Following is a statement from Jen Judson, President of the National Press Club and Gil Klein, President of the National Press Club Journalism Institute on the disturbing disappearance of veteran journalist Dom Phillips in Brazil.
“We had hoped by now there would be a joyful resolution to the missing persons case of Dom Phillips, a frequent contributor to The Guardian newspaper and Bruno Araujo Pereira, a well-respected indigenous affairs expert. The pair went missing on Sunday in the Western Amazon. Phillips should have been able to contact his colleagues and family by now. We are very concerned about his safety as well as that of Pereira. There had recently been threats made against Pereira, according to reports. Government support for a search of the area has been slow to form and insufficient in general. We further find it deeply troubling that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has a track-record of making anti-press statements appeared to blame Phillips saying “he should not have been” in the remote region where he disappeared. We urge the Brazilian government to prioritize with significant resources and all speed the effort to find these men now. Further delay may be a matter of life and death.”
Founded in 1908, The National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members including representatives of nearly every major news organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the U.S. and worldwide.
The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged, global citizenry through an independent and free press and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement.