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CBS Learns From Unfortunate Precedent

Feel like you know just about everything regarding CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier's recovery from a roadside bomb blast in Iraq?

Perhaps that's because the network seems to have learned from the unfortunate precedent set by ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, whose injury from a bomb in Iraq sparked intense coverage focused on every detail of his treatment and recovery.

CBS publicity types have sent several email press releases a day updating Dozier's progress and providing transcripts of coverage to air on the CBS Evening News.

Correspodent Sheila MacVicar has been offering stories every day on Dozier's progress, including this one on a soldier who gave the reporter his Purple Heart, while has also been packed with information. And journalists from other news outlets have gotten tremendous access, from the Los Angeles Times' Matea Gold noting Dozier's first written communication after regaining consciousness, to CNN's interviews with doctors who treated her just after she arrived at a military hospital (where they happened to be shooting a documentary).

This access and information stands in contrast to ABC, which was much less open about Woodruff's injuries and tightly controlled the information released. Of course, Woodruff's injuries had much larger implications for the network -- from the moment he was injured, industry watchers wondered if he would ever return to the anchor desk, just weeks after being named co-anchor of the evening news show.

In a small plug, I'll note that I and fellow Times reporter Vanessa Gezari are scheduled to appear on WTVT-Ch. 13's Your Turn midday talk show, speaking on the coverage of Dozier's injury (and the death of her two co-workers) and the issue of journalist safety in Iraq. I've done several pieces on the subject and Vanessa has worked in Afghanistan, where safety was a serious issue.

If you're not doing anything at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, tune in and call in with your thots...

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:36pm]


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