Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that no stone was left unturned in response to criticism that the UK didn’t do enough to secure the release of the two British hostages.
There have been accusations that the UK’s approachof not negotiating with hostage-takers endangers lives. But, the government has said it is sticking to its line of not making “substantive concessions” to kidnappers. The media blackout imposed on this story was also criticised.Is this the right way to go?
Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent says,
“The kidnappers said they wanted a media blackout, which they kept breaking, but I think there will be a lot of soul-searching about this.”
“When the BBC’s Alan Johnston was kidnapped in Gaza, we made a big song and dance about it. We put the whole story on the news the whole time. “
Was the UK’s government right to impose a media blackout on covering this story? Is it better to give the story maximum exposure or work steadily behind the scenes to ensure a quiet release? Does the media empower or expose hostage takers? Does it endanger the lives of hostages or reassures them and their families that they have the world’s attention and that something is being done to help them?