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Guardian Editor Defends Importance of Free Press

London, December 4 (RHC)-- Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger appeared before a parliamentary hearing on terrorism Tuesday to defend the publication's reporting on documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and to uphold the necessity for a free press functioning for the public good.

Responding to a succession of questions levied by the House of Commons home affairs select committee in London, Rusbridger spoke to the numerous precautions, in light of national security, undergone by Guardian journalists when reporting on the mass surveillance of the U.S.'s NSA and Britain's GCHQ, as well as the "deliberate attempts to intimidate" the publication by Britain's political establishment.

Throughout the exchange with British lawmakers, Rusbridger maintained the essential function of a free press and the greater public service being done in the release of this information. During the hearing, Rusbridger also confirmed that only 1% of the information in the Snowden files have been made public so far.

Answering the question if the Guardian would continue to publish Snowden stories, the editor of the London-based newspaper said: "We will continue to behave responsibly, but we will not be put off by intimidation."

A day ahead of the hearing, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and a coalition of media organizations including ProPublica, the New York Times, the Associated Press, the American Society of News Editors, and the World Association of Newspapers and News sent a letter to the committee expressing their "grave concern" over calls by "those in authority for censorship of The Guardian and criminal prosecution of its journalists in the name of national security."

Edited by Juan Leandro
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