May 30, 2013
After a firestorm of criticism, the Obama administration is suggesting that it will make amends for its aggressive pursuit of journalists suspected of receiving leaks of classified information. But airy affirmations of the importance of a free press and vague promises of a new look at Justice Department regulations aren't enough. The administration needs to commit itself in specific terms to stronger protections for news gathering that will be embodied in a federal statute. It was bad enough that the Justice Department seized the records of calls from more than 20 telephone lines belonging to the Associated Press and its journalists without notifying the news agency in a timely fashion - or giving the AP the chance to object in court.
March 16, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY -- He's a charmer. Pope Francis on Saturday went before several thousand journalists, thanked them for their work, told a joke or two and even blessed (or at least patted) someone's guide dog. In a custom that dates at least to John Paul II, one of the pope's first public appearances was a meeting in the modern Paul VI Hall with an estimated 5,000 reporters who are based in Rome or had flown in to cover the week's historic events. Francis sat on the stage in a large but relatively simple chair and read a speech that thanked the press for its work during this “intense period” which had focused the world's eyes on the Roman Catholic Church.
January 30, 2014 |
MEXICO CITY -- Since a 2009 coup overthrew the president of Honduras, journalists have been killed, intimidated or silenced with virtual impunity, a new report concludes. In a country with an extraordinarily high murder rate , at least 36 journalists have been killed in the last four years, the report notes, and rarely has a case been seriously investigated, a suspect arrested or anyone punished. “In the new climate of fear, few journalists trust the institutions that should shield them from further violence,” PEN International and several partner groups said in an exhaustive, 89-page study released this month.
January 28, 2013 |
TEHRAN - More than a dozen journalists were arrested in Iran on Sunday and Monday, reportedly detained for ties to foreign Farsi-language outlets, according to Iranian media. The wave of arrests marks a new crackdown on the media in Iran, five months before Iranians head to the polls. Eleven reporters were reportedly detained late on Sunday, nearly one week after Iranian public prosecutor Gholam Hossain Moseni Ejeie warned, “We know that some of the local journalists have connections with foreigners.
April 4, 2014 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- An Afghan police officer shot two Western journalists Friday, killing one and seriously wounding the other as they waited in a convoy of poll workers on the eve of the country's closely watched presidential election. The Associated Press said a veteran photographer, Anja Niedringhaus, 48, was killed instantly and that AP correspondent Kathy Gannon was wounded twice but was in stable condition. The shooting occurred in Khost, a violent province along the border with Pakistan, where the journalists were due to accompany election workers who were delivering ballots to outlying areas.
January 12, 2010 |
The case for a federal media "shield" law is simple: Reporters must be protected so they can give citizens the information they need, particularly information that powerful interests would rather keep secret. Whistle-blowers and other insiders -- without a meaningful promise of confidentiality from journalists -- would be less willing to expose wrongdoing, both in and out of government. The ability of journalists to protect their sources is, simply put, a fundamental pillar of our democracy and liberty.