Ensure American Press Maintains its Full Access to Government Officials

Target: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Goal:  Remove provision in upcoming bill which would limit press access to government officials

The U.S. Senate recently included new provisions in this year’s Intelligence Authorization Act that puts new restrictions on media access to members of the intelligence community. These new regulations inhibit the ability of journalists to do their job; investigative journalism will certainly take a hit from the lack of contact with high-ranking officials within the United States government.

Recent investigations by journalists had uncovered the targeted killing program and the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretap program. The legislation added late by the Senate will effectively control the talking points coming out of the intelligence agencies in the United States.

Protecting national security is an important part of modern government but limiting press access to vital sources will only hinder the government’s ability to govern. By keeping the electorate in the dark, the government will not be trusted to conduct the operations that are vital to keeping the country safe.

Recently, Senator Ron Wyden put a hold on the bill, citing fears that the bill violates the First Amendment. Wyden said in a statement about the hold, “I think Congress should be extremely skeptical of any anti-leaks bills that threaten to encroach upon the freedom of the press, or that would reduce access to information that the public has a right to know.”

The hold means that the Senate will first debate the legislation before putting it to a vote. Sign this petition to tell the President and Senate leaders that this segment should be stripped from the Intelligence Authorization Act.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Harry Reid,

The new stipulation added to the Intelligence Authorization Act limiting press access to government officials should be removed immediately. By allowing this bill to pass, the government will be infringing upon First Amendment rights. The government has no right to reduce access to information that the public has a right to know. I demand that you strike down this small portion of the bill and ensure the rights of all Americans.

Journalists have played a large role in the history of the United States through uncovering scandals that affect the American public. Limiting access to government officials will severely hinder the role of journalism in exposing the truth and righting the wrongs of our society.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: wallyg via Flickr

Sign the Petition

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