defend what we consider to be a fundamental right. This means constantly denouncing violations of the freedom to inform the public. It also means giving support to the victims of these violations.”
The National Television Academy is a professional service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. It recognizes excellence in television with the coveted Emmy Award for News & Documentary, Sports, Daytime, Creative Arts, Public & Community Service, Technology & Engineering/Advanced Media and Business & Financial Reporting. Excellence in Primetime programming and international programming is recognized by its affiliate, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Regional Emmys are given in 19 regions across the United States. Beyond awards, the National Television Academy has extensive educational programs including National Student Television and its Student Award for Excellence for outstanding journalistic work by high school students, as well as scholarships, publications, and major activities for both industry professionals and the viewing public. For more information, please visit the website at www.emmyonline.tv.