Saturday, March 1, 2008
This week saw one of those stories break that quickly became a story about how the media handled the story.
Britain's Prince Harry, third in line to the throne, has been serving on the front lines in Afghanistan for the past ten weeks. Due to concerns for his safety as well as the safety of his fellow soldiers, major media outlets in the UK -- including CNN -- agreed not to disclose his location until after he was home. Thursday, however, internet gossip site The Drudge Report picked up an item run by an Australian gossip magazine in mid-January and broke the story worldwide.
Here, Paula Newton gives some background on the blackout:
On CNN Newsroom a few hours later, Brianna Keiler spoke with media critic Howard Kurtz about the media's role in handling stories of this sensitive nature:
But the story was far from over, as discussions broke out on news programs and blogs all around the world: should the media agree to not disclose information or does the public's 'right to know' trump all, even when it puts lives at risk? Personally, I was astonished to discover that even in this day and age, a story so headline-grabbing could be kept quiet at all.
(For more details on the blackout and how it ended, check out this excellent New York Times article, which includes this quote from CNN International's executive vice president and managing editor Tony Maddox: "Newspapers and broadcasts can behave themselves better than people think they can when a security situation is involved.")
On a slightly lighter note, Thursday night Michael Ware ended the day's discussion of the matter with some choice words for those who had put profit before common sense and put the lives of the Prince's unit at higher risk; since the words he used were not common to US viewers, Anderson Cooper and Erica Hill had some fun chasing down a translation:
This story is destined to be one of the big stories about the media (right along with the 'Chasing Britney' insanity) of 2008. I'm sure there will be much more on Kurtz' Reliable Sources tomorrow.
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Now... what would you give to see a picture of Ali Velshi riding a longhorn steer? Well, luckily, we don't charge a dime for it...
Sunday, John King hosted Late Edition, while Suzanne Malveaux toured Ohio with the Obama campaign, making stops in Akron and Toledo. Candy Crowley reported from DC.
Monday, Alina Cho reported form Pyongyang, North Korea, covering the New York Philharmonic's historic concert there. (And major kudos to CNN Domestic for carrying the live International feed of the concert itself. It was incredible.) Christiane Amanpour also reported from Pyongyang after touring a nuclear plant in Yongbyon that is being disassembled. Elsewhere, Ali Velshi checked in from his bus tour, with stops in Bandera and Devine, Texas. Gerri Willis was in Atlanta for her special series that ran in place of Your World Today all week, and Rick Sanchez was also there and filed reports for her show. Dana Bash was with the McCain campaign in Parma, Ohio; while Candy Crowley was with the Clinton campaign in Dayton. And Kyra Phillips reported from Baghdad.
Tuesday, Dana and Candy were both in Cleveland, while John King reported from Covington, Kentucky. Ali Velshi was now in Goliad, Texas. On Wednesday, Dana was in Tyler, Texas; John was in Cincinnati, Ohio; and Candy reported from Cleveland, Columbus, and Zanesville, Ohio.
Thursday saw John Roberts co-hosting American Morning from Washington DC, where Sanjay Gupta also appeared; Ali was in San Antonio, where he would report from for the next couple of days. Suzanne and Dana were both in Houston. Nic Robertson (above) reported from London. Friday, Dana was in Round Rock, Texas and Suzanne was in Waco; Soledad O'Brien anchored AC360.
That's it for me... enjoy the weekend!