miércoles, 17 de febrero de 2010

Obama para tres días una primicia del NYT

The New York Times ha dado esta semana dos exclusivas mundiales que ni cien periodistas ciudadanos conseguirían: la detención del número 2 talibán en Afganistán y que Grecia pagó 300 millones de dólares a Goldman Sachs para enmascarar su déficit público. Y ambas las dieron primero en su web (¿Todavía es noticia esto?).

También le hicieron un favor al Gobierno: retuvieron la primicia afgana durante tres días a petición de la administración Obama.

The newspaper broke the news on its Web site on Monday night, at least three days after its reporters learned about the action. After devoting the first seven paragraphs of the article to the news' significance, the Times disclosed its delay in reporting the development. The reason: White House officials contended that publicizing the information would damage their efforts to learn more from Baradar allies who didn't know yet that he had been captured.

White House officials made their argument after being contacted by the Times for comment, according to Bill Keller, the newspaper's executive editor. Based on the government's contention that more lives might be saved if the information remained under wraps, the newspaper agreed to hold the story "one day at a time, until the situation changed," Keller wrote Tuesday in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

After the Times' contributors in Afghanistan and Pakistan began to hear chatter on Monday about Baradar's capture, the newspaper decided that it couldn't sit on the story any longer.

"Our instinct is always to publish what we know as soon as we are confident it is true and fair and clearly told," Keller wrote. "We're in a competitive business, and we chomp at the bit when we have a good exclusive like this one. But it did our readers no harm to hold the story for a few days."