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CNN uses personal journal of slain Ambassador as source material

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TigerVols, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    State Department is furious that CNN used the personal journal of slain Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens as the basis of several on-air reports in the past week. Apparently, the journal was found in the rubble and was given to a CNN producer.

    Fair play?

  2. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    Fair play. Poor taste, unless the family gives permission.
  3. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    The statement in that article is pretty damning, would like to hear a CNN rebuttal.

    Really tough call, though. It's such a huge story and -- having not watched the network's coverage -- I'd like to know if there was anything in the diary that was worth reporting in regards to the circumstances of his death. If there was, I'd warn the family about it, although I might wait a little while to allow it the opportunity to absorb things.
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    If it was Fox doing this, we'd be up in arms. CNN deserves the same kind of heat.
    A Blue Dot in a Red State
  5. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    Fox would -- should? could? I don't know, I don't watch it -- be asking why someone was able to find the journal in the ransacked compound days after the event. Didn't we have any "friends" on the ground who could go through it and sanitize the place?
  6. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Given that it was removed from the site of the attack doesn't this qualify as tampering with a crime scene?

    And the fact we didn't lock down the compound is yet more evidence of the shitshow that is the State Department's handling of diplomatic security.
  7. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Tampering with a crime scene? What is this, CSI Libya?
  8. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    I'd say fair game. There are obviously things in there the State Dept./Obama Admin. didn't want the public to know. It doesn't seem like what CNN reported was a threat to national security. I don't see that a law was broken. The U.S. justice system can't apply evidence tampering laws to the site of violence on foreign land. From what I've seen, CNN didn't report any salacious details of the guy's personal life. CNN is simply reporting something that makes the Obama Admin uncomfortable: There were signs beforehand.

    Fair game, and in fact good reporting.
  9. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    Embassy properties are considered the legal domain of the nation in question.
  10. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    Unless its intensely personal information that the public doesn't need to know and would really just be gawking, I say fair game/good reporting. And that doesn't seem to be the case here.
  11. Illino

    Illino Member

    On the surface, I call it fair game, but I don't see the point in going with it, unless there was something huge that came out of it (also didn't see the coverage), especially since the family was against it. I know this business is about competition, but there is still a line of decency when working on that stories that involve deaths.
  12. J-School Blue

    J-School Blue Member

    This is my feeling on it. It's fair, if in poor taste, but...why? I can't tell from their reporting how this enhanced it, over the less dead-guy's-diary sources available. If this had contained truly revelatory information, great, but it feels like "WE FOUND A DEAD MAN'S JOURNAL IN SOME RUBBLE, THIS ALONE IS BRILLIANT JOURNALISM!!!!111111ONEONEELEVEN"

    Having an exclusive "source," in and of itself, doesn't make a story better, but that's the attitude that seems prevailing right now, beyond even this.
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