The concept of a “free press” is all but dead and buried in America today, it seems. A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of investigative reporters in the United States believe that the government has “probably collected data about their phone calls, emails or online communications, and eight-in-ten believe that being a journalist increases the likelihood that their data will be collected.”
This is a shocking revelation, especially considering the fact that the current administration promised to be “the most transparent” in the nation’s history. In fact, the Obama Administration has shown itself to be remorseless in pursuing those who leak information to the press and in spying on reporters who dare to investigate its activities.
A free press is fundamental to a free society, and perhaps the most troubling aspect of this story is the fact that so few reporters seem outraged or even concerned about the government’s interference in their profession. It’s as if we as a society have become used to the idea that privacy is no longer a basic human right.
It’s bad enough when the average citizen has given up on the idea that it’s wrong for our government to spy on us, but when members of the press accept surveillance as a fact of life, it would seem to indicate that our society is in deep trouble.
Although most investigative reporters say that the spying has not affected their reporting, a significant percentage admit that they have modified their journalistic approach.
From the Pew report: