According the Pew Research Center 64% of journalists polled believe that Big Brother is watching them. In a page out of George Orwell’s 1984, journalists believe they are the targets of federal government scrutiny via the National Security Agency (NSA). The center polled members of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and found more disturbing trends.
For journalists who cover foreign affairs and/or national security, a whopping 71% are confident the federal government has gathered information on their personal communications. Did the media react to this perceived injustice by implementing changes? Yes and No. Nearly 50% of media members have altered the way they “store or share” documents and files in this modern age.
Faced with a presumed increase in monitoring one would think the message was received in the form of not pursuing “sensitive” stories that might bring additional scrutiny. Happily this is not the case:
“Just 14% say that in the past 12 months, such concerns have kept them from pursuing a story or reaching out to a particular source, or have led them to consider leaving investigative journalism altogether.”
A free press operating without government intimidation is the hallmark of freedom. The media’s relationship with the federal government is one of monitoring elected officials without fear of retribution even if, “Somebody’s Watching Me!”
[Pew Research Center] [Photo: Joe Adonis]