News editors show support for Jason Rezaian in letter to John Kerry

Twenty-five news editors from some of the most influential media organizations in the U.S. are calling on Secretary of State John Kerry to work toward the release of imprisoned Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian.

In a letter sent Friday, the media executives take their plea for Rezaian’s release to the U.S.’s top diplomat. Read the letter below:

Dear Secretary Kerry:

Journalism is not a crime. Yet Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian has been imprisoned by Iran since July 2014 for doing his job. Iran has never offered any evidence that even makes a pretense of justifying this imprisonment. We know you agree that Iran should release Jason and on behalf of our organizations and journalists around the world, we are writing to urge you to maintain your efforts to forge a path to that release.

Americans are fortunate to live in a nation that respects the role of reporters and the tenets of journalism. As journalists, we understand how central an informed citizenry is to a well-functioning democracy. The need for information does not stop at the water’s edge. Many of our organizations employ journalists who, like Jason, operate in countries, like Iran, that do not always hold a high regard for the free flow of information. We understand the risks involved, and accept them in fulfilling our commitment to provide Americans and audiences worldwide with the information they need to make informed decisions.

At the same time, we depend on the United States and other democratic countries to stand behind the values that Jason represents. Independent journalism is recognized as a fundamental human right. Iran should recognize this, too, and free Jason. The United States has considerable leverage with Iran right now to press that point, and we urge you to continue to do so.


Stephen J. Adler
President and Editor-in-Chief

Raney Aronson-Rath
Executive Producer

Dean Baquet
Executive Editor
The New York Times

Bruce D. Brown
Executive Director
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Kathleen Carroll
Senior Vice President and Executive Editor
The Associated Press

Steve Coll
Dean, Graduate School of Journalism
Columbia University

Stephen Engelbert

Jeffrey Fager
Executive Producer
60 Minutes

Pamela B. Fine
American Society of News Editors

Susan B. Glasser

James Goldston
ABC News

Anders Gyllenhaal
Vice President, News and Washington Editor

Sara Just
Senior Vice President, WETA and
Executive Producer
PBS NewsHour

Andrew Lack
NBC News and MSNBC

Davan Maharaj
The Los Angeles Times

John Micklethwait
Bloomberg L.P.

Jason Mojica

Michael Oreskes
Senior Vice President of News and
Editorial Director

David Remnick
The New Yorker

David Rhodes
CBS News

Robert J. Rosenthal
Executive Director
The Center for Investigative Reporting

Ben Smith

Marty M. Steffens
North America Chair
International Press Institute

Mike Wilson
Dallas Morning News

Jeff Zucker
CNN Worldwide