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In U.S., Obama transparency record remains unimpressive

The following is a CPJ blog post written by Sara Rafsky, CPJ Americas Program Research Associate:

Nearly seven months ago, CPJ published its first in-depth report on press freedom in the United States, concluding that the Obama administration's aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information, broad surveillance programs, and moves to stem the routine disclosure of information to the press meant that the president had fallen far short of his campaign promise to have the most open government in U.S. history. What's changed since? A quick survey of recent events suggests not much.

That is not to say that things have been dull. National security reporters have likely been as under-slept in recent months as they were in the initial period after the Edward Snowden revelations came to light in June 2013. Media outlets around the world have continued to publish a stream of scoops based on the leaked documents. The public, Congress, and the Obama administration have maintained an impassioned debate on the balance between privacy and security. Despite CPJ's efforts to engage the administration on some of these issues, the only response received so far was a White House spokesman's statement to Politico that "from the day he took office, the President committed his Administration to work towards unprecedented openness in government." Two months later, however, in light of mounting criticism from the White House press corps on restrictions to covering official activities, press secretary Jay Carney told reporters, "We're going to work on finding ways to be responsive and provide more access."

Read the full story on CPJ's site.

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