In the days following the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, in which three Americans died including U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, CNN recovered a personal journal belonging to Ambassador Stevens and used it in their reporting without the permission of Stevens’s family. You can watch the original CNN broadcast above. Erik Wemple of The Washington Post wrote an excellent piece that discussed the incident and the appropriateness of CNN’s actions. Read Wemple’s blog post here. What are the ethical issues in this case? Were CNN’s actions appropriate or inappropriate? What does this story say about the competitive nature of cable news?
Update (April 10, 2013): Investigative Reporters and Editors awarded CNN an IRE Award for the Benghazi reporting noted in this post. You can read discussion about the award here.