On Tuesday evening, Bloomberg CEO Daniel Doctoroff chaired the Committee to Protect Journalists’ (CPJ) annual International Press Freedom Awards dinner Tuesday evening. The irony was not lost on the journalists in the room, many of whom laughed and pointed out the bizarre situation.
Bloomberg News has come under fire recently for suspending its Hong Kong-based reporter Michael Forsythe several weeks ago. According to The New York Times, employees claim that Bloomberg EIC Matthew Winkler refused to publish Forsythe’s long-form investigations into collusion between the Chinese government and powerful businessmen there.
The same sources characterized the move as “self-censorship” to protect the news organization from angering Chinese leaders and losing access. “If we run the story, we’ll be kicked out of China,” Winkler allegedly told other staffers.
Bloomberg’s top execs, including outgoing NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, denied such accusations.
And yet, throughout Doctoroff’s speech, tables full of journalists were noticeably making comments and laughing at the irony of the situation. According to several attendees, there was an almost collective grumbling while Doctoroff spoke at length about the importance of press freedom during an event advocating for greater protections for international journalists.
Some attendees also noted the same irony when Bloomberg’s Chief Content Officer Norman Pearlstine took the podium as a presenter for the press freedom event.
According to the CPJ website, the 2013 International Press Freedom Awards was “an annual recognition of the courageous reporting that defines free media.”
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