Edward WassermanEdward Wasserman, a veteran South Florida newspaper editor and writer, is dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley. He was previously Knight professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. Before that, Wasserman worked for news organizations in Maryland, Wyoming and New York City, was executive business editor of The Miami Herald and CEO and editor in chief of American Lawyer Media's Miami-based Daily Business Review chain. He was educated at Yale, the University of Paris and the London School of Economics.
In an unusual dust-up, the top editor of the Washington Post has complained to The New York Times that it failed to credit the Post for work that preceded, and nourished, important stories that the Times later ran. Why this should matter to you is worth exploring.
The news media’s silence while some of its boldest sources are prosecuted or jailed is something I’ve been protesting for some time, so naturally I was pleased when The New York Times, in an eloquent editorial on New Year’s Day, urged the White House to show leniency toward Edward Snowden. He’s the former contract worker for the National Security Agency, whose leaks continue to expose the NSA’s monumental, intrusive and illegal monitoring of civilian communications here and abroad.
Just before Christmas I heard a report on public radio concerning “moral injury” among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. That’s the psychic trauma caused by acting or witnessing acts that conflict with core values — brutalizing prisoners, for instance, or killing children.
At first blush, the Robert Levinson affair seems like the epitome of reckless reporting on national security. The news media flat out blew a missing spy’s cover.