Press Freedom at Stake
Major News Conference about Case of James Risen
Set for National Press Club — August 14 at 1 p.m.
Addressing one of the most important U.S. press freedom cases in decades, a broad coalition of organizations will hold a news conference about efforts by the Obama administration to compel New York Times reporter James Risen to disclose a confidential source.
The news conference is set for Thursday, August 14 at the National Press Club in Washington. Earlier in the day, a petition with 100,000 signers — “We Support James Risen Because We Support a Free Press ” — will be formally presented to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Justice Department is now considering whether to attempt to force Risen to testify against one of his alleged sources. If Risen refuses, as he has vowed to, he would likely face harsh fines or imprisonment.
Risen has refused to name a source for information about a bungled CIA operation in Iran that appeared in his book State of War.
This summer a front-page New York Times article called the Risen case “the most serious confrontation between the government and the press in recent history.”
What: News Conference
When: Thursday, August 14 at 1 p.m.
Where: National Press Club (Zenger Room), 13th Floor, National Press Building
Who: Speakers will include representatives of the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, the Government Accountability Project, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Reporters Without Borders. Also speaking will be nine-time Emmy Award winner Phil Donahue, a recipient of the Peabody Award. The news conference is hosted by RootsAction.org.
For more information about the news conference and the presentation of the petition at the Justice Department, contact:
Background on the Risen Case:
* Freedom of the Press Foundation: Court Guts Reporter’s Privilege
* Truthout: Conversation With James Risen
* Politico: Justice Department Urges SCOTUS to Pass Up Reporter’s Privilege Case
* New York Times: Reporter’s Case Poses Dilemma for Justice Department
* Letter to Holder from 46 News Organizations Re: Subpoena to James Risen
* Committee to Protect Journalists: U.S. Government Should Withdraw Subpoena
Source: Reporters Without Borders