The leading media members appear to be split over either they should be attending briefings with the Attorney General Eric Holder that would be off-the-record in order to discuss about reporters’ surveillance by Justice Department.
Holder, who did agree to conduct review of the guidelines by DOJ regarding investigations which involve the journalists, had tried to set the meetings up with the media members for Friday and Thursday.
But Associated Press, that had several journalists’ phone records seized by Justice Department, told that it wanted the meeting on record so that it can be reported.
On Wednesday, Erin Madigan White, the manager of media relations at AP, issued one statement saying that if it’s not on record, AP wouldn’t attend but will instead offer their views regarding how regulations in open letter ought to be updated.
Fox News, that also has the phone records seized by DOJ, does agree with AP. The executive VP of Fox News, Michael Clemente, decided that Fox wouldn’t send any representative to this meeting at headquarters of agency in Washington given that Holder continues insisting session to be off record.
In Fox case, Justice Department had gone even further, seizing correspondent James’ personal emails and blaming him to be criminal co-conspirator regarding leaks on response of North Korea to the new sanctions of UN.
Same positions is being adopted by New York Times and executive editor said in one statement that it’s not appropriate for them to attend the meeting with attorney general off-the-record.
According to their spokesperson, CNN is also declining invitation unless it’d be on record.
Ryan Grim, the bureau chief of Huffington Post also said that he wouldn’t attend if meeting wouldn’t be on the record, saying that conversation especially about freedom of press ought to be open and that it is their responsibility of not betraying that.
James Usher, the bureau chief of McClatchy’s Washington said that he would not attend, saying that the meeting seemed designed majorly to make one point on public relations and not any substantive one and also that the government ought to publicly justify pursuit of the journalists.
Conversely, Politico posted one story saying John Harris, the top executive, has planned on attending one such meeting with Holder. He said that as the editor-in-chief, he routinely has off-the-record talks with the people who tend to have grievances or questions regarding their newsgathering practices.
The executive editor of Washington Post, Marty Baron, also said that he would meet Holder, saying that though he does prefer on-the-record meetings, journalists routinely do participate in sessions that are off-the-record, whether they do or don’t prefer the conditions, and afterwards continue on to report the events.
He said that he was going to that meeting to represent journalists’ interests and raise their concerns and that he would listen, too, to what Attorney general says.