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October 07, 2005
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Television station held subway threat story over security concerns

The Associated Press

NEW YORK- A television station held off on reporting about a potential terrorist threat to the city's subway system for two days after officials in New York and Washington voiced concerns that public safety could be impacted and ongoing operations jeopardized.

WNBC reporter Jonathan Dienst, who covers security and terrorism issues for the station, said he started making calls about the threat on Tuesday. Local and federal officials then got in touch, expressing concern that airing the story would do damage.

The station decided to hold off, citing "the intensity of the level of the request," said Dan Forman, vice president of news. He said the officials stressed that they would not normally ask a media outlet to hold a story, but that people overseas could be placed in harm if it aired then.

"They were in the best position to know the nature of the threat," Forman said of the officials.

"We agreed to hold the story until it could be reported in a responsible fashion. We believed we served our viewers well. It was best for the city and the responsible thing to do."

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