Sunday, November 18, 2012

Heady days of journalism: WWII reporter who defied military censorship

It is the story of  Ed Kennedy who as a reporter in WWII scooped the world on reporting the actual day of the Nazi surrender. Mr. Kennedy heard a German broadcast of the surrender. He was able to bypass the censorship to report it. As might be expected then and now - he had his credentials revoked, was kicked out of Europe and fired from Associated Press. [Posthumous Pulitzer: Reporter broke news of WWII end, may now be honored, Oregon daughter says].

To appease Joe Stalin, the military and political censors wanted "to keep the story of the war's end under wraps until Soviet Union dictator Josef Stalin could stage a phony Nazi surrender in Berlin the following day." 

It is a great story with an Oregon connection - his daughter lives here. Early this year, Louisiana State University Press has published Kennedy's memoir, "Ed Kennedy's War: V-E Day, Censorship and the Associated Press."  That publication coincided with AP's  apology for the firing - better late than never.  And, there is a movement for "posthumous special citation for journalism from the Pulitzer Prize board this April."

But here is the take away: "Kennedy's story underscores for journalists and journalism students 'the absolute importance of seeking the truth and getting it out.'" [Journalist Ray March].

Seeking the truth and getting it out - what a novel concept that.

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