You’ve probably heard the story of Safyre Terry, the 8-year-old from upstate New York who suffered disfiguring burns in a fire that also claimed her family.
Terry’s holiday wish was simple – she wanted holiday cards to fill a card tree from her aunt.
News reports indicate Terry already has received more than 18,000 cards and letters as well as 400 packages.
Terry’s story got me thinking about giving this holiday season and ways journalists and writers might want to share a gift toward their craft.
One hot-button issue that clearly stands out this year is press freedom.
Foreign correspondents and freelancers especially have faced rising risks. Among the more prominent cases is that of Washington Post bureau chief Jason Rezaian, who recently was sentenced to prison in Iran.
So I offer a few options to give to organizations that are aimed at protecting journalists, both domestically and abroad. Here are some groups to consider:
- The GroundTruth Project. GroundTruth invests in the future of journalism and its storytellers. The group breaks down how donations are spent: “$500 provides for insurance for a correspondent in a conflict zone or underwrites the creation of an animated video; $250 enables a young photojournalist to create a photo essay as part of our “Emerging Photographers” series; $100 covers the cost of the carbon offset of our reporting fellows and editing team to fly to Paris for the climate change conference; $50 purchases a packet of 25 reporters’ notebooks; and $25 buys a local SIM card for a mobile phone or local transportation for an international fellow.”
- Committee to Protect Journalists. CPJ is an independent, nonprofit group that promotes press freedom worldwide. In October, CPJ reports its advocacy was critical in “freeing 10 imprisoned journalists in Ethiopia this year, including bloggers affiliated with the Zone 9 collective.”
- The Poynter Institute’s Women in Leadership Scholarship. Journalism leadership positions remain predominantly male, despite the growth of women in media and journalism careers. Poynter has a scholarship that will provide women with the “opportunity to advance their leadership roles and to grow the scope, influence and impact of women leaders in journalism and the media.”
- Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to “perpetuate a free press as a cornerstone of our nation and our liberty.” The foundation maintains it’s the “role of journalists to provide fair, balanced and accurate information in a comprehensive, timely and understandable manner.”
- James W. Foley Legacy Foundation. Foley was a conflict journalist, who was kidnapped Nov. 2012 in northern Syria. According to his legacy foundation, Foley was murdered by ISIS on August 19, 2014, in the Raqqa region of Syria. The foundation helps advocate for American hostages and their families, promotes a culture of global safety and press freedom in conflict zones, and empowers disadvantaged youth through education.
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