Michael Oreskes, the senior vice president for news and editorial director at NPR, has drafted a letter objecting to guidelines regarding the treatment of journalists in the Pentagon’s new Law of War manual, calling its guidance “contrary to some basic principles of journalism ethics.”
In the letter, which is addressed to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Oreskes condemns passages from the new manual, a document published in June that outlines rules and regulations governing the law of war. Specifically, he cites language he says could be construed to justify treating journalists as spies and requiring reporters to carry credentials.
These statements are contrary to some basic principles of journalism ethics. First, journalists should not be required to be licensed or to carry “identification documents,” although many do carry press credentials of some form.