Journalism Protection Initiative

Ben Fractenberg

Threats to journalists and press freedom are increasing in the United States and around the world, and include physical attacks, legal action, and systematic campaigns of online harassment. There are also mounting threats to the media as an institution and the systems that bring us the news, including efforts by a range of malicious actors using lies and propaganda to promulgate their own narratives.

In response, the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism established the Journalism Protection Initiative in February 2023. Under the leadership of Joel Simon, the JPI seeks to ensure that journalists can operate safely and that the information they produce reaches the communities they serve. To achieve this result, the JPI conducts research, hosts convenings, and works to improve journalism education, particularly around safety. At the Newmark Journalism School, the JPI seeks to ensure that graduates have the skills, resources, and knowledge to effectively practice their profession in an adversarial environment. The JPI also hosts occasional Press Freedom Fellows.


Joel Simon is the founding director of the Journalism Protection Initiative. Simon began his career as a journalist in Latin America, before joining the Committee to Protect Journalists in 1998. He served as CPJ executive director from 2006 to 2021. In 2022 Simon was a Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, and also Senior Research Fellow at Knight First Amendment Institute, also at Columbia. He is the author of four books, most recently The Infodemic: How Censorship and Lies Made the World Sicker and Less Free, co-authored with Robert Mahoney. He writes regularly on press freedom issues for The New Yorker and Columbia Journalism Review and many other publications. You can visit his personal website here



The Journalism Protection Initiative conducts research into threats to journalism and journalists, focused on press freedom, media safety, and the public interest. We believe that journalism schools should contribute to the public debate over the future of journalism and participate in the defense of rights and principles essential for its practice. We produce reporters that combine academic rigor with the highest journalistic standards, and believe that journalism is a critical form of knowledge acquisition and intellectual inquiry. 

Contact Us

Do you have a question about our Journalism Protection Initiative? If so, please contact us.

Joel Simon
Director, Journalism Protection Initiative
(Twitter) @JoelSimonSays

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