Sharyl Attkisson, an award-winning investigative reporter who resigned from CBS News earlier this year, says the news media are heading down a dangerous path with attempts to “censor or block stories” that don’t align with their preferred agenda.
“There’s a tendency in the news media, on the part of some managers, to censor or block stories that don’t fall in line with the message they want sent to the viewers,” Attkisson said in an exclusive interview with The Daily Signal. “I think that’s really a very dangerous perspective to have.”
In the first of three segments, Attkisson shared her views on journalism and life after CBS News. Her newest investigative report—about oxygen trials conducted on premature babies—was published by The Daily Signal today. She will serve as a senior independent contributor to the news organization, which made its debut Tuesday.
Attkisson made headlines in March when she left CBS News after a 20-year career at the TV network. In subsequent interviews, she cited her inability to get her stories on the air.
“What I’m seeking out now,” Attkisson said, “is the opportunity to bring under-served stories to a broad audience through an editorial process that doesn’t censor, that doesn’t try to direct a story to go in a certain unnatural direction.”
Attkisson is writing a book, due out later this year, called “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.” She has criticized the administration’s lack of transparency surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Her critique of the White House is shared by other journalists, including from former New York Times editor Jill Abramson and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter James Risen, who faces jail time over a dispute with the Obama administration.
In the interview, Attkisson explained what was troubling about the news business and why she agreed to contribute to The Daily Signal:
The Daily Signal promised to be a good outlet for an under-served story—in this case, the one about the baby oxygen trials—in a way that the story could naturally tell itself. And in a fearless way because there are people who do want to shy away from these types of stories that are critical of government or powers that be. I think those are some of the most important stories that need to be told today.
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