Fri, Dec 13, 2013 - Page 9 News List

Where freedom of the press is muffled

From the US to Beijing to Britain, governments must stop attempting to prevent the news media from functioning to safeguard democracy

By David Carr  /  NY Times News Service

Reached on Friday last week, three days after his testimony, Rusbridger said he was less encouraged by the response in Britain.

“I would hope that the evidence of the importance of the material that we have published is overwhelming and self-evident,” he said. “But parliament seems fixated on the minutiae and is spending almost no time on the huge issues raised by the disclosures. It has not been a great moment for democratic principles.”

As Biden — and Thomas Jefferson before him — pointed out, a free press is an essential part of a functioning democracy. Whether it is Beijing or Britain, it might be a good time for governments to stop trying to prevent the news media from doing their job and address what that work has revealed.

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