10 July 2014, 15:41

38 journalist groups in US protest against suppression of media by White House

38 journalist groups in US protest against suppression of media by White House

38  journalism groups in the US have sent a message addressed to President Barack Obama expressing protest against the "politically-driven suppression of news and information" about the activities of the American authorities. According to the capital's online newspaper The Washington Examiner, this is an unprecedented criticism of the White House.

It is particularly significant because immediately after coming to power, Obama promised to make his government the most transparent one in American history.

"You recently expressed concern that frustration in the country is breeding cynicism about democratic government," the authors of the letter to the owner of the White House write. "You need look no further than your own administration for a major source of that frustration – politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies. We call on you to take a stand to stop the spin and let the sunshine in."

The journalists specifically complain that in all branches of the US government officials were banned from communicating with them, especially "on the record," that their questions and requests for interviews regularly remain unanswered, and that judiciary journalists were even included in departmental black lists.

"We also ask you provide an avenue through which any incidents of this suppression of communication may be reported and corrected," the representatives of the journalist community emphasize in their letter. "Create an ombudsman to monitor and enforce your stated goal of restoring transparency to government and giving the public the unvarnished truth about its workings."

President of the Society of Professional Journalists of the USA David Cuillier was the first to sign the letter. He was accompanied by heads of the National Press Foundation, National Newspaper Association, National Press Photographers Association, Regional Reporters Association, Secretary General of the Reporters without Borders, Frenchman Christophe Deloire, and heads of many specialized and regional associations.

Of course, the journalistic community cares first of all about problems with the coverage of life in America. But the Obama administration has repeatedly been harshly criticized also for suppressing information in the sphere of national security and foreign policy and for tough prosecution of people who distribute such information, including Edward Snowden. And most recently, voices of protest against the extremely one-sided and biased approach of the authorities and the media that are at one with them to the coverage of the current crisis in Ukraine are heard in the professional journalist community in the US. In essence, the matter here concerns the same propagandistic "spin" of news.

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