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Nets to pool war coverage - Broadcasting & Cable

Nets to pool war coverage

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Broadcast and cable outlets agreed Monday to share any live pictures that
come out of Baghdad for the first 24 hours after war begins.

Talk of a pact -- which includes ABC, CBS, Fox News Channel, Cable News Network and NBC/MSNBC --
resulted from a recent discussion among network news chiefs.

CNN was the last organization to agree to the pool.

A CNN spokesperson said, "We just wanted more time" to consider.

With war threatening, CNN and CBS are now the only two major American TV news
operations with crews in Baghdad.

CNN has four staffers in Baghdad, including correspondent Nic Robertson and
producer Ingrid Formanek, who was in Baghdad for CNN when the first Gulf War
broke out.

CBS News reporter Lara Logan also remains with a four-person crew.

The atmosphere, particularly in Baghdad, is considered more dangerous this
time around.

The press operates out of the Iraqi ministry of information, which could be a
target of attack.

"This time, they're going for regime change and, therefore, moving into Baghdad
and where the press are situated," an executive at one network said.

NBC and ABC have already pulled their staffers out of Iraq, although the
crews are still in the region.

Fox News' crew had already been expelled from Iraq last month.

Both CNN and CBS News say they are carefully and constantly monitoring the
situation.

NBC will still have a presence inside Iraq thanks to a programming deal
between MSNBC and National Geographic Explorer.

Veteran war correspondent Peter Arnett is in the region
for Explorer, which airs on MSNBC.

Arnett is also filing reports for MSNBC and will appear on NBC
News.

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