Spying on media correspondence is a threat to free press:PEN International 

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Jan 21, New York: Despite the fact that media correspondences are the key to free speech, very little respect has been maintained in the protection of the confidentiality of private conversations between journalists.

After the  revelations that a GCHQ programme ‘harvested’ correspondence between journalists and editors at news organisations such as the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times and the Washington Post, it has been made clear there is threat to free speech and journalism in the public interest.  PEN International, English PEN and PEN American Center through a press statement stated that, the protection of journalistic sources has long been recognized as one of the basic necessities for a free press. Without a guaranteed protection, whistle-blowers will be deterred from coming forward, the press cannot report facts accurately, and citizens are denied an informed discussion on matters of public interest.

According to, Carles Torner, Executive Director of PEN International,the work of investigative journalists – be it in uncovering corruption or abuse – is central to a free society, not a threat to national security. “By designating journalists as ‘threats’ alongside terrorists it is governments which are threatening free expression”, he said.

The Oslo Times

 

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