Sunday, March 11, 2007

Something the MSM probably won't tell you

Which is interesting inasmuch as it involved the Associated Press (AP).
The US military has said that a soldier was justified in erasing journalists' footage of the aftermath of a suicide bombing and shooting in which at least eight Afghans were killed.

In a letter to the Associated Press news agency a military spokesman said publication could have compromised an investigation and led to false public conclusions.

"Investigative integrity is one circumstance when civil and military authorities will reluctantly exercise the right to control what a journalist is permitted to document," Colonel Victor Petrenko, chief of staff to the US commander in eastern Afghanistan, said on Friday.

The letter was a response to a protest from the Associated Press which had employed the two freelance journalists who were forced to delete photographs and video footage of the incident in Barikaw, eastern Afghanistan on 4th March.

Thirty-four people were also wounded in the violence.

Petrenko said that photographs or video taken by "untrained people" might "capture visual details that are not as they originally were".

...

Kathleen Carroll, the Associated Press executive editor in New York, disputed the assertions.

"That is not a reasonable justification for erasing images from our cameras," she said.

"AP's journalists in Afghanistan are trained, accredited professionals working at an appropriate distance from the bombing scene. In democratic societies, legitimate journalists are allowed to work without having their equipment seized and their images deleted."

I could see a reasonable case for confiscating the photos and video as evidence to be used in the investigation of the incident. Although obtaining copies would be better.

However, destroying potentially useful evidence doesn't make any sense whatsoever.
(read more)

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