Why wasn’t the news that New York Times reporter David Rohde was being held captive by the Taliban a huge story months ago?
Because the New York Times did an effective job persuading news agencies not to report Rohde’s captivity — even Gawker.
According to a comment left by Gawker’s managing editor Gabriel Snyder on the earlier post, two things of pretty fascinating substance: (1) “it had been widely known in the Times newsroom and media circles almost as soon as he was taken hostage,” which, even with their reporter’s life on the line, is surprising given the fact that there was virtually nothing heard regarding this story and (2) Gabriel had contacted the Times regarding a piece on the kidnapping. The Times – or specifically – Cathrine Mathis, SVP of Communications at The New York Times Co., emailed Gabriel to ask that Gawker not run the story out of safety for their reporter’s life. “Put that way, it was hard not to agree,” Snyder writes. And that’s why it happened: the competing obligation between having to write the news and being sensitive to a possibly fatal situation. And the Times, thankfully, chose Rohde’s life. They also did an unbelievable job at shutting down the story elsewhere.