Following CPJ’s release of its report on the state of press freedom in the United States, the organization is pursuing high-level meetings with the White House. CPJ had drafted six recommendations that were shared with President Obama, including calling for a guarantee that journalists would not be at legal risk or prosecuted for receiving confidential and/or classified information.
CPJ continues to work toward securing a meeting with the Obama administration in order to discuss the report’s findings.
“Given our 32-year history fighting for press freedom around the world, we believe CPJ can make an important contribution to the press freedom concerns and debate in the United States,” CPJ Chairman Sandy Rowe wrote in a blog published the day after the report.
The report-which was written by Leonard Downie, Jr., Arizona State University journalism professor and former Washington Post executive editor, with additional reporting by Sara Rafsky, CPJ’s research associate for the Americas-received widespread coverage in the United States, including on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Huffington Post Live, and NPR’s On the Media.
The report found that the Obama administration’s aggressive war on leaks and other efforts to control information has chilled the conversation between journalists and their sources. Any restriction on this conversation inevitably reverberates around the globe. The report, which was mentioned by Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian, also received a great deal of global media attention, including in Brazil, where it had recently been announced that the U.S. National Security Agency was monitoring the communications of its president, Dilma Rousseff, and other senior officials.
The administration responded to Politico about the findings of CPJ’s report. Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman, defended the administration’s “commitment to reforming Washington,” and said that its “continued efforts seek to promote accountability, provide people with useful information, and harness the dispersed knowledge of the American people.”