Almost every foreign correspondent I know working in a "difficult" country has had to face the situation CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan has encountered ["Truth-Telling," editorial, April 15]. Once someone helps a journalist cover a story, it goes without saying that the journalist owes that person some protection. No journalist has the right to endanger a person's life unless, perhaps, endangering that one person will without a doubt save the lives of thousands more. But that is not the case with Jordan's "hidden information." Do you really think that if he had revealed, say, that his translator was being tortured we would have learned something we didn't know about Saddam Hussein's regime? No.
I have known Jordan for almost a year, since the death of my husband, the journalist Danny Pearl. From the start, I was surprised by how ethical Jordan is and how dedicated he is to issues of journalistic ethics -- more concerned than I would have expected from someone at a network like CNN, with its splashy logos and special theme music for the war.
In every conversation that we've had, Jordan's concern for the safety of his journalists, journalists in general and the people helping them in the field has been clear. These are complicated and distressing issues. But as someone who has reported from countries where atrocities are committed, and where people who collaborate with the Western media endanger themselves and their families, it seems clear to me that Jordan has made the right decisions. And I wonder if those who now criticize him can say without doubt that what they report is the "real" truth, the objective one?
-- Mariane Pearl