A new BBC World News America/Harris Poll finds that Americans are conflicted, with no consensus, as to how much freedom the media should have to publish confidential government documents. A sizable 69% of all adults agree that “publishing these documents could pose a security threat to the United States and therefore should be illegal.” At the same time a 48% plurality believes that “the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment...gives organizations and individuals the right to post any information given to them.” Other findings include:
• A 47% to 39% plurality of all adults disagree that “WikiLeaks is helping to provide transparency in government, which is important and good.”
• A 48% to 39% plurality disagrees that “publishing these documents could be embarrassing or hurtful to any given administration, but it’s not dangerous.”
• When it comes to the role of the media, the public is split between the 39% of all adults who agree and the 43% who disagree that all investigative journalism should be regulated by government.
Source: BBC News America/Harris Polls