CNN’s prospects for self-censorship

Variety editorial

“I felt awful having these stories bottled up inside me,” CNN’s Eason Jordan wrote in a New York Times opinion piece last week.

Upon learning that, CNN viewers might rightly ask, “What other stories is he bottling?”

According to the CNN news chief, his network suppressed stories emanating from its Baghdad bureau about Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime in order not to jeopardize the lives of CNN staff members.

As the self-styled chronicler of record, CNN had to be wary of showing its cards, Jordan wrote. Yet CNN also has bureaus in hot zones like Cuba whence provocative stories might emanate. Should viewers be concerned about worrisome compromises in these regions that were made in exchange for access?

Access is vital to comprehensive coverage in these difficult times.

But self-censorship potentially poses an even greater threat.

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