The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is thrilled to welcome Ted Boutrous, partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and Nabiha Syed, president of the nonprofit investigative news outlet The Markup, as the two newest members of its steering committee.
“Ted and Nabiha are both outstanding attorneys and tireless advocates who have dedicated their careers to helping journalists keep us informed and defending the First Amendment rights that make that possible,” said Stephen J. Adler, editor-in-chief of Reuters and chair of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “We are grateful to have them join the talented group of individuals on the steering committee who support the Reporters Committee’s work providing free legal services to journalists and news organizations.”
Adler, who has chaired the steering committee since May 2019, was also elected to another term.
“Steve’s leadership has been integral as the Reporters Committee expands our on-the-ground support for local journalists, responds to new legal needs amid the coronavirus pandemic, and continues filing amicus briefs and litigation in First Amendment cases across the country,” said Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “We are looking forward to another term with him as our chairman.”
Margaret Low, CEO and general manager of Boston’s NPR news station WBUR, will also serve a second term as vice chair. Massimo Calabresi, Washington bureau chief of TIME Magazine, was elected as secretary-treasurer.
Boutrous has spent his career handling high-profile litigation, media relations, and media legal issues. He has argued more than 100 appeals, including before the U.S. Supreme Court, 12 different federal circuit courts of appeals, and nine different state supreme courts. In the last two years, Boutrous has represented journalists and news outlets in two successful cases against the White House that led to the reinstatement of their press credentials, which had been revoked by the administration. The Reporters Committee will honor Boutrous with a Freedom of the Press Award at its 50th anniversary gala, recognizing his long standing work on behalf of media organizations, journalists, and others in a wide array of press freedom matters.
“The Reporters Committee’s mission and work have never been more important, with freedom of the press under attack in this country in the midst of a global health and economic crisis that requires vigorous, unfettered reporting about our government to protect our democracy and fellow citizens,” said Boutrous. “I am honored to join the Steering Committee and look forward to contributing to these efforts.”
In her role as president of The Markup, which investigates how powerful institutions are using technology to change society, Syed oversees the news organization’s legal, communications, development, finance, and human resources efforts. Before joining The Markup, she was vice president and associate general counsel at BuzzFeed, where she counseled on newsgathering, libel, and privacy matters worldwide, including successfully litigating many access issues and defending the news outlet against a libel lawsuit arising out of its publication of the Steele dossier. Prior to BuzzFeed, Syed co-founded the nation’s first media access law clinic at Yale Law School and served as a First Amendment fellow at The New York Times. In 2018, the Reporters Committee recognized Syed with its inaugural Rising Star Award for her significant contributions to journalism and media law.
“No one stands up for the press as vigorously and vigilantly as the Reporters Committee,” said Syed. “I am honored to join the board of the Reporters Committee, an institution I am inspired by and that the country so deeply needs in this moment of crisis.”