The New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson:

“Vigorous news coverage and spirited public debate are both in the public interest. The journalists at The New York Times and The Guardian care deeply about the wellbeing and safety of their fellow citizens in carrying out their role in keeping the public informed.”

The Washington Post vice-president Marcus Brauchli:

“… there is inherent, inevitable and — in the US, anyway — by-design tension between government and a free press that reflects the institutions’ different functions. A responsible editor’s bias must be towards publication and an informed public debate. Without sight of the facts, how can a democracy chart its course?”

Der Spiegel editor-in-chief Wolfgang Buechner:

“It is the indiscriminate mass surveillance of communications that Der Spiegel considers to be a scandal — not the search for terrorists. As we stated, it is the media’s duty in a free society to report on these abuses.”

Haaretz editor-in-chief Aluf Benn:

“Journalists have only one responsibility: to keep their readers informed and educated about whatever their government is doing on their behalf — and first and foremost on security and intelligence organisations, which by their nature infringe on civil liberties.”

El Pais director Javier Moreno:

“The real danger is not in the so-called ‘aid to the enemy’ denounced by the hypocrites, but in the actions of governments and state agencies that citizens cannot control. To fight it we need newspapers willing to do their job, rather than those ready to cheer on the self-interested deceptions of the powerful.”

The Hindu editor Siddharth Varadarajan:

“Sensitive information must pass a twofold test: is publication in the public interest; and will it put lives at risk. Governments and intelligence agencies may have access to more information than the average editor but they do not have a monopoly over the ability to correctly answer these questions.”

Britain’s Daily Mail has described its rival The Guardian as “the paper that helps Britain’s enemies” for publishing information on the United States National Security Agency leaked by Edward Snowden. The Guardian asked media editors and proprietors around the world to respond (you can read the rest of them online).

To which we’d add, simply, this: ditto.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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