The escape of New York Times reporter David Rohde from his Taliban captors, said Robert Stein in The Moderate Voice, "is a rare happy ending in a time when political murder is a public act, and journalists are both the targets and, unwillingly or not, accomplices in the spectacle." The Times and Rohde's family kept quiet about the kidnapping for seven months while trying to arrange his release—even in the "Age of Transparency," sometimes the public's right to know isn't the top priority.
The kidnapping of a journalist is newsworthy, said Joe Strupp in Editor & Publisher, and newspapers are committed to publishing what they know to keep their readers informed. But "news organizations also have an equal obligation to minimize harm." David Rohde's case was unique—but "in almost all cases, the value of a human life outweighs the value of revealing facts in a kidnapping that you would usually report."
That's true, said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air, which is why "I sat on the story"—as did many news organizations—for months after learning of David Rohde's kidnapping. But it's "pretty hypocritical" of the Times to clam up when the life of its own reporter is on the line, when the newspaper is so willing "to expose highly classified national-security programs that put Americans at greater risk for attack."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- How I lost all my money
- The best books we read in 2014
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to save money: 12 great personal finance tips
- The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week