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Editors Defend Email Coverage Following Russian Hack Report

Image: Editors Defend Email Coverage Following Russian Hack Report

(AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 16 Dec 2016 12:05 PM

The editors of various news institutions are defending their reporting on the emails leaked from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign in the wake of allegations that those emails were leaked by Russia.

The U.S. intelligence community recently issued a report suggesting that Russian hackers obtained and leaked emails from Democratic sources to influence the election in favor of president-elect Donald Trump. According to The New York Times, the news organizations that reported on the contents of the emails, including the Times, became "a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence."

Political scientist Norman Ornstein agreed with their assessment.

 

 

Dean Baquet, the Times' executive editor, said in an interview he did not regret his paper's coverage of the emails.

"I get the argument that the standards should be different if the stuff is stolen and that should influence the decision,'' he said. "But in the end, I think that we have an obligation to report what we can about important people and important events. There's just no question that the email exchanges inside the Democratic Party were newsworthy."

The Washington Post's Aaron Blake questioned where publications should draw the line on accepting leaked information.

"A source who could have been an adversarial world power such as Russia or a more nefarious source or just some random hacker. Everything in those emails may be accurate, but it adds a whole new element to the journalistic equation," he writes.

"If hacked emails from Russia aren't okay, what about hacked emails from a Trump supporter in New Jersey? Or from an American ally who might be pointing out something unflattering about our government? Almost everyone who leaks information to the media has an ax to grind, after all. From there, it's a judgment call as to whether the value of reporting the information is high enough."

The Los Angeles Times Washington bureau chief David Lauter defended his paper's reporting to the Times, saying "The fact that [the information is] coming from an unsavory source doesn't mean that the information isn't accurate."

He added, "my default position is democracy works best when voters have as much information as possible about the candidates and their campaigns. And that information often comes from rival campaigns, from old enemies, from all sorts of people who have motives that you might look at and say, 'that's unsavory.'"

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The editors of various news institutions are defending their reporting on the emails leaked from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign in the wake of allegations that those emails were leaked by Russia.
newspapers, russia, hacking
418
2016-05-16
Friday, 16 Dec 2016 12:05 PM
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