International Editors Write of The Media's Responsibility to Society.

An absolutely fascinating round-up of international newspaper editors opinions on the medias responsibility to report the truth. 

Thanks, as always, to The Erkan Saka Daily newspaper.

As journalists, we are responsible towards society, not towards state institutions. This differentiation is essential for the work of an independent press. A diverse media landscape and freedom of speech are constitutive elements of democracy.

Edward Snowden's revelations serve to educate society about transgressions by the government and potential abuse of power. To withhold such information would be a betrayal of a free press and would destroy its credibility.

Stephan-Andreas Casdorff and Lorenz Maroldt, editors- in-chief, Tagesspiegel, Germany

In a democracy, the press plays a vital role in informing the public and holding those in power accountable. The NSA has vast intelligence-gathering powers and capabilities and its role in society is an important subject for responsible newsgathering organisations such as the New York Times and the Guardian. A public debate about the proper perimeters for eavesdropping by intelligence agencies is healthy for the public and necessary. 

The accurate and in-depth news articles published by the New York Times and the Guardian help inform the public in framing its thinking about these issues and deciding how to balance the need to protect against terrorism and to protect individual privacy. Vigorous news coverage and spirited public debate are both in the public interest. The journalists at the New York Times and the Guardian care deeply about the wellbeing and safety of their fellow citizens in carrying out their role in keeping the public informed.

Jill Abramson, executive editor, the New York Times

In an era of big data and big surveillance, we need a public and global debate on the borderlines between national security concern and democratic transparency. By publishing stories about the Snowden revelations, the Guardian has made a significant contribution to this important debate. Citizens all over the world must ask themselves if democracies risk being harmed more than defended by a surveillance that is not only secret to the broader public but also seems to be out of democratic control. It is essential that the press engage in this debate and provides documentation to inform it.

Bo Lidegaard, executive editor-in-chief, Politiken, Denmark