Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'NYT' Editor: At Least 40 News Outlets Knew of Reporter's Kidnapping

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'NYT' Editor: At Least 40 News Outlets Knew of Reporter's Kidnapping

Article excerpt

At least 40 major news organizations knew long ago about the abduction of David Rohde of The New York Times, who was held for seven months in Afghanistan before escaping, but all agreed to keep it quiet.

Executive Editor Bill Keller said the newspaper requested what was essentially a blackout because it believed publicity could harm Rohde, who was kidnapped last November in Afghanistan.

"You hate to be in the position of sitting on a story," Keller told E&P Saturday. "All of the advice we had from those who have been through this is that if you publicize this, you raise his profile and his value to the kidnappers.

"You do not gain anything because the Taliban is not responsive to international public opinion."

Rohde apparently escaped Friday, along with his driver who had also been abducted, by climbing over a compound wall and later receiving help at a Pakistani army base.

Keller would not comment on discussions that might have occurred to get his release, but confirmed no ransom was paid. …

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