Media Kept Quiet on Journalist's Kidnapping

Times convinced all to put reporter's safety first
By Amelia Atlas,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2009 5:22 AM CDT
Media Kept Quiet on Journalist's Kidnapping
NYT reporter David Rohde interviews Afghans in the Helmand region of Afghanistan. Rohde escaped from militant captors after more than seven months in captivity, the newspaper said Saturday.    (AP Photo/The New York Times, Tomas Munita)

Media outlets ranging from major newspapers to blogs agreed to stay quiet on the kidnapping of New York Times reporter David Rohde, who escaped Taliban captors Friday after seven months, out of fear for his safety, reports the Washington Post. Times executive editor Bill Keller decided sit on the story and asked others to do the same—even personally appealing to al-Jazeera—after consultation with government experts.

There was "a pretty firm consensus that you really amp up the danger when you go public," said Keller. Still, the collective silence raises questions about whether journalists gave preferential treatment to one of their own. It's "not the most comfortable position to be in," acknowledged an AP editor. "Your instinct is to publish what you know. But we felt there was just too high a risk something would happen to him."
(Read more David Rohde stories.)

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