(CNN) – Following revelations that the Obama administration has launched investigations into journalists from both the Associated Press and Fox News over national security leaks, the White House said Tuesday that President Obama does not believe journalists should be "prosecuted for doing their jobs."
"I can tell you that in our conversation yesterday, [President Obama] reiterated just how important he believes it is that reporters, that all of you and your colleagues, are able to do your jobs in a free and open way," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney at Tuesday's press briefing.
The White House faced renewed questions on the issue after the Washington Post reported Monday that the Department of Justice named Fox News Correspondent James Rosen a "co-conspirator" in an investigation of a leak included in a story he reported on North Korea. That followed the revelation last week that the DOJ had seized the phone records of several AP reporters involved in national security reporting.
Speaking Tuesday, Carney said the president believes in finding the right balance between safeguarding vital security information and protecting freedom of the press.
"He believes there is an important balance to be found here, and he thinks the questions about how that balance is being struck are entirely legitimate and he welcomes the public discussions, again, about the broad question of the balance that needs to be struck," Carney, a former reporter himself, also said.
Responding to those comments, the White House Correspondents Association said in a statement that it stands "in strong solidarity with our colleagues who have been scrutinized."
"In terms of the administration, ultimately what will matter more in all of these cases is action not words," the association also said.