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RTNDA urges battleground access

The Radio-Television News Directors Association on Monday asked the government to provide the media with as much possible access to cover military operations, in a letter from RTNDA President Barbara Cochran to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

"RTNDA members and all journalists are acutely aware of the need to balance national security considerations with the duty to inform the public truthfully," Cochran wrote. "No news organization wants to be responsible for putting U.S. fighting men and women in harm's way. But we also have a responsibility to keep the public informed about key government activities, which surely include critical military operations."

Cochran wants the Pentagon to maintain the "nine principles" that news executives hammered out with the Defense Department after the Gulf War. Those principles encourage a limited use of press pools and providing as much access as possible. - Paige Albiniak