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Obama promises to convene media group to address Justice Department spying

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Charlie Spiering,Barack Obama,Media,Spying

President Obama indicated in his speech Thursday that he will review the Justice Department's guidelines for spying on reporters and promised to “convene a group of media organizations” to hear their concerns.

Obama implied that the Justice Department’s spying on reporters was for the sake of national security, vowing to enforce the law against government officials who leaked information to the media.

“But a free press is also essential for our democracy,” he said. “I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.”

Obama added that journalists “should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs.”

Attorney General Eric Holder, Obama explained, would review existing guidelines regarding the investigations of reporters.

“He has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and will convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review,” Obama said, adding that he directed Holder to report back to him by July 12.

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