CPJ Names Jodie Ginsberg As New President

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The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), on Monday named Jodie Ginsberg as its new President. Ginsberg will succeed Joel Simon, who stepped down at the end of 2021 after leading the organization for 15 years.

A journalist by profession, Ginsberg, 44, has served since March 2020 as Chief Executive Officer for Internews Europe, part of the Internews alliance, one of the world’s largest international media development nonprofits. Ginsberg was previously the CEO of the renowned freedom of expression campaign group, Index on Censorship. A South African and British national, she worked for more than a decade as a foreign correspondent and newsroom leader at Reuters news agency. Ginsberg is expected to take up her appointment in April, when she will relocate to New York from the UK.

“Journalism is under attack like never before from repressive governments, despots and criminals, and CPJ’s work is more important than ever,” said CPJ Board Chair Kathleen Carroll. “Jodie Ginsberg is an accomplished advocate and talented journalist with first-hand knowledge of some of the perils journalists face. Jodie will bring bold leadership and a clear vision to the pursuit of our mission, and we are thrilled to welcome her to CPJ.”

At Internews, where she has overseen effective delivery of programming, fundraising, advocacy and outreach during a time of rapid organizational growth, Ginsberg helped forge new partnerships as media organizations globally adjusted to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. During her six years at Index on Censorship, she significantly grew both the public and funding profile of the organization and oversaw important research and advocacy projects on media freedom and legal threats. Her work at Reuters included reporting from southern Africa, Ivory Coast and Nigeria as well as postings in Dublin as Chief Correspondent, Ireland and as Bureau Chief, UK and Ireland, when she oversaw a staff of 40.

“The past two years have shown just how vital a role the press plays in our global world,” Ginsberg said. “Journalists help hold power to account, expose corruption and injustice and shine a spotlight on the most important issues of our day – from health to climate to social change. For that, far too many face a growing threat of violence and harassment. I am determined to help reverse this trend and am honored to be leading CPJ at such a critical juncture”.

Ginsberg’s appointment follows a comprehensive, global search by a committee of the board assisted by the Spencer Stuart global leadership advisory firm. Simon announced last June that he would step down as executive director at the end of the year. Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney will oversee the organization pending Ginsberg’s arrival.

“Jodie will take on the leadership of an organization with a strong financial foundation, a splendid new headquarters and, most importantly, a committed international staff that goes above and beyond to defend individual journalists and press freedom in every corner of the globe. I wish Joel every success in his next chapter and thank Rob for stepping in to ensure a smooth and effective transition,” Carroll said.

Threats to press freedom in recent years have highlighted a growing intolerance of independent reporting among governments, as recognized by the award of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize to journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia. According to CPJ’s 2021 prison census, the number of reporters jailed for their work hit a new global record of 293, up from 280 in 2020. At least 24 journalists and media workers were killed because of their coverage in 2021, bringing the total to 1,422 journalists killed since 1992.

In 2021, CPJ helped win the early release of a record 105 imprisoned journalists and contributed to securing convictions in the murders of 10 journalists. The organization also supported and helped evacuate 60 journalists and their families from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power, and provided financial, safety and other assistance to almost 450 journalists around the world last year through the work of its Emergencies Team. More research and information about CPJ’s campaigns and advocacy can be found on CPJ.org.

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