This whole hullaballoo about Prince Harry serving in Afghanistan has been fascinating –not because of what he was or wasn’t doing there, but because of the way it was (or wasn’t) covered in the media.
Watching the television news last night, you could have been excused for asking: if all this was such a secret, how come the media were there and knew about it all along?
Your question is answered extremely well by the BBC’s World News Editor Jon Williams in his blog article at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2008/02/news_blackout.html
It tells you why and how a “news blackout” was voluntarily observed by the British media, and how it all fell apart when the American blog The Drudge Report broke the story on its front page.
The ethics of any kind of news blackout –especially by the news media themselves- remain a matter for debate. Should the news media ever hold back the news –even in “the public interest.” And what, after all, is the public interest? Who decides? It’s usually not the interested public!
Dr Richard Howells