Recently, a new report “The Obama Administration and the Press – Leak investigation and surveillance in post-9/11 America” released by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) believed that the Obama administration pays more attention to controlling information, convicting leaking classified information and giving more pressure on media and information providers. Experts pointed out that the report exposed the hypocrisy of “press freedom” of U.S. government.
The CPJ is an organization that focuses on overseas press freedom situation. However, considering Washington leaked out unprecedented amount of inside news and stolen journalists’ information on an unprecedented scale since Obama took the presidency, the organization made the evaluation for the first time in history. News said that the government made an extensive leak investigation, secretly subpoenaed and seized records for telephone lines and switchboards used by more than 100 AP reporters in its Washington bureau and elsewhere. Michael Oreskes, a senior managing editor of the Associated Press said that “The Obama administration has been extremely controlling and extremely resistant to journalistic intervention.”
Shi Yinhong, a professor of International Relations and Director of Centre for American Studies at Renmin University of China said, the White House used a more private and diversified way to manage media. For example, the government secretly monitors media and journalists’ activities, hits information providers, directly interferes withmedia activitives in the name of “national interest””military intelligence”, and even spreads fake news and controls public opinion. “The U.S. government makes smart and ruthless limitsto press freedom, we could suppose reasonably from the report that what we do know is just the tip of the iceberg” Shi Yinghong said.
“The White House controlling information illegally is no surprise to me.” Zhao Kejin, Associate Professor of Tsinghua University’s Institute of International Studies, pointed out that “sacred rules of the Constitution of the United States and actual policies are different.” According to Zhao, the White House and departments have special institutes and staffs to deal with media. For themselves, exposures are just the result of crisis management failure and many inside stories are solved in the name of “media public relations”.
As Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011 released by the State Council Information Office of China said, “While advocating press freedom, the United States in fact imposes fairly strict censoring and control over the press and ‘press freedom’ is just a political tool used to beautify itself and attack other nations.”
“America always praises itself as a country of press freedom and uses the so-called press freedom to criticize press system of other countries.”
Shen Dingli, a professor of Fudan University’s Institute of International Studies, believed that absolute press freedom doesn't exist in the United States, but it is ridiculous that the US government always points a finger at other nations.
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