Gary Pruitt, the Associated Press’ president and CEO, has had about enough of the government. After the Justice Department secretly obtained two months worth of phone records from AP reporters and editors, Pruitt now says that government sources are scared to talk to reporters. “The government may love this,” Pruitt added, during a speech at the National Press Club. “I suspect that they do, but beware the government that loves secrecy too much.”
In an effort to nudge the government toward a less creepy lifestyle, Pruitt also announced five measures that could ensure freedom of the press. Here’s a brief summary of his ideas: 1) The press should be able to respond to any request of information before its taken 2) There should be judicial oversight when anything is requested 3) The DOJ’s guidelines need updated 4) A federal shield law that protects journalists should be implemented and 5) A formal rule should be made of the guideline that the DOJ will not prosecute any journalist for being a journalist.
It’s a nice list. Now if only the government would heed Pruitt’s advice.
See below for Pruitt’s full statements on the measures.