Journalists for U.S. government radio admit past communist spy links

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Friday, June 8, 2007

Two more Voice of America journalists have admitted privately they had spied for the communist intelligence service in Poland but claim that they did not harm anyone by their activities, FreeMediaOnline.org reported today.

Henryk Grynberg, a Polish-Jewish writer who is now an American citizen and had worked at VOA in the 1970s, claimed in an earlier interview with a Polish newspaper Zycie Warszawy that he had been forced into cooperating because he feared for the safety of his family and wanted to obtain a passport to leave Poland. He also claims that he had not provided any damaging information and ceased his spying relationship after emigrating from Poland.

He told a Polish newspaper interviewer that he had informed the FBI about his former association with the Polish security services. Journalists working with Grynberg at VOA, however, were not aware of his past connections with the spy agencies.

An article posted today on FreeMediaOnline.org web site reveals that two other former VOA Polish service journalists also claim to have been recruited under similar circumstances. They also claim that they had ceased their cooperation well before starting work at the Voice of America in the 1980s. Their names appeared on the list of former communist era secret police informants, the so-called Wildstein's List, which has been leaked to the Polish media in 2005 and is now available on the Internet. Grynberg's name was not on the list, but the contents of his file have been leaked to the Polish media.

Ted Lipien, a former director of VOA Polish Service who now runs FreeMediaOnline.org, reported that none of the journalists now suspected of having links with the communist secret police and intelligence services revealed their former spy connections to their colleagues at the Voice of America in the 1980s. Lipien expressed concern that any kind of cooperation with intelligence services creates risks of undermining journalistic independence. He stated, however, that the journalists in question did not have control over political program content at VOA.

A former VOA Polish service broadcaster was reported earlier to have admitted to similar cooperation with the communist secret police and intelligence services.

FreeMediaOnline.org is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization whose web site promotes freedom of the press and independent journalism worldwide.

Sources

Wikinews
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Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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