CPJ: Obama Administration Has Chilling Effect on Government Sources of Information for Press

Len Downie tells Frank Sesno about his findings regarding the administration’s willingness to open up to the press.

The administration has way too much information classified, while it targets leakers and reporters, Leonard Downie, Jr. Leaks investigations causes a “Chilling Effect” so government officials and sources only want to meet secretly with reporters — not by telephone or email, if at all.

The administration’s war on leaks and other efforts to control informatino are the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one o the editors involved in The Washington Post’s investigation of Watergate. The 30 experienced Washington journalists at a variety of news organizations whom I interviewed for this report could not remember any precedent.”

Leonard Downie Jr.
Special report to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

Recommendations to the government from CPJ

Reduce over-classification

Make it easier to get information with the Freedom of Information Act

Let knowledgeable officials speak directly to the press — not alway requiring officials to go through a press officer.

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