Six questions for Stephen Farrell and NY Times

Tunku Varadarajan, the former foreign correspondent of The Times, London, currently a professor at NYU’s Stern Business School, asks some excellent questions on the abduction and rescue of Stephen Farrell, the “seemingly reckless” New York Times journalist, by the Taliban in Afghanistan, at

1) Did not Farrell assume the risk of some harm befalling him? Should he have been allowed to suffer the effects of his own recklessness?

2) Does not the enterprise of democracy and informed consent depend on people like Farrell to ferret out information of public value?

3) Can Farrell be held “morally” responsible for the death of the soldier in the course of his rescue? Or were the Brits entitled not to seek to rescue him since he had disregarded specific advice?

4) Should the New York Times reimburse the British government for the cost of the mission to save Farrell (even if it means taking another loan from Carlos Sim)?

5) Should NYT also compensate the families of the dead soldier and Farrell’s “fixer, the Afghan interpreter who too met his end in the  course of the rescue?

6) Should journalists give half the royalties from any books they write to the military, in the event of a costly rescue?

Farrell, according to The Guardian, had been kidnapped twice before “in the line of duty” had earned the enviable tag of “Robohack” from competitors.

Read the full article: The price of a scoop: two dead

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