The ombudsman for the Stars and Stripes asks for a repeal of new rules that prohibit journalists at his paper from going to the Wikileaks web site—and makes some common sense points in the process:
Journalists are supposed to report before they write. That means gathering as much information as they can—in breadth and depth—and consulting primary sources whenever feasible.
That might mean an editor clicking on Wikileaks to verify information in a wire story. Or an art director doing a screen grab to illustrate that story. Or a reporter reading a document in full for context in assessing a statement about it.
This newspaper needs to report more, not less.
Yet the government is demanding the opposite—less reporting. That’s enforcing ignorance by design, and that’s not just troubling by journalism standards. It imperils the “free flow of news and information” promised to Stars and Stripes readers.