Janine Gibson

Janine gibson 005
is editor in chief of Guardian US, former editor of guardian.co.uk and media editor of the Guardian

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janine_gibson682 karma

Glenn has nothing further to say on this topic.

janine_gibson370 karma

I think this is the question we've all been asking. It's at the heart of this story. And we fundamentally think it's a debate best had in the open. It's going to come down to what citizens, users and voters think about how much they're prepared to give up in order to feel secure. It's not an easy question.

We had an event recently in NYC and the former general counsel for the NSA said this is a debate that has to be had once a generation -- that each generation needs to feel it has given consent. I think that's an interesting point. It certainly feels like there are a couple of generations who have been taken aback by the sheer size and scale of surveillance.

janine_gibson350 karma

I run the US operation and have never had a conversation with GCHQ (TO MY KNOWLEDGE..). We're continuing to work through all the documents, finding stories we think are important; I hope we're doing that without fear or favour.

I gave a longer answer elsewhere about our process so I won't repeat and I can't speak for everyone, but I'm certainly not aware of any blanket agreement about publishing.

There are plenty of opportunities for both governments to give us input on our stories and they do, on each story individually. We take their advice/response into consideration before we publish. And this may not endear us to the more libertarian of our readers, but we take that process very seriously.

janine_gibson223 karma


janine_gibson192 karma

This is a critical time for journalistic freedom and there are two major shifts which are threatening important work. One is the attempt to categorise "who is a journalist" which we are in danger, as an industry, of enabling. I feel profoundly uncomfortable about any line drawn around pay, employer, hours or volume of work which will define a "real" journalist. And then only the "real" journalists will be protected.

I don't think that's how the world works anymore, so that's problematic.

The second is the attempt to define journalism as outside the national interest and the Guardian has felt the impact of that in the UK, when the government demanded we destroy some of the material we were working on. That's much less problematic here in the US where we enjoy the protection of the first amendment. Let's hope we can all continue to use that protection to do good reporting.

Is Rupert Murdoch the Anti-Christ? Is there only one?

janine_gibson191 karma

Interesting that it seems like that to you. It can feel a lot like that. We have a process that we run with every story where we approach the administration, tell them what we're doing and identify any documents that we might quote from or publish. We invite them to share any specific national security concerns that would result from those disclosures. What happens next varies. Sometimes they respond with redaction requests (and sometimes we agree and sometimes not). Sometimes just a statement. Sometimes we ask questions. Sometimes they answer. Much of the time, we've already made some decisions ourselves on redactions of obviously sensitive operational detail or people's names etc. As we've gone on, working this story has become closer to journalistic standard practice (or at least, how we practice it). In terms of the news cycle - obviously we try and make sure each story has as much impact as possible, but we tend to publish when we've found a story, worked it up to our satisfaction, determined that it's in the public interest and it's ready. I've read some spectacular theories about how we're deciding to publish and when. They're all bollocks.

janine_gibson182 karma

When I started out AHEM years ago, knowing how to use Word was a cutting edge skill.

If I was starting out now as an investigative journalist I'd want to be across all the things you listed. We use all of them plus a couple of other things for good measure.

It would be fair to say that encrypted communications are messy and awkward and do not lend themselves to unimpeded free flow conversations. It can be very hard to confine yourselves to them. Also - as you will have noticed - Glenn types a lot faster than I do. I can't get a bloody word in....

janine_gibson71 karma

Again it varies -- we approach through the press office and we talk to whoever they put up to talk to us. Remember, we are total outsiders. In this case, I think it's probably been an advantage.

janine_gibson70 karma

Oh matt. I write from a sealed room, blinds drawn, on a boxfresh computer that has never before connected to the internet.

janine_gibson68 karma

It's not so much Snowden's claim as the NSA's own documents. This gap between everyone's realities is apparent to everyone and your conclusion that they can't all be correct is hard to avoid.

From the beginning (or at least the Prism story), when we first went to the tech companies for a response, it became clear that at the very least this knowledge was not widespread within the companies. I think there is much much more to come out on these questions, but I don't know whether the answers are contained within the documents.