US war on news leaks imperils press freedom: Watchdog
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The war on news leaks by President Barack Obama's administration is becoming a threat to press freedom and democracy, a media watchdog group said on Thursday.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, in a report based on interviews with dozens of experienced news professionals, said the US president's actions have been in sharp contradiction to his promise of transparency and open government.
"Journalists and transparency advocates say the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press," said the report written by former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie.
"Aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information and broad electronic surveillance programmes deter government sources from speaking to journalists."