The New Censorship was written over a three-year period, between 2011 and 2013. However, the book draws on my experience of more than fifteen years spent defending press freedom and on the insights, observations, and research of colleagues and collaborators over an extended period of time. Among the many leaders in the struggle for freedom of expression whose ides have informed my own are Agnes Callamard, Christophe Deloire, Annie Game, Jean-Francois Julliard, John Kampfner, Rony Koven, Alison Bethel MacKenzie, Julio Muñoz, Ricardo Trotti, and Aidan White.
While I have consulted a wide variety of sources and experts in framing my analysis, it should come as no surprise that I rely heavily on the press freedom research carried out by the extraordinary staff at the Committee to Protect Journalists. The contributions of CPJ experts are acknowledged in the endnotes notes of each chapter, but I would like to recognize the support of key individuals. Among them are Robert Mahoney, Bill Sweeney, Carlos Lauría, Elisabeth Witchel, Jean-Paul Marthoz, and Özgür Öğret, who all read drafts and provided commentary and insight. I’d also like to acknowledge the guidance and support of my predecessors as executive director: Anne Nelson, Bill Orme, and particularly Ann Cooper, who provided encouragement, support, and detailed feedback on various drafts.
During my time at CPJ, I have had the opportunity to work closely with four different board chairman, Gene Roberts, Dave Laventhol, Paul Steiger, and Sandy Rowe. All provided outstanding leadership, (p.x) and they taught me from their own perspective what journalism means and why it matters. The support of CPJ’s board of directors allowed me to explore the complex issues raised in this book. I benefited tremendously from debates and discussions at board meeting, over coffee, or while carrying out CPJ missions. I would like to recognize those board members who contributed directly to this project either by agreeing to be interviewed or by sharing insights and expertise, including Michael Massing, Sheila Coronel, Dave Marash, Jim Goodale, Franz Allina, Kati Marton, Josh Friedman, Rebecca MacKinnon, Rajiv Chandrasekeran, Clarence Page, Anne Garrels, Victor Navasky, and Jacob Weisberg.
Others members of the CPJ extended family who provided insights and support include Aryeh Neier, David Rohde, Eric Newton, Joel Campagna, Michael Shifter, Danny O’Brien, and Dan Gillmor. And I’m forever indebted to friends and colleagues who read chapters and provided feedback, including Andy Blauvelt, Lee Bollinger, Daniel Dombey, Nisid Hajari, Jonathan Lethem, Colum Lynch, Peter Noorlander, Eric Siblin, and Jon Williams. Finally I’d like to offer a huge thanks to Greg Fay, my research assistant on this book, who went beyond the call of duty over and over.
No one could ask for a more committed and dedicated agent than Richard Parks. I’m grateful to my editor, Philip Leventhal, who directed me with clarity and focus through various rounds of revision, and his colleagues at Columbia University Press.
Inevitably, this book was written on the fly in hotel rooms, airplanes, trains, coffee shops, and hotel lobbies. This is why I am particularly grateful to those who provided some stability and quiet time for writing and reflecting. They include Arlene Abramovitch (Montreal and Bretton Woods, New Hampshire); Jerry and Marcia Simon (Ashland, Oregon), and Barbara Simon (Los Angeles). I am also grateful to the writer-in-residence program at the Ace Hotel.
The last— and most profound—thank-you must go to my family: my amazing daughters, Ruby and Lola, and my wife, Ingrid Abramovitch. Ingrid contributed as an editor and a cheerleader, insisting always that I push on and never succumb to doubt or self-pity. This book would not have been possible without her love and support, and that is why it is dedicated to her.