This will be a short diary based on an article by the NPR Ombudsman posted on the NPR site.
It is in reference to the Pentagon report on the killing of Nicola Calipari. Since the story was thoroughly blogged here at BT, I thought the Ombudsman’s article is of particular relevance to us.
More below the fold.
When Those Pesky Blogs Undermine NPR News
May 3, 2005 · It seems there are no secrets any more… even when you try to keep them.
First, it is essential to report on government documents. But in this case, publishing the unedited report (albeit unintentionally) could have — and could yet — threaten peoples’ lives. There are times when editors have to make a difficult choice between the public’s right to know and the risk of endangering lives. But this was not one of those instances. NPR was right to remove the documents from its Web site once it became clear that the full version could be accessed.
Second, the blogosphere has proven once again to be an amoral place with few rules. The consequences for misbehavior are still vague. The possibility of civic responsibility remains remote. It is a place where the philosophy of “who posts first, wins” predominates.
So, the government can cheat. Steal. Kill and lie about it.
Investigate itself and cook up a report. Redact 20% of it – the most essential bits. Such as the names of those involved. Imagine, now their stories can be double checked when they return (they’re probably well prepped now, anyway).
Were the bloggers (we) unethical in perusing information that was intended to be hidden? Are we amoral, as the Ombudsman suggests?
Read the article! He has some interesting views on several issues. Among them a quote from the Political Editor of NPR, showing that snark thrives outside the blogosphere as well:
Finally, congratulations to the dozens and dozens of free thinkers who wrote in, often using the exact same language, regarding a piece by NPR’s David Welna on the oncoming collision in the Senate over the right of the minority to filibuster judicial nominations.
(BTW, were bloggers the first to break this – I thought it originated in Italian newspaper news rooms??)