Current TV's Silence Over Detained Journalists is Troubling

Two American journalists detained in North Korea get no public support from Current TV

San Francisco-based cable network Current TV, founded in part by former Vice President Al Gore, finds itself at the center of an international incident.

Reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee were shooting footage in North Korea for the network when they were detained, along with their Chinese guide.

The North Korean government has accused the two American citizens of "hostile acts," and they face a trial and up to 10 years of imprisonment.

The State Department is working through a Swedish proxy on diplomacy regarding the captives. Swedish consular officials have met with the pair, though issued no public statements as to their conditions.

It's not clear whether Ling and Lee were working directly for the network or reporting independently when they were detained by N. Korean soldiers.

When it launched, Current TV hailed itself as a network where everyday citizens would be able to report the news and find an audience.

But in the wake of the arrests, the network has refused to issue a comment, and appears to be actively removing any related stories or comments from their Web site.

A security guard recently appeared in front of the company's headquarters in the South of Market neighborhood -- presumably to keep an eye out for reporters or protesters.

Current, and Al Gore's silent treatment, caused former San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein to lament, "There's no encouragement for 2.0 reporting when its practitioners can disappear into the gulag with no one to fight for them."

Jackson West figures talk of an impending long-range missile launch is probably the time when a Nobel peace prize winner might want to step up and say something.

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