Secret government or a free press?

USA Today
by staff

06/21/06

France, Germany and courts in Japan could teach America a thing or two about one essential aspect of democracy: Their governments are more willing to make sure that journalists have the means to act as watchdogs on the people in power. Several European nations guarantee that reporters cannot be forced to expose sources to whom they've guaranteed confidentiality. Just last week, Tokyo's high court upheld a Japanese reporter's refusal to reveal the sources of a 1997 news story about a U.S. health food company. This is just common sense. Those in power keep secrets -- sometimes to protect their power, sometimes for financial or political gain, and sometimes for more legitimate reasons, such as national security. The nation's Founders knew this. They created a free press in large part as a check on that sort of power. Reporters and commentators would serve as watchdogs...

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2006-06-21-our-view_x.htm


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

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