What a wonderful day!  Today the Committee to Protect Journalists received the fourth Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights.  We were honored to have Joel Simon, Executive Director and Michael Massing, Co-Founder of the Committee to Protect Journalists join us for a day of discussions around freedom of the press and its importance to all of us.  Other special guests that shared in the day’s program included author and journalist Mariane Pearl, author Terry Gould, and Nina Ognianova, CPJ’s  Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator.

All of our guests were so accommodating, taking the time to talk to students, faculty, staff, members of the press, and friends of the Center.  The festivities began with a breakfast for students, where they got the opportunity to have an informal conversation with our guests, with topics ranging from the state of journalism today to the role of the press in the struggle for human rights. 

The award itself was given to CPJ by Senator Christopher Dodd, with UConn President Mike Hogan as our master of ceremonies.  The crowd of over 250 guests were told of the suffering that journalists from around the globe have endured for their passion to report the news for those who are otherwise not heard, and in many cases the ultimate sacrifice that they paid.  We heard of the work that CPJ does on behalf of journalists worldwide and most importantly we heard hope.  Hope from the belief that deep down we all share a common value, that we are all entitled to basic rights and freedoms and when those are violated the rule of law prevails.  This is something that Senator Thomas J. Dodd championed for and that hope continues to bring us all together to make our world a better place.

Stay tuned for pictures of the event!