December 16, 2010

Wikileaks and journalism

As I said here the other day, the American prosecution of Wikileaks is unsound and poses a threat to all journalism, not just to Wikileaks. Today, faculty members and officers of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism sent an open letter to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. Here is an excerpt:
"[W]e all believe that in publishing diplomatic cables Wikileaks is engaging in journalistic activity protected by the First Amendment. Any prosecution of Wikileaks' staff for receiving, possessing or publishing classified materials will set a dangerous precedent for reporters in any publication or medium, potentially chilling investigative journalism and other First Amendment-protected activity."
This ill-considered pursuit of Assange and Wikileaks could pave the way for the end of journalism as we know it. The Justice Department could prosecute the NY Times with the same argument it is using against Wikileaks. This is wildly dangerous for our democracy. And is anyone noticing? Hardly.

We need to pay close attention when our freedom and our country are threatened -- by our country. Obama is a disaster. The man doesn't seem to know right from wrong.

Hat tip to Todd Gitlin at TPM Cafe for the quote.

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