AAN has signed a petition drafted by the Committee to Project Journalists calling on President Obama to take steps to ensure stronger protections for digital journalists. Called the â€œRight to Reportâ€, the petition has been signed by dozens of journalism and other organizations, as well as more than 1500 individuals.
The petition is a response to various instances of surveillance of domestic and foreign journalists (such as the seizure of telephone and E-mail records of the Associated Press), the intimidation of journalists and sources (including an unprecedented amount of criminal investigations relating to leaked classified information and issuances of subpoenas to journalists believed to have spoken to the suspected sources) and new requirements imposed upon those arriving at U.S. borders (one of which is a requirement that all devices be turned on and subject to search, which places a particular hardship on journalists who may have notes from conversations with sources or simply contact information of sources on those devices). As CPJ notes â€œ[i]f journalists cannot communicate in confidence with sources, they cannot do their jobsâ€. Further, these actions â€œgive ammunition to repressive governments seeking to tighten restrictions on media and the Internetâ€.
The petition has three simple asks:
- Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations
- Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers
- Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border
Of course, AAN members and those working for AAN publications are welcome (encouraged, even) to sign in their own capacity as an organization or individual. You can use the link above to sign as an individual, but organizations will need to contact CPJâ€™s Advocacy, Courtney Radsch, at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide a logo in order to endorse. And then donâ€™t forget to let everyone know you have participated by writing and posting about it (using the hashtag #RighttoReport).