'Frontline' defends controversial Manning broadcast

"You're right that we did not take the position that Bradley Manning is a hero," "Frontline" producers tell PBS ombudsman Michael Getler. "We also did not set out to do a smear job on him. Rather, we set out to do what 'Frontline' always does: Report what we know, and do so in as fair and accurate way as possible." || Earlier from Greg Mitchell: What's wrong with the "Frontline" report on Manning.

The PBS ombudman's thoughts:

What strikes me as a big story to be investigated and reported about how this young soldier was put in a position by the Army where he had extraordinary access to hundreds of thousands of classified documents and could move them so easily out of government control. What one wonders in these first glimpses of the Frontline reporting is why Manning, despite some computer skills, would be someone's first choice for such an assignment. Whatever one thinks about the pros and cons of the leaking of the information, the question of whom in the Army is responsible for his assignment and for the lack of security surrounding his work seems to be crucial. I hope Frontline sheds some light on this.

(Getler was incorrectly identified as NPR's ombudsman in the first version of this post.)

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.


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