WASHINGTON, June 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Press Club Journalism Institute, the non-profit affiliate of the National Press Club, announces the appointment of veteran journalist Jim Kuhnhenn as its 2019-2020 Press Freedom Fellow. Established in 2016, the fellowship helps direct the NPC's advocacy for press freedoms in the United States and abroad.
Kuhnhenn, a past member of the National Press Club, has been a journalist for 40 years. He was Washington bureau chief for the Kansas City Star, a politics editor and congressional correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers, and an economics, politics and White House reporter for the Associated Press. He is a past president of the Washington Press Club Foundation and a past member of the congressional Standing Committee of Correspondents. He has been a speaker for the Media Literacy Project and a guest lecturer at a number of university journalism classes.
"A free and independent press, at home and abroad, is essential to enlighten people about the events and decisions that affect their lives," Kuhnhenn said. "I'm honored to have this opportunity to help the National Press Club and its Journalism Institute in their mission to remove free press barriers and increase transparency to keep citizens well-informed and their governments and institutions accountable."
From global capitals to local courthouses, press freedoms are under increasing threat. Journalists have been killed, gone missing or been legally targeted for pursuing news. Political polarization in the United States and online misinformation have created a hostile climate and a skeptical audience for the news media. Moreover, financial pressures have added to the difficulties news organizations face in reporting the news.
"The pressures facing journalism here and across the globe can have a chilling effect on the dissemination of accurate information," said NPC President Alison Fitzgerald Kodjak. "We need to stand as a bulwark for press freedoms, draw attention to the risks and obstacles journalists face, and defend their right to seek the facts, no matter how elusive. Jim Kuhnhenn has the commitment and the experience to help us in this crucial task."
"Our priority as a journalism advocacy institution is unabridged freedom of the press," said Barbara Cochran, president of the NPCJI board of directors and the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the University of Missouri. "With Jim Kuhnhenn as our Press Freedom Fellow, we will work to put a spotlight on any efforts to limit the ability of the news media to operate safely and free from interference."
The National Press Club, the world's leading professional organization for journalists, represents more than 3,000 reporters, editors and professional communicators worldwide. The Club's nonprofit, the National Press Club Journalism Institute, promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement.
Contact: Julie Moos, Executive Director, National Press Club Journalism Institute; firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-662-7507.
SOURCE National Press Club