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With Journalistic Implications, Cable News Covers Bradley Manning Verdict

Shortly after 1 PM, the verdict in the Bradley Manning trial came in from a military court in Ft. Meade, Maryland. Manning was prosecuted by the government for giving Wikileaks thousands of secret documents, including State Department cables. The most serious charge was “aiding the enemy,” which almost certainly would have had implications for all working journalists that cover the U.S. government.

Manning was found “not guilty” of that charge, but guilty on most other charges, including theft and espionage.

The three general cable news channels previewed the impending verdict at the top of the hour, with Fox News reporting the verdict at 1:05, followed by MSNBC at 1:08 and CNN at 1:09. No cameras were allowed in the courtroom, and journalists were unable to report the verdict until they were released from the room.

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