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The nation learned in May that the Justice Department secretly obtained the phone records of more than 100 Associated Press reporters and monitored Fox News reporter James Rosen’s personal email and cell phone records, branding him a “possible co-conspirator” in a classified leak case for asking questions to a government source.
These revelations sent shockwaves throughout newsrooms nationwide. Reporters can no longer assure their sources that interviews will remain confidential because there is no way to tell whether the government is listening. This attack on journalism reaches far beyond hardworking journalists and their sources. Make no mistake: The ultimate victims are the millions of Americans who rely on investigative journalism to inform them about their communities. When the government creates a chilling effect in newsrooms, it keeps important news away from the American public.
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