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May 03, 2004

Honor Roll

I'm sure everyone caught the fuss over Ted Koppel's reading the names of the US soldiers killed in Iraq. 721 of them, there were. There was something about this story that was making me itchy beyond the usual 'Can you believe the corporate censorship' knee jerk reaction. After thinking upon it for a while, I realized that I'd seen this done before. The News Hour has been running what they call the "Honor Roll" for a while. They read the names of the war dead at the end of the News Hour and there's been, as far as I know, no flap about it.

I dropped them a line to ask about it. Here's what they said:

Thanks for your interest. We read the names of those service members who
have died in Iraq when the names become available. It's not who died that
day or even that week, just the most recent names that have been released.
Also, names aren't released everyday, so our Honor Roll is not run everyday
either. So you may hear on the news that four or five soldiers have been
killed in Iraq, but we do not run any names - this is not because we are
being censored or have discontinued the practice, we are just waiting for
officials to notify next of kin before they start releasing identities out
to the media. Sometimes a whole week will go by with no Honor Roll, and then
we will have an Honor Roll with over 20 names on a day when there were no

I hope I was able to answer your questions. If you are curious, we do keep
an online archive of the Honor Roll.

Online NewsHour Staff

I didn't watch Ted Koppel, but I have seen the Honor Roll a few times on the News Hour and it always fills me with great sadness.

Posted by pam at May 3, 2004 07:37 AM | TrackBack
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