CBS Correspondent Makes Plea for Airtime

By DAVID BAUDER
The Associated Press
Wednesday, January 31, 2007; 5:33 PM

NEW YORK -- News reporters frequently complain that their work isn't getting the attention it deserves, but CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan took the extra step.

She wrote to friends and family members asking for their help in getting her report on street fighting in Baghdad on the air. She never, the network said Wednesday, intended to make the plea public. But eventually it got out.

Logan filed the gritty report about dangerous conditions near the Green Zone on Jan. 18 for the "CBS Evening News." The network didn't air it, deeming some of the images of tortured bodies that it contained too graphic, and because another story Logan filed that day from Iraq was more newsworthy, said Sandy Genelius, news spokeswoman.

Instead, the report was streamed on the news division's Web site. It ends with an Iraqi blaming the United States for the "death and destruction" brought to the country.

Shortly after, Logan wrote her e-mail, telling friends the story was largely being ignored, even though the violence was happening every single day in Baghdad. Her message was titled: "Help."

"I would be very grateful if any of you have a chance to watch this story and pass the link on to as many people as you know possible," she wrote. "It should be seen. And people should know about this."

She asked her recipients to send a comment to CBS, a division of CBS Corp., to show that people were interested, and that they believed her report was not too gruesome to air.

Someone who got the e-mail sent it to Rory O'Connor, who wrote about it on the watchdog Web site Mediachannel.org and the liberal site AlterNet.

Logan did not immediately respond to an e-mail request to speak about her note, instead sending it to Genelius. Genelius said that any internal discussions with Logan about the propriety of her message would remain internal.

"One of the characteristics that Lara has that makes her a good reporter is passion for what she does and that's a very healthy thing," Genelius said.

There are no plans to air the report, she said.

"It's pretty much yesterday's news for everyone here," she said.


© 2007 The Associated Press