multichannel connect
careers
all access

News

No Open Mike for Osama

10/10/2001 8:54 AM Eastern

Statements from Osama bin Laden and other alleged al Qaeda terrorists
won't be broadcast live, according to an agreement U.S. networks reached
Wednesday.

Officials from ABC News, Cable News Network, CBS News, NBC News and Fox News
Channel held a conference call with national security adviser Condoleezza Rice
Wednesday morning to discuss running tapes from al Qaeda, which is accused of
planning the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Government officials have said they are concerned that the al Qaeda videos
could contain coded messages intended for other terrorists. Network
representatives said Rice didn't ask for an embargo on the material, but she was
concerned about the broadcast of unedited, prerecorded statements.

CNN -- which ran a live message from al Qaeda Tuesday -- said it has formed a
committee that will now view all al Qaeda tapes before they're run on the
channel.

'CNN's policy is to avoid airing any materials we believe would directly
facilitate any terrorist act,' a spokeswoman said.

NBC News said it would also screen all al Qaeda tapes in
their entirety. 'We will then apply journalistic judgment before deciding which
portions, if any, we will broadcast,' the company said in a prepared statement.

FNC added in a prepared statement, 'We believe a free press must and can bear
responsibility not to be used by those who want to destroy America and endanger
the lives of its citizens.'

September