Keeping secrets

The New York Times came in for a fair amount of criticism last June when it kept secret that one of its reporters had been taken hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan last summer.

“We show a preference for one of our own in journalism generally by holding back a story or elements of a story compared to how we might cover the kidnapped oil field worker or diplomat or tourist,” one media ethicist said.

Would the Times keep secrets if it didn’t involve one of its own? Yes, as it turned out. They did this week.

The capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s #2 commander, was kept secret at the request of the White House.

Here’s Times executive editor Bill Keller on PRI’s “The Takeaway” today.

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