National security and news media


This week, Americans were able to finally see results of the United States constant struggle against ISIS when the U.S. Special Operatives forces detained their first assumed ISIS prisoner.

But the success is clouded in secrecy, leaving the news media with little information to publish and the public with many unanswered questions. With the war on terror seeming to only become more intense, this sparks the debate as to what balance the news media should take as the fight wages on. How much information should the public demand?

At a press conference earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated that “I can’t discuss the details of any missions, particularly when it comes to risking operational security.”

The withheld information included the detainee’s identity, the location of the interrogation, the U.S. officials who spoke to the press, as well as whether or not he has cooperated with interrogators.

This information is arguably not critical knowledge for the American public and the sensitivity of the matter is clear. But a trend towards acceptance of information pertaining to groups that threaten the U.S. public from the media and the American people could be dangerous.

While national security must always come first, the news media will soon have to make harder decisions as to when to push to release more information that the public may need to know and when to decide to respect the government’s decision to withhold information.