NJSPJ Voice Support
The New Jersey chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists recently passed a motion denouncing the government’s verbal attack on and calls for an investigation of the New York Times after the news organization published an article on June 23‚ 2006 illuminating the government’s bank monitoring program used to track terrorists.
“As journalists we believe strongly in the letter and spirit of the First Amendment‚” said David Levitt‚ past president of the New Jersey chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. “While we respect the rights of those who question the Times’ decision to publish this and other articles‚ we draw the line at those in government who would use threats of prosecution to chill the press’s right to conduct independent and critical inquiry into government actions.”The motion calls the verbal attack on the New York Times and the government’s want to investigate and prosecute the newspaper “appalling‚”‚ “uncalled for‚” and “outrageous.”
“For government officials to say the New York Times should be charged with treason is outrageous‚” the motion partially reads. “A continuation along this path will inevitably lead to a chilling of voices independent of government authority and a de-facto repeal of the First Amendment – leaving us minus the precious freedom millions have fought for‚ and restoring a piece of the tyranny we overthrew 230 years ago.”
The motion also notes the chapter’s support of the decision of the New York Times and other news organizations to publish stories about the monitoring program.
Download a full copy of the NJSPJ motion.