The complete story:
Of those who reported from Iraq, 15 percent said that on one or more occasions their organizations edited material for publication and they did not believe the final version accurately represented the story.So, between discouragement and outright self-censorship, 60 percent of the organizations involved cut out pictures of dead Americans. Can you say boosterism?
Of those involved in war coverage who were in newsrooms and not in Iraq, 20 percent said material was edited for reasons other than basic style and length.
Some 42 percent of those polled said they were discouraged from showing photographic images of dead Americans, while 17 percent said they were prohibited. Journalists were also discouraged from showing pictures of hostages, according to 36 percent of respondents, while only 3 percent reported being prohibited from showing them.
We can show Saddam:
One journalist said a report with pictures from Saddam Hussein’s secret archive, showing beating and torture, was edited, “on the grounds that the pictures were sickening — my answer was that, Yes they were, but all the more important to show as much as possible.”But not our own dead:
“We went in with no ground rules except those of the military, which prohibited photos that would show the faces of captives, and also which discouraged photos that would ID wounded or dead U.S. troops.” (Nice, military guidelines become self-imposed censorship.)Contact Joe Strupp at Editor and Publisher.
“Our rules are against anything which might offend our audience, i.e. we are in the realm of taste and decency, which is difficult to quantify. ... on the one hand, I don't want, say, my kids to turn on the TV after tea and see some of the things I have seen in the field. But on the other hand, the effect of this is to sanitize the coverage, and glamorize the conflict.” (What, are you afraid Michael Powell will fine you?)
“An American soldier who was injured during combat in 2003 was photographed alive, but before he died. After the soldier died, the paper ran the picture of him in his still-injured state. It caused a stir.” (That is what is is supposed to do, right?)
“We delayed or didn't even publish lots of information on which we had contradictory or incomplete reports.” (But that didn't stop you from running false WMD stories, did it?)