On January 12, Committee to Protect Journalists Chairman Paul E. Steiger appealed to the transition team of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama. In the letter, Mr. Steiger said he was writing “to seek (the transition team’s) leadership in reaffirming America's role as a staunch defender of press freedom throughout the world.”
He went on to say, “U.S. allies and close friends such as Azerbaijan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Pakistan are among the 10 countries where press freedom has most deteriorated, according to a CPJ survey. Others such as Tunisia are among the top censors of news worldwide.”
Mr. Steiger also touched on the detention of journalists by the U.S. military.
In closing, Mr. Steiger wrote, “I cannot emphasize enough the importance of Washington's resolute defense of media freedom at this time of growing repression, censorship, and attacks on journalists around the world. I encourage you to make press freedom integral to both your domestic and foreign policy. As Thomas Jefferson noted, ‘Our liberty depends on freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.’”
The full text of this letter can be viewed here: