Sunday, March 6, 2011

Top Secret - Our right to know?

We talked last week in class about scandals and the release of many confidential documents. The class was split on whether or not it is the medias right. We talked about NY Times vs. U.S. (1971) and how the Supreme Court allowed the publishing of an internal report in the Department of Defense because it can be public knowledge.

I disagree with the ruling. I believe that it is our right as Americans to be aware of certain information. However, in this case the documents were stolen, published and the Supreme Court allowed them to be published! If I stole someones notes in class and published them, I would be fine. I might get in trouble for stealing but that information can be published.

That just sounds absurd to me. If this information is acquired by stealing and the information stolen wasn't even controversial - it was just a report they commissioned to see what went wrong in Vietnam - it should not be allowed to published.

That being said, certain information should be publicly accessible - The challenge is where to draw the line.

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