"Editors in the British media, including Sky News, have known since last December that Prince Harry was fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
They agreed, in an extraordinary and rare display of unity, not to report the story - in return for media access to the Prince which could be used when his deployment ended.
Censorship is an anathema to journalists, and self censorship even more so. In the lengthy discussions about the wisdom and ethics of doing this deal - many British editors voiced their concerns. Not only were they anxious that it might dilute their future credibility with the public, but some also thought Prince Harry should not go at all because of the risk it would bring to bear on his fellow soldiers.
In the end, though, it was this argument which won over the editors to the idea of a news blackout.
It was evident that the Ministry of Defence had decided it was going to deploy the Prince to a war zone - something he had been pressing for since he was commissioned.
So the choice we faced was stark - if we told the story we would put him and the troops with him in serious jeopardy. Or agree to a deal which would produce (as it has) some extraordinary video, photos and written reports of the Prince at the frontline.
Media blackouts are not actually that unusual. We tend not to report kidnaps, at the request of the police, if a hostage's life might be a risk. We often know about the movements of politicians or royalty (for operational reasons) but don't report them. But Prince Harry's deployment to war was of a different order.
The deal was blown, not by the UK media but by a foreign website, the Drudge report. Drudge says by releasing the story he has demonstrated his independence, and criticised sites which stayed silent.
Where Drudge got the story from is a mystery - some suspect an element of the British media which wanted to break the story for its own ends. Nevertheless, the Chief of the General Staff Sir Richard Dannatt, who is head of the British Army, said he was disappointed the news had leaked."
Aquando do meu curso de Jornalismo no CENJOR, aprendi que um jornalista nunca deve comprometer a verdade dos factos. E que perante o pior dos dilemas, a verdade deve sempre ser comunicada.
Estamos perante um caso paradigmatico de como reagir a uma notícia potencialmente perigosa para a integridade dos envolventes, i.e., Harry e a tropa britânica no Afeganistão.
Já não sou jornalista profissional à alguns anos, mas acho que a deontologia não mudou muito nos últimos anos. Continuo a achar que a verdade deve sempre vir ao de cima, doa a quem doer.
E se é perigoso para as tropas o Mundo saber que o Principe Harry está a combater, então nunca o deviam ter enviado!!!
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