The Committee to Protect Journalists today announced that Diane Brayton, executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary of The New York Times Company, and Maria Teresa Ronderos, former director of the Open Society Foundation’s program on independent journalism, have joined the organization’s board of directors.
“We are delighted to welcome Diane and Maria Teresa to the CPJ board. Diane deeply understands the threats to journalists worldwide and is passionate about making it safer for them to work,” said Kathleen Carroll, chair of the board. “Maria Teresa’s knowledge of the threats journalists face is deeply felt, and she brings decades of commitment to press freedom to the board.”
Brayton was appointed to her current position in 2017 and is responsible for the legal affairs of The New York Times Company. In her role, she provides legal counsel to the company’s board of directors and senior management and leads a legal team that advises on, among other areas, media and intellectual property law, corporate governance, and securities matters; commercial transactions; employment and labor relations; and litigation management. She serves on the company’s executive committee and participates in the development of major corporate policies, procedures, and programs. She previously served as deputy general counsel and first joined the company in 2004 as counsel.
“The Committee to Protect Journalists plays a critical role in the protection of journalists around the globe, making it possible for them to work without fear to help inform the public and make society stronger and more just,” Brayton said. “The New York Times has a long, rich history with CPJ, and I’m deeply honored to represent our news organization on the board.”
Ronderos is a Colombian journalist, and is currently starting up a Latin American cross-border investigative reporting center. She is a board member of Fundación Gabo and a columnist at the Colombian daily El Espectador. Until 2018, she directed the journalism program at Open Society Foundations. Previously, she was editor of the Colombian newsmagazine Semana and of VerdadAbierta.com, a website covering armed conflict in the country. She authored a book on the subject, “Guerras Recicladas,” for which she was awarded the 2015 Simon Bolivar National Award for “Journalist of the Year.” Ronderos has received the King of Spain Iberoamerican Award and the Columbia University Maria Moors Cabot Award.
“I am proud to join CPJ in its global mission to protect journalists amid an increasingly murky and risky environment for free and independent voices,” Ronderos said.
Brayton and Ronderos are joining CPJ at a time when press freedom is increasingly under threat worldwide. CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon recently testified at a congressional hearing, stressing the dangers for journalists globally and calling on Congress to speak out against press freedom violations. In 2018, for the third year in a row, CPJ documented at least 250 journalists imprisoned worldwide. Already this year, at least seven journalists have been killed in connection to their work.
CPJ is a founding partner of the One Free Press Coalition, an initiative that brings together more than 30 media outlets from around the world to highlight journalists under threat each month and to raise awareness about these critically important cases. CPJ’s board of directors is composed of journalists, business leaders, and others from the United States and around the world who provide strategic guidance to the organization.