Freedom of the press often comes at a steep cost, one that is all too familiar to the families and loved ones of journalists killed while newsgathering. To this end, “The Last Column” is a striking new initiative launched by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a nonprofit organization that advocates for press freedom around the world. The initiative, which takes the form of a book, mini-documentaries, events and educational content, was launched this week with support from News Corp, the Dow Jones Foundation and HarperCollins publishers.
“The Last Column” book features the final works of 24 journalists killed in the line of duty, including Daniel Pearl of The Wall Street Journal, Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times of London, and Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post. According to CPJ research, nine out of 10 journalist murders go unpunished, a grim statistic that is largely attributed to a lack of political will. “The Last Column” aims to engage the public and remind them of the importance of a free press.
“We’re currently living in one of the most dangerous times for journalists, with reporters being imprisoned in record numbers and murders on the rise. We can’t allow violent forces to determine what we know about the world,” says Courtney Radsch, advocacy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “With ‘The Last Column’, we hope to inspire everyone to learn more about these brave journalists, celebrate freedom of the press and protect those out there who continue to inform their communities in the face of threats and hardship.” For more information, visit lastcolumn.com.