By now it’s likely that you’ve heard about Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes. If you missed the actual speech, you can see a full transcript or a video link to the speech on this Tampa Bay Times report. Seizing the moment to share her thoughts on the impact of Donald Trump’s election, Streep set the world into a frenzy of opinions. As a coworker so eloquently put it, “I never thought Facebook would be less tolerable after Meryl Streep’s speech than during the election!”

Through all the noise Streep’s speech set off about opinions of the relationship between Hollywood and politics, it is easy to forget that she made an important call to action:

“We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call him on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in the Constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, because we’re gonna need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.”

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in 2016 alone 48 journalists were killed and 259 were imprisoned. The CPJ, an independent nonprofit based in New York, works to uncover and cover these incidences and help promote press freedom, not just in the U.S, but worldwide.

Journalists are a crucial element to understanding the world and seeing it’s problems, it’s successes, it’s failures and it’s wins. I’m not referencing the media we saw and were arguably misled by on the major networks behind the cushy desks during the election. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has worked to protect the journalists on the ground, in the weeds, getting to the bottom of the story for over 30 years.

CPJ helps to protect journalists, hundreds of which are imprisoned, attacked, killed, and kidnapped every year, from around the world to ensure that the free press continues to flow. As we enter into an uncertain time, help to protect the journalists that fight to bring the real story to you, every day.  Here are five easy ways you can support their work:

  1. Donate.  The recommendation donation for a participant is $50. A student donation in $26, and there’s an other box also available for a donation of your choice. Click on the word Donate to go directly to the page.
  2. Subscribe for email updates.  Use the underlined links here to sign up for free to get email alerts  or at the bottom of the page at cpj.org.  Free!
  3. Follow CPJ on Twitter.  Go to @PressFreedom and click the Follow Button.
  4. Attend an Event. On Wednesday, January 25, Slate will host an event with top NY editors to discuss How the Media Should Cover the Trump Presidency.  Scheduled for 7:30PM at the NYU Skirball Center, 566 La Guardia Place, New York, NY, the event requires purchase of $30 ticket.
  5. Write Mike Pence. The CPJ wrote a letter to the VP Elect requesting a meeting to discuss First Amendment rights.  The CPJ letter congratulates Pence for being a founding member of the Congressional Caucus for the Freedom of the Press, and raises concerns about examples the incoming administration may send to the rest of the word regarding press freedoms. Write your own letter requesting Pence to honor the CPJ’s request for a meeting and to maintain his position for First Amendment rights. The transition team’s address is 1800 F Street NW, Washington DC, 2006.

And lest you wonder if lending a voice to a cause has any impact, according to Time.com, the CPJ reported that it receives an average of five donations on any one Sunday night. After Streep’s speech, the organization received 700, 140 times more than it would have otherwise and raised $90,000. Her speech clearly provided expanded awareness about the work of this important organization.

Moral of the Story: Using your voice when a pulpit presents itself does make a difference.

Related Posts of Potential Interest : How to Climb the  Ladder of Democracy — which rung journalism is on, and the higher rung journalists in the field have achieved when they put their own bodies on the line.

~ This post was created by two contributors: Lyndsey Karp and Rhona Bronson.

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