NPR logo Letter to Secretary Kerry from 25 news editors around the country

Behind The Stories

Letter to Secretary Kerry from 25 news editors around the country

The letter below calling for the release of Jason Rezaian was sent January 8, 2016.

Dear Secretary Kerry:

Journalism is not a crime. Yet Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian has been imprisoned by Iran since July 2014 for doing his job. Iran has never offered any evidence that even makes a pretense of justifying this imprisonment. We know you agree that Iran should release Jason and on behalf of our organizations and journalists around the world, we are writing to urge you to maintain your efforts to forge a path to that release.

Americans are fortunate to live in a nation that respects the role of reporters and the tenets of journalism. As journalists, we understand how central an informed citizenry is to a well functioning democracy. The need for information does not stop at the water's edge. Many of our organizations employ journalists who, like Jason, operate in countries, like Iran, that do not always hold a high regard for the free flow of information. We understand the risks involved, and accept them in fulfilling our commitment to provide Americans and audiences worldwide with the information they need to make informed decisions.

At the same time, we depend on The United States and other democratic countries to stand behind the values that Jason represents. Independent journalism is recognized as a fundamental human right. Iran should recognize this, too, and free Jason. The United States has considerable leverage with Iran right now to press that point, and we urge you to continue to do so.

Sincerely,

Stephen J. Adler
President and Editor-in-Chief
Reuters

Raney Aronson-Rath
Executive Producer
FRONTLINE

Dean Baquet
Executive Editor
The New York Times

Bruce D. Brown
Executive Director
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Kathleen Carroll
Senior Vice President and Executive Editor
The Associated Press

Steve Coll
Dean, Graduate School of Journalism
Columbia University

Stephen Engelberg
Editor-in-Chief
ProPublica

Jeffrey Fager
Executive Producer
60 Minutes

Pamela B. Fine
President
American Society of News Editors

Susan Glasser
Editor
POLITICO

James Goldston
President
ABC News

Anders Gyllenhaal
Vice President, News and Washington Editor
McClatchy

Sara Just
Senior Vice President, WETA & Executive Producer, PBS NewsHour
PBS

Andrew Lack
Chairman
NBC News and MSNBC

Davan Maharaj
Editor
The Los Angeles Times

John Micklethwait
Editor-in-Chief
Bloomberg L.P.

Jason Mojica
Editor-in-Chief
VICE News

Michael Oreskes
Senior Vice President of News and Editorial Director
NPR

David Remnick
Editor
The New Yorker

David Rhodes
President
CBS News

Robert J. Rosenthal
Executive Director
The Center for Investigative Reporting

Ben Smith
Editor-in-Chief
BuzzFeed

Marty M. Steffens
North America Chair
International Press Institute

Mike Wilson
Editor
Dallas Morning News

Jeff Zucker
President
CNN Worldwide

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.