Editorial: Open government is worth fighting for

It sounds like something out of a spy novel: clandestine after-hours meetings, burner phones, even encryption. But it isn't. Instead, it's a description of some of the steps that reporters covering the federal government must take to try to protect their sources.

This depressing portrait emerged last week at the joint conference of the American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors, which I attended. Top editors of the Associated Press described to the group of several hundred editors how access to government information and decision-makers has become increasingly limited under President Barack Obama's administration.

Washington bureau chief Sally Buzbee told how one of AP's reporters was told by her sources that they'd be fired if they were caught talking to her ó even to provide routine information. Continue>>>