Army Detains Injured CBS Cameraman

CBS reported that one of its cameramen, shot last Tuesday by U.S. solidiers in Iraq, is now being detained by the U.S. military on suspicion that he poses "an imperative threat to coalition forces."

The Army had issued a statement saying it had shot the CBS cameraman--the network did not identify him--becuse they had mistaken his camera for a weapon--he was among insurgents and standing next to one who was killed during the battle, though he suffered only minor injuries.

But on Friday, CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart reported the military grew suspicious after examining the camera and finding pictures of the apparent aftermath of four insurgent bombings, which suggested, army officials told Stewart, that he had been tipped to the attacks beforehand.

Correspondent Lee Cowan told Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer that the cameraman, who was an Iraqi local, had been with the network three months and came highly recommended.

"It is common practice in Iraq for Western news organizations to hire local cameramen in places considered too dangerous for Westerners to work effectively," said the network in a statement. "The very nature of their work often puts them in the middle of very volatile situations,'' the statement said.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.