Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia and since then, the world has anxiously waited to hear from the man who exposed the NSA’s PRISM program, which has been spying on citizens of the United States for at least a decade.
Snowden finally broke his silence since being granted asylum, after being in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport for over a month, by speaking to The New York Times in an encrypted Q&A session with Peter Maass and film director Laura Poitras serving as an intermediary.
Snowden had some interesting answers, especially to the question asking why he spoke to the likes of Poitras and The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald instead of reputable publications such as the Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.
Here’s Snowden’s response:
“After 9/11, many of the most important news outlets in America abdicated their role as a check to power — the journalistic responsibility to challenge the excesses of government — for fear of being seen as unpatriotic and punished in the market during a period of heightened nationalism. From a business perspective, this was the obvious strategy, but what benefited the institutions ended up costing the public dearly. The major outlets are still only beginning to recover from this cold period.”
Snowden shines a light on what our duty, as members of the media, actually is: reporting the news as unbiased as possible. In a post-9/11 world, many outlets have swayed from publishing the facts to publishing propaganda.
So how do we fix this? With the hyperspeed of the Internet, it’s often difficult to confirm information as credible, with even the largest media outlets falling victim to false information (we’re looking at you, CNN!).
If a government power is an oppressive one, we, as members of the media, have an obligation to speak out against it. The media serves as an unwritten addition to the series of checks and balances implemented by the government because, if the various branches of the government are abusing their power, it is the media’s job to inform the people, which is why it is vital the media stays credible.
Via NY Times