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Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to Honor Katharine Graham at 30th Anniversary Gala on May 22 in New York

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Event chaired by Tom Johnson, and hosted by Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather and Judy Woodruff. Calvin Trillin to…

Event chaired by Tom Johnson, and hosted by Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather and Judy Woodruff. Calvin Trillin to serve as dinner speaker.

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The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the legal defense organization for journalists, will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a fundraising dinner and cartoon auction on May 22 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

The event will honor Katharine Graham, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Washington Post Company. Lucy Dalglish, Executive Director of the Reporters Committee said, “We are excited to be honoring Katharine Graham. She sets the standard in upholding the First Amendment and free expression. Mrs. Graham is a tireless leader and embodies the principles the Reporters Committee fights so hard to maintain.”

The fundraiser will also include an auction of original political and “strip” cartoons by several of the nation’s most celebrated cartoonists. Most of the nearly 50 cartoons will be sold by silent auction while eight or 10 selected works will be openly auctioned during the dinner.

The dinner chair will be Tom Johnson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CNN and the dinner speaker will be writer and humorist Calvin Trillin. Other guests expected to attend include: Paula Zahn, Lou Dobbs, Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn, Ken Auletta, Steven Brill, Andy Rooney, Don Hewitt, Lesley Stahl, Rita Braver and David Remnick, among others.

The Reporters Committee is a voluntary association of reporters and editors dedicated to protecting the First Amendment and freedom of information interests of the news media. For the past 30 years, it has provided legal defense and research assistance to journalists and their attorneys on issues relating to freedom of information, libel, invasion of privacy, reporters’ privilege, prior restraints, and access to courts.

The Washington-based Committee was founded in 1970, spurred by the plight of then New York Times reporter Earl Caldwell, who had been subpoenaed the previous year be a federal grand jury, which demanded that he reveal his sources within the Black Panthers organization. Among those individuals who founded the Committee or joined soon after its inception were J. Anthony Lukas, Murray Fromson, James Goodale, Fred Graham, Jack Nelson, Benjamin Bradlee, Eileen Shanahan, Mike Wallace, Robert Maynard, and Tom Wicker.

Today the Committee has a staff of 12, which provides free legal defense and research to journalists and their attorneys. The organization publishes the quarterly magazine News Media & the Law, a biweekly media law newsletter, a Web site that is updated daily, and several guides to assist journalists. It also operates a toll-free hotline to assist reporters with their questions. The Committee handles more than 2,000 requests annually for its services.

Note: Media are welcome to cover the reception and silent cartoon auction from 6:30 to 8 p.m. However, only media that have called ahead to make a reservation will be allowed into the event. Please call Juliana Evans at 917-749-0970 to make arrangements.