Many Pulitzer Prize Winners Demand DOJ Stop Threatening Reporter James Risen With Jail If He Protects His Sources
from the chilling-effects dept
The Freedom of the Press Foundation has put together a petition for Risen, but perhaps even more interesting is that it further got over a dozen Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists to speak out on Risen's behalf. Here are just a few:
It's a travesty that this situation is still occuring. It creates a real chilling effect for both reporters and for sources, and seems like a clear First Amendment violation, even if the courts still disagree on this fact. The DOJ could put an end to this, but has not.
DANA PRIEST, Public Service, 2008 / The Washington Post; Beat Reporting, 2006 / The Washington Post:
If the U.S. government were so concerned about the information revealed in Jim Risen’s stunning chapter on a now 14-year-old CIA operation against Iran gone wrong, it would have moved quickly to resolve this matter eight years ago when it was first published. Instead, it seems obvious now that what officials really want is to hold a hammer over the head of a deeply sourced reporter, and others like him who try to hold the government accountable for what it does, even in secret.
As Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama classified more and more of the government’s actions over the last 14 years, denying the public critical information to judge how its democracy is faring, it has fallen to reporters like Risen to keep Americans informed and to question whether a gigantic government in the shadows is really even a good idea. We will all be worse off if this case proceeds.
DAVID ROHDE, International Reporting, 1996 / Christian Science Monitor; International Reporting, team coverage, 2009 / New York Times (now at Reuters):
The Justice Department’s pursuit of James Risen puts the lie to President Obama’s claim that he “welcomes” debate regarding his national security policies and leads “the most transparent administration in history.” The administration should immediately end its pursuit of Risen and respect all journalists’ first amendment rights.
MARCUS STERN, National Reporting, 2006 / Copley News Service:
No press shield, no freedom. It's about the great values embodied in the First Amendment and whether they will be undermined at this moment in history or endure for future generations. The fate of James Risen and his anonymous source is our fate and our grand-children's fate. Please, get it right.
JASON SZEP and ANDREW R.C. MARSHALL, International Reporting, 2014 / Reuters:
It is scandalous that James Risen faces jail time for doing what every good journalist working in the public interest does: protect confidential sources. President Obama and Attorney General Holder should halt all legal action against James to demonstrate that their “war on leaks” is not an assault on the First Amendment and freedom of the press.