Stopping The Presses: Evaluating The Effectiveness Of The 2013 Justice Department’s New Protections For Journalists
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The Obama Administration ushered in a new era of accountability and communication between the government and those it governs. With the rise of social media and the creation of White House accounts on various platforms it seemed as if the Obama administration was taking his pledge to have the most transparent presidency of all time to serious heights. However, during the first term of the Obama administration, the justice department under Attorney General Eric Holder set some dangerous precedents. The justice department pursued several prosecutions of people who had leaked government secrets and developed a successful formula for these cases by way of the Espionage Act. Out of this behavior, a new landscape for the relationship between the government and the media was formed. After backlash, they conducted a review and used experts from outside the Whitehouse in the media, and academia to provide feedback. They then released a list of protections and new policies to protect journalists to undo the precedents they may have set and encourage future due diligence in the prosecutorial process regarding the role of media in leaks. I am evaluating how effective those protections are and whether they accomplish the goals they set out to meet.