(AP) Veteran journalist David Laventhol has been elected chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists, a non-profit group monitoring the safety and freedom of journalists in more than 130 countries.
Laventhol, 68, will succeed Gene Roberts in September, the group announced Thursday. He will remain publisher and editorial director of the Columbia Journalism Review, the media publication produced under the auspices of Columbia University’s journalism school.
Laventhol, formerly publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday and one-time chairman of the Pulitzer Prize board, said he hopes to build upon his predecessors’ efforts to protect native journalists while assisting foreign correspondents in potentially dangerous countries.
“The dangerous places like Afghanistan and the terrible things that have happened to some journalists underscore that we have to really work hard to help journalists in these areas,” he said.
The group reported in March that the number of journalists killed in 2001 rose to 37 from 24 the year before, partly because of the war in Afghanistan, where eight journalists were killed last year.
In addition, the number of journalists in prison increased to 118 in 2001 from 81 the year before, the report said. That reversed four years of steady decline.
Roberts formerly was editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and managing editor of The New York Times.
On the Net: Committee to Project Journalists