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CNN International Networks president to speak at SPJ National Convention


Mac McKerral, SPJ president-elect and convention chair, 813/342-2472,
Robert Leger, SPJ president, 417/836-1113,

INDIANAPOLIS - Chris Cramer, president of CNN International Networks, will be among the featured speakers at the national convention of the Society of Professional Journalists in Tampa, Fla., which begins Sept. 11.

Cramer, this year’s Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Taishoff Speaker on Broadcast News Issues, will lead a discussion about the dangers journalists face as they cover wars. Cramer continuously has pushed the news industry to increase safety training and attention to the risk of traumatic or emotional injury to journalists.

Cramer is the honorary president of the International News Safety Institute, a coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to the safety of journalists. At INSI’s formation, Cramer warned of the growing dangers journalists face as they cover wars.

“These are nightmarish times for those working in the news media,” Cramer wrote in The Guardian. “And the past year has been one of the most testing the profession has ever endured. Journalists are being killed at an unacceptable and unprecedented rate.”

In the book “Hostage,” Cramer wrote an account of the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege after which he was held prisoner.

Cramer joined CNN in 1996 after 25 years of service at the BBC where he moved from regional reporter to head of newsgathering. In 1995, he insisted that the global news service introduce compulsory hostile environment training.

Cramer is based at CNN world headquarters in Atlanta and is a member of the CNN Executive Committee. He is a fellow of the Royal Television Society and a member of the British Association of Film and Television Arts.

Cramer’s presentation is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, Sept. 12, at the Hyatt Regency Tampa. It is expected to be one of the highlights of the convention, which begins Thursday, Sept. 11.

More than 600 professional journalists and college journalism students are expected to attend the SPJ convention. For more convention information including a complete schedule and registration information, visit

For information about covering the convention, contact SPJ at or 317/927-8000 ext. 216.

The Society’s Taishoff Fund was established in 1983 with a bequest from the Broadcasting Taishoff Foundation in memory of Sol J. Taishoff, who was the first broadcaster to serve as national president (1956-57) of Sigma Delta Chi, predecessor organization to SPJ.

The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. SPJ is dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, and based in Indianapolis, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

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