Vance Center Committee Member Recounts Defending Journalists

April 2019

(From left: Michael Slackman and David McCraw | Photo Credit: Eric Friedman)

New York Times Deputy General Counsel and Vance Center Committee member David McCraw and New York Times International Editor Michael Slackman discussed legal help for journalists in danger, at a Vance Center event at the New York City Bar Association. The event, entitled “Covering a World in Crisis: Foreign Reporting and Press Freedom”, followed the release of McCraw’s critically-acclaimed book “Truth in Our Times: Inside the Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts”.

McCraw shared stories of seeking to free detained reporters in Egypt, coordinating the rescue of a journalist kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and protecting the Times’ correspondents in Turkey. The conversation explored the difficult and risky decisions needed to ensure the safety of journalists and sources, while still exposing autocratic governments.

McCraw and Slackman also identified a new set of dangers arising from current domestic criticism of the New York Times and other US media, which encourages autocratic leaders to arrest and threaten journalists in their own countries.

McCraw’s book is available for purchase here.