Out of the Dark: freedom of the press following the NSA revelations

In the USA, state prosecutions of investigative journalists and their sources by the security services have reached a new level. The British The Guardian newspaper, following the publishing of secret documents by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, was put under massive pressure by the government in London and ordered to destroy or hand-over all Snowden-related materials.

What does the NSA scandal and the treatment of journalist and their informants by governments tell us about the state of press freedom today? SPIEGEL ONLINE-Editor Ole Reißmann talks to Jacob Appelbaum, Freelance Journalist at DER SPIEGEL, on criminal activities by the intelligence and security services.



Ole Reißmann: @oler

Jacob Appelbaum: @ioerror

Media & Society

Out of the Dark


The Snowden-revelations exposed the global system of mass surveillance run by the NSA, GCHQ and their collaborators. They also shed light on the state of press freedom in the western world. Many European citizens were shocked by the British government’s handling of the Guardian and perceived it as an attempt to censor the British press. DER SPIEGEL received the Special Award by the European Press Prize for their "persistence and courage in publishing the NSA stories". Persistence and courage should be at the heart of any investigative journalistic activity but seem to be an exception today. This session will reflect on the state of press freedom in Germany and the US and will ask what factors caused some media the chance to shine during one of the darkest hours of post-war press freedom whilst stayed in the dark.


Jacob Appelbaum (Freelance Journalist, DER SPIEGEL)

Ole Reißmann (Editor, SPIEGEL ONLINE)