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Obama blasted for cracking down on free press

cpj-report-on-obama_siA letter to the White House, a laundry list of recommendations for the president and a 29-page report about the administration’s assault on free press are all compiled in the latest offering from the Center to Protect Journalists.

The CPJ, a non-profit founded over 30 years ago to promote   “press freedom worldwide and defends the right of journalists  to report the news without fear of reprisal,” published a  special report on Thursday penned by longtime Washington Post  executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. in which he dismantles United  States President Barack Obama’s treatment of journalists with  assistance from the country’s foremost national security  reporters.

Despite campaigning heavily on the promise of increased  government transparency and the most open administration yet,  Pres. Obama’s four-and-a-half-years in the White House so far  have included a number of instances cited by Downie in which  reporters were investigated, whistleblowers reprimanded and  administrative actions allowed for the chilling of journalism,  both domestically and on a global level.

Pres. Obama “came into office pledging open government, but he  has fallen short of his promise,” Downie prefaces his report.

Journalists and transparency advocates say the White House  curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media  to evade scrutiny by the press,” he continues, adding,   “Aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information  and broad electronic surveillance programs deter government  sources from speaking to journalists.”


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