Startling number of journalists believe they’re being spied on by feds; change how they report


Nearly two-thirds of investigative reporters are convinced that their telephone conversations, emails and online searches have been intercepted and recorded by the Obama administration.

The stunning results of a Pew Research Center study, indicating that 64 percent of the 454 media figures surveyed “believe that the U.S. government has probably collected data” related to their work make the days of Richard Nixon appear like child’s play.

In addition, 14 percent of those surveyed “say that in the past 12 months, such concerns have kept them from pursuing a story or reaching out to a particular source, or have led them to consider leaving investigative journalism altogether,” the study, released Thursday, said.

And for those reporters who elect to stick it out, this has resulted in a change in the way they perform research, collect data and interview witnesses. Pew reported:

Still, these concerns have led many of these journalists to alter their behavior in the past 12 months. Nearly half (49%) say they have at least somewhat changed the way they store or share sensitive documents, and 29% say the same of the way they communicate with other reporters, editors or producers.

And among the 454 respondents who identify as reporters, 38% say that in the past year they have at least somewhat changed the way they communicate with sources.

This survey follows reports in which the phones of numerous Associated Press journalists had been monitored. Also, the Justice Department secured a search warrant to monitor Fox News correspondent James Rosen’s phone and computer — and that of his parents — by claiming he posed “a serious risk of harm to our national security,” according to Fox News.

And this is from an administration that bills itself as the most transparent in history, headed by a president claiming to be a constitutional scholar.


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