Since 2009, eight government employees and contractors have been prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act for leaking classified information to the press – more than all previous administrations combined. These aggressive measures, along with the government’s comprehensive surveillance programs, consistently discourage sources from speaking to reporters.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has investigated the chilling effect of the Obama administration’s war on leaks and other efforts to control information. Their report – “The Obama Administration and the Press: Leak Investigations and Surveillance in Post-9/11 America,” by Leonard Downie Jr. – is CPJ’s first comprehensive report on press freedom conditions in the U.S.
New America NYC and the Committee to Protect Journalists held this conversation about surveillance and press freedom under the Obama administration.
Leonard Downie Jr.
Weil Family Professor of Journalism, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University
Vice President at Large and Former Executive Editor, The Washington Post
Executive Editor, The Associated Press
Chief Washington correspondent, The New York Times
Dean, Columbia Journalism School
Staff writer, The New Yorker