WaPo’s Executive Editor on Being Part of the Jason Rezaian Story

"We have very strong opinions about how Jason has been treated, and we’ve not been hesitant to express that point of view."

The jailing of a journalist anywhere as a pretext to quash the freedom of the press affects every journalist. When that journalist is one of your own, the matter is both more dire and more complex. For the ongoing, 10-month long imprisonment of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, the paper found itself with a journalist it needed to advocate for, and a story it needed to cover.

In an interview with Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron Post media blogger Erik Wemple asks Baron about the paper’s multi-pronged effort to get Rezaian freed during the long silent months of his imprisonment and trial, which began Tuesday. Since Wemple runs a media blog, he also makes sure to ask Baron about “being part of the story as opposed to pushing a story as editor,” to which Baron responds:

Unfortunately, I’ve been part of many stories — not this kind of story. It can be awkward because we have to cover the story of Iran at the same time and we want to do that objectively, and yet we have very strong views, of course, about how Jason has been treated, how this whole case has been handled and the endless series of injustices to which he’s been subjected. So we still endeavor to cover the nuclear talks and the whole discussion surrounding that, to cover that objectively. But we have very strong opinions about how Jason has been treated, and we’ve not been hesitant to express that point of view.