Courtney Radsch/CPJ Advocacy Director
The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined a coalition of international sport organizations, civil society, and governments that are establishing an independent Centre for Sport and Human Rights. In a statement published today, the Mega-Sporting Events Platform for Human Rights, which CPJ is part of, outlined its commitment to establishing the center in 2018.
The move comes more than a year after CPJ welcomed the International Olympic Committee’s launch of a press freedom complaints mechanism to enable journalists to report press freedom violations.
Too often, the prestige of hosting a mega-sporting event such as the Olympics, World Cup, or Formula One overshadows the responsibility of host countries to ensure that journalists can report freely on the organization and staging of such events, as CPJ has documented in Russia, China, Qatar, andBahrain. At the Sporting Chance Forum in Geneva this week, I spoke about the threats that journalists face and steps that broadcasters and sports governing bodies can take to support journalists.
The ability of the press to report freely on sports and the issues related to staging a mega-sporting event is essential to ensure that the human, economic, and environmental impact of such events, and crackdowns in repressive host countries do not go unreported.