Can the Media Be Tactful and Tap 9/11’s Anniversary?

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(New York Times) — Anniversaries are hard to resist for most media outlets. The stories are evergreen, the advertising potential plentiful.  But in documenting the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, there is a fine line between commemoration and exploitation.  Mindful of this, television networks, magazines and others planning special coverage of the anniversary have weighed issues like how much American audiences can stomach, and how much such a solemn occasion should be viewed as a business opportunity.  There are no uniform answers, and media outlets are approaching it differently. Time magazine is running no ads at all. Newsweek and People have sold ads just as they would for any other issue. Cable channels, which are devoting big blocks of their schedules to Sept. 11-related programming, are also largely running commercials as usual. But there exceptions; CNN, for example, is to show a joint HBO-Time special commercial free. In its regular Sunday edition on Sept. 11, The New York Times is publishing a special section that will contain only commemorative ads.

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