The Rock Ethics Institute

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Journalism, War, and Ethics

Producer, CBS News 60 Minutes
When Oct 04, 2004
from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Where Foster Auditorium, 101 Pattee Library
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Producer, CBS News 60 Minutes

In addition to being a full-time producer at 60 Minutes, Peter is also an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. He spent time in Iraq shortly after the fall of Saddam and is the only Western journalist to have interviewed the Shiite insurgent leader Muqtada al-Sadr. In 1999 Peter began an investigation regarding the potential use of smallpox as a weapon of biological warfare and, along with Mike Wallace, received an Emmy Award for the report. He and Wallace conducted the first interview with Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson after the 9/11 attacks, and the interview led to Senate questioning about the threat of chemical and biological warfare preparedness (in response to Thompson's insistence on 60 Minutes that "we are all safe"). Peter produced every one of Mike Wallace's pieces in the year after the terrorist attacks, and he continues to cover national security issues for CBS News.

Journalism, War, and Ethics

Peter Klein will discuss the ethical issues inherent in covering war. How are the narratives of war developed? Are journalists reporters first or citizens first? At what point should a journalist withhold information that could jeopardize national security? Was the threat of chemical and biological warfare overblown before the Iraqi invasion? What lessons can we learn from past war coverage failures and successes? Drawing on his experience as a news magazine producer and his observations of the news media since the events of 9/11, Peter will try to answer these and other questions—the kinds of questions thoughtful journalists grapple with every day.