, I find (belatedly) this story on how al-Jazeera handles hostage videos
"Al-Jazeera says it deals with tapes on the basis of news value.
"When tapes come in -- the network rarely says how it gets them -- Al-Jazeera's editors wrangle over what portions, if any, they can air, al-Sheikh said.
"In the case of the bin Laden message broadcast Thursday, the station played only a few minutes of the 10-minute tape, based on what it considered important, he said. The entire tape was transcribed and posted on Al-Jazeera's Web site.
"Tapes of kidnap victims are the most problematic. When they arrive, the station gets in touch with the hostage's embassy and asks a representative to view the tape and contact the family. Only when the family is notified does Al-Jazeera air any footage, al-Sheikh said.
"Even then, it airs only parts that show the victim in 'the most humane light possible,' he said. Al-Jazeera's editorial policies now prohibit it from carrying the voices of kidnappers or their victims.
"Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials have accused Al-Jazeera of airing videos of hostages being beheaded. But in fact the station has never done so. The gory videos have appeared on Web forums used by Islamic militants."