Nicholas Cheng and Salman Yousafzai, the 2017 Daniel Pearl Fellows, talked about censorship problems in their countries and their impressions of journalism in the United States during a panel discussion moderated by Jewish Journal Publisher Rob Eshman, an Alfred Friendly Press Partners advisory board member.

The annual event coordinated by the Daniel Pearl Foundation and the Los Angeles Press Club took place Aug. 17 at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood and drew a standing-room only crowd. More than two dozen Daniel Pearl Fellows sponsored by the Daniel Pearl Foundation have gone through the program. Judea Pearl told the audience after the Q&A that the Pearl Fellows are making a significant, positive impact in Muslim-majority countries around the world, a vanguard of watchdog journalists inspired by his son’s legacy.

Alfred Friendly Advisory Board member Rob Eshman (far right) moderated a panel discussion with Nicholas Cheng (far left) and Salman Yousafzai

Cheng talked about the times he was briefly jailed by police in Malaysia for writing articles that challenged the government, and how the censorship on information that “makes the government look bad” is systemic. Yousafzai recalled events in which reporters were harassed, injured and even killed for reporting on sensitive topics.

After the panel discussion, Alfred Friendly Press Partners hosted a dinner in central Los Angeles.

Left to right: Ruth Pearl, Corie Brown, Chris Fager, Judea Pearl, David Reed, Salman Yousafzai, Rob Eshman and Nicholas Cheng