Journalism After Snowden

Nina Burleigh SnowdenYOU LEAK YOU LOSE

In May, news broke that our government had obtained--without a warrant--copies of phone records of the Associated Press offices in New York, D.C. and Connecticut, as well as reporters' private lines. When I heard that, I was prompted to look up some easily obtainable data of my own: How many journalists are working in America, and how many Americans have security clearances?

There are about 65,000 journalists working for brands of one sort or another, according to a report in the Nieman Journalism Lab. And 5 million Americans now hold a security clearance.

In other words, there are about 77 people keeping secrets about the government for every single person whose professional duties might include asking questions about that government.

Since the revelations about the warrantless requisitioning of the AP's calls, this problem has only grown more troubling. We've learned about the scale of the surveillance, and we are beginning to see just how far the state will go to protect itself from tough questions.


Read more about the criminalizing of investigative journalism here

Leave a comment