Friday, February 29, 2008

I Applaud the British Press

I applaud the British press for keeping Prince Harry's service in Afghanistan a secret. I am angry with the slimy internet sites that let the cat out of the bag and forced Prince Harry to return from his tour of duty early.

The press lambasts people because their children do not serve in the military, but then want to give Al Qaeda detailed information on when and where the sons of are serving when they do.

I applaud Prince Harry for his tour of duty.

This piece on Yahoo! says the fact the press kept this information underwraps has eroded confidence in the press.

Personally, I am more dismayed to find web sites willing to endanger British troops more troubling.

I would agree that backroom deals to hush information are not good. However, the question here isn't about suppressing information. It is about when information actually becomes news.

We see a parallel in business news. A company calculates and audits its financial statement. This statement is not news until the press release. People who come in contact with the information have both a legal and moral duty to keep that information under wraps prior to the press release. IMHO, anyone (press or investor) who gets that information and acts on it before the scheduled release is behaving unethically.

I am more troubled when the press scoops information with a scheduled release date than I am on hearing of the press's failure to inform al Qaeda on the schedule of a high target prize.

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