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Sept. 11: One year after

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The violent images of 9-11 will return to television screens, but to what extent?

By David Bauder, Associated Press

NEW YORK A few days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, ABC News imposed a flat prohibition on video replays of the planes striking the World Trade Center and the towers collapsing. Only still photos could be used.

Now, for one day -- the first anniversary of the attacks -- the network has told its producers that the ban is lifted.

"We've at least told people that you can come back and ask for it," ABC News President David Westin said. "Before, we said, `don't ask."'

TV network executives promise to be judicious in how much they use video images that are already burned into the collective memory. But it's clear those images will return.

Nearly a month ahead of the anniversary, CNN began airing an advertisement that shows one of the planes heading directly toward the tower. The scene cuts away before impact, however.

"I don't think we can walk away from these images entirely," said Teya Ryan, general manager of CNN's U.S. network. They're less shocking but no less disturbing after a year's time, she said.

While ABC was the only network to issue a blanket ban, others strictly limited use of the video soon after the attacks. It was partly because time made the images less newsworthy, but there also were complaints that they were disturbing, particularly to young children who couldn't distinguish between live pictures and replays.

Some viewers complained that the pictures were being used as video "wallpaper," repeated over and over again to promote programming.

"Nobody wants hours of replays of the planes going into the building," said Marcy McGinnis, CBS senior vice president of news coverage. "By the same token, it's the year anniversary. You're going to see what happened to spark this chain of events."

CBS doesn't believe in limiting use of the video to a certain number of times each day, she said.

"We very much leave it up to the discretion of executive producers," McGinnis said, "but impress upon them our values, which are, be tasteful and don't be gratuitous."

A similar policy is in place on NBC, where the images will be used "exceedingly sparingly," said Mark Lukasiewicz, executive producer for special projects.

For example, the pictures will appear on a "Dateline NBC" special Sept. 10 which tells the story of four people in the World Trade Center on the day of the attacks. Lukasiewicz said the images will be in context, and viewers who want to avoid seeing them will be able to turn away.

ABC is considering use of violent video images on a case-by-case basis. "We will be very careful about it," Westin said.

Fox News Channel has prepared material for the morning of Sept. 11 that gives a minute-by-minute account of what happened a year earlier and includes use of the video. It still hasn't been decided whether that will be used; the network may instead show the reading of victims' names during the memorial service, said Tom Bird, a senior producer.

"Every time I see this stuff it disturbs me," Bird said. "Knowing how I'm affected, I'm certain there are viewers that feel the same way. At the same time, we can't forget this, and I think those images are very important in that goal."

One thing network executives are unanimous about: Video showing people jumping from the World Trade Center will not be shown.

A glimpse of a jumper was briefly shown on CBS last Sept. 11, and the network quickly admitted it was a mistake. CBS' "9-11" documentary, which will be repeated Sept. 8, contained the disturbing sounds of bodies upon impact but no accompanying video. More graphic footage was apparently seen overseas.

"Given the proliferation of media and the fragmentation, it will be foolish of anyone to predict that it will never be shown," Westin said.

But at ABC, he said, "it's not a close call."

"I think you can tell the story without showing that," said CBS' McGinnis. "We haven't shown that since and I don't believe we ever will."

Today's news:
Ceremony at Ground Zero
Mass. remembers victims
Silence, tears mark day at Logan
Under alert, Mass. carries on
Bush faces day with resolve
World remembers attacks in US
Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.
Updated wire coverage

Photo galleries:
Families mourn, remember
Ceremony at Ground Zero
Ceremony at the Pentagon
Ceremony at Pa. crash scene
Remembrances worldwide
Remembrances in Boston

NECN RealVideo:
Moment of silence observed
Ceremony at State House
Gettysburg Address read
Procession at Ground Zero
A somber travel day at Logan
Images of Sept. 11, 2001

 THE SERIES

 DAY ONE   SEPT. 3

Preparing for the worst
Security has become the new norm in Greater Boston.

 DAY TWO   SEPT. 4

Fear and children
Children's responses may shed light on human anxiety, resiliency.

 DAY THREE   SEPT. 5

Muslim minds
The US effort to win over Muslim hearts and minds is failing.

 DAY FOUR   SEPT. 6

Science vs. terrorism
New chemical, biological threats spur nation's top minds.

 DAY FIVE   SEPT. 7

Detainees
For those deported after Sept. 11, the losses are wrenching.

 DAY SIX   SEPT. 8

A special Magazine issue
A Sept. 11 narrative by former Massport chief Virginia Buckingham, plus an essay by Christopher Hitchens.

A special Arts section
How culture has changed since Sept. 11, including a gallery of art inspired by the attacks.

A special Focus section
A look at how the lives of six Americans were altered.

Everywhere USA
Terrorism comes to God's country.

 DAY SEVEN   SEPT. 9

Where is Al Qaeda?
How have bin Laden and his terrorist group eluded US forces?

 DAY EIGHT   SEPT. 10

Two cities
New York and DC one year later.

 DAY NINE   SEPT. 11

America remembers
The US looks back at the terrorist attacks.

Victims and survivors
A year later, still hurting.

A time for bells and remembrance
A clash of views on terror
Limited damage to the economy
Families build support system
NYC's healing process
Finding comfort in the kitchen
Bailey: A day of atonement


From the Associated Press:
Tribute paid with tattoos
Charities changed by 9/11
White House calls home
9/11 stole innocence, love
Man escaped earthquake, 9/11
Update on 9/11's famous faces
Firemen still burying dead
A mother's note to a lost son
9/11 created heroes in death
Voice mails bring comfort
Little things hold memories
87th floor survivor copes
Sampling of 9/11 memorials
Pentagon survivors move on
Moments of silence on Sept. 11
Survivors try to move forward
Families cling to chances
Sept. 11 widow trying to forgive
Widow becomes an advocate
Workplace response varies
Graphic: Funds offer relief





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