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UNITY Calls for Transparency on Seizure of AP Journalists’ Records

May 13, 2013
 
Media Contact:
Walt Swanston, Interim Executive Director
(703) 854-3594
 

MCLEAN, Va. — UNITY: Journalists for Diversity is deeply troubled that the Justice Department secretly seized Associated Press journalists’ phone records.

AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt called the incident “a massive and unprecedented intrusion” into the journalistic process and press freedom.

Freedom of the press is a founding principle of the United States.

“We call upon Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. to swiftly explain the rationale for intruding into an arena protected by the First Amendment,” acting UNITY President Doris Truong said. “We also join the Associated Press in calling on the Justice Department to return all of the phone records and to destroy copies of the information received.”

NOTE: Paul Cheung, president of the Asian American Journalists Association and a member of the UNITY board, is an Associated Press employee; he was not involved in the preparation of this statement.

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 UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, an alliance of four journalism organizations representing more than 4,000 journalists, is the nation’s most diverse journalism organization. A coalition of the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Association, UNITY is a strategic alliance advocating fair and accurate news coverage about people of color and LGBT issues and aggressively challenges news organizations to increase diversity in whom they employ at all levels of their companies.

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