Filed at 3:20 PM EST on Feb. 3, 2009
The Writers Guild of America East has decided to give this year's Evelyn F. Burkey Award to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The award, named after WGAE's former executive director and co-founder, is for contributions that have "brought honor and dignity to writers everywhere.
CPJ is a nonprofit that promotes press freedom and was created by U.S. correspondents in 1981 to pressure for better treatment of journalists worldwide and to put a spotlight on "authoritarian governments and enemies of independent journalism."
"I cannot think of an organization that as meaningfully and deeply manifests the meaning of the Burkey Award -- to bring honor and dignity to writers everywhere -- than the Committee to Protect Journalists," said WGAE President Michael Winship in announcing the award. "In a world where freedom of the press is so often suppressed and its practitioners threatened, even killed, the CPJ stands in defense of the lives and liberty of those writers around the planet who so valiantly struggle to bring us the truth."
The award will be given out Feb. 7 at the WGAE awards ceremony in New York.
Past recipients have included everyone from Joan Didion and Tom Fontana to Vaclav Havel, Andy Rooney, and the Communications Workers of America.