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Friday, April 30, 2010

NYT reports Michael Ware back with CNN

This was just posted on the NYT blog ...

CNN Says It Supports Correspondent in War-Related Stress Case

Michael Ware has spent so much of the past nine years reporting from war zones for Time magazine and CNN that he’s still a citizen of Iraq.

That experience, he says, left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. In an interview on Thursday, he said that CNN wanted him back in the field before he felt he was ready and, as a result, he was under the impression that he had been released from his contract. “I required further time off than I think CNN was able to give,” he said.

But there may have been a misunderstanding. On Friday CNN said that Mr. Ware is still employed by the network, disputing an unsourced report on a blog that he was no longer working for the network and that P.T.S.D. was a reason.

“We will continue to support him during this time,” the cable news network said in a statement. The network said it is “rightly regarded as an industry leader” in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, and that it offers support services to past and present employees.

Mr. Ware’s agent, Richard Liebner, said, “They are clearly standing with him now.”

In a telephone interview from Brisbane, Australia, where he currently lives, Mr. Ware said he first met with a company psychologist two years ago to talk about post-traumatic stress. But he continued to report from conflict zones. At news outlets like CNN, deployment to dangerous locations is always voluntary.

In an interview, Mr. Ware talked openly about how hard it can be to return from war to home, calling the homecoming “beyond harsh.”

“It’s a struggle to learn how to fit back in,” he said, “and yet, that’s precisely what’s expected of you — to fit back in.”

He said he started a three-month book leave in February. Before long his bosses were itching to get him back in the field. “They wanted me back straight away,” he said. He submitted a request for further unpaid leave, apparently without citing P.T.S.D. as a reason. When that request was denied, Mr. Ware said he believed he had been effectively unemployed. But his agent said the CNN bosses were not fully aware of his current condition.

CNN said in the statement Friday, “We hope that when he is ready and able he will be back doing what he does best.”

Mr. Ware has talked publicly about his post-traumatic stress (though not on CNN’s airwaves) and he said he would continue to do so. And he certainly doesn’t rule out a return to conflict in the future.

“I still miss war,” he said. 

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Anonymous said...

Take care of yourself Michael Ware and when
you are ready I look forward to seeing your
amazing reports.

Anonymous said...

Cyn: perhaps you should check your facts before posting wrong information (i.e. Michael Ware). I posted an anonymous comment about it on your original blog and you very arrogantly corrected that comment, didn't you?

You were wrong.

Cyn said...

Anon@9:24, once again, arrogant or not, I have to say: read the article.

"When that request was denied, Mr. Ware said he believed he had been effectively unemployed."

I still stand by what I wrote. Michael was not coming back to CNN.

Thankfully, there were people at CNN who realized that an error had been made, and in the long run, things have worked out for everyone.

Anonymous said...

According to the article, Michael does says he believed he was let go of his contract and maybe just today realizes he still has a job. In which case, Cyn didn't misprepresent anything. She stated the truth of the situation as it was at the time.

That said, I'm glad he's staying. Wouldn't want to see him anywhere else really.

Anonymous said...

Cyn: I always admired your work on ATA, but word "unsourced" IN THE ARTICLE, bothered me, and I was one on the ATA blog who specifically asked if this was sourced. Bob Woodward always used to say, "DO NOT GO TO PRINT," unless you have 3 sources. Sorry, you couldn't have worked for Woodward.
If you had a source, it was not complete, and that doesn't count.

Anonymous said...

Cyn: You're source or sources were wrong and it is a shame you rushed to print something that was not double sourced.
TVN referred every reader to THIS BLOG because they weren't going with your story. There were holes in it and frankly you should appologize and not say "You stand by your story." There was NO story.

Cyn said...

Guys, my source was right, the situation changed. There is a difference.

If the situation had not changed, Michael was not coming back to CNN. Who was to blame for that fact might have been in dispute between the parties involved, but the end result would have been the same for us.

But I would never EVER have published something that inflammatory had I not been absolutely sure of the facts. I wouldn't do that to you guys, to Phebe, to CNN, or to Michael.

I had no idea that my post would garner the attention that it did... but we all helped CNN retain an amazing reporter, and that's a good thing, despite how painful the process was!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Cyn for the acknowledgement. That's more like it. Glad Michael was retained in any event. Hope he's back at work soon and can't wait to read his book.

Anonymous said...

Cyn -

Looking at the facts of the statements made, it was apparent to me that at the time of your post Michael Ware was not coming back to CNN. Had your post not been accurate, CNN and Michael's publicist, not to mention Mick himself would have all denied it immediately and none did.

CNN's initial response was non-committal at best and in the NYT article MW's publicist said CNN is standing by Michael now. I believe that negotations with MW had broken down, that CNN saw they had a public relations nightmare on their hands when your post hit the blog-o-sphere and finally realized the error of their ways. Whatever happened behind the scenes we may never know - but your post hit Wednesday morning and it wasn't until Friday that the NYT could confirm Michael was staying with CNN. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that something transpired in those two days. What ever it was -- I'm just glad we will get to see Mick again, on CNN.