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Madeleine Albright: Independent journalism is foundation of democracy

Nov. 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said independent journalism is the foundation of democracy and a weapon against totalitarianism.

Speaking Saturday to a crowd in Salt Lake City as part of the McCarthey family lecture series, she pointed out that many journalists put their own lives at risk to report the news, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

In Turkey "more journalists are in jail than any other nation," reporters are often kidnapped for ransom in Egypt and in North Korea, "the media's sole function is to praise the powers that be," she said.

"Having information is power," Albright said. "Governments want to control the information to have power."

She was critical of WikiLeaks and former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, saying they revealed U.S. intelligence information without regard for the consequences.

They have "done more damage to this country and our diplomacy than anything I've seen in a long time," she said.

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