USA TODAY - Major news organizations are proceeding cautiously Tuesday following the court-ordered release of the 911 calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which gun shots and panicked school employees can be overheard.
NBC News said it's not airing the tapes on TV or its websites, citing the opposition against the release by victims' families and others in Newtown, Conn. Quotes and information from the calls will used in its reports.
"The families of the victims of the Newtown shootings made it public that they did not want the 911 tapes to be released. Unless there is any compelling editorial reason to play the tapes, I would like to respect their wishes," wrote NBC News President Deborah Turness in a staff memo Tuesday morning before the recordings were made available.
ABC News also said it'll not air the tapes "at this time."
CNN plans to air a few parts. "We are preparing a report that will provide context to the recordings and report any new information learned," said CNN spokeswoman Barbara Levin.
Shepard Smith, managing editor of Fox News' breaking news team, told viewers this afternoon that the network will "not be airing the most gut wrenching moments from those calls."
"Out of respect for the victims, we will be very sensitive with what we do put on FOX News Channel and across all of our platforms throughout the day and in the days to come," he said.
CBS News plans to broadcast excerpts, but gunshot sounds will be not be used.
USA TODAY chose to post the tapes on its website. "We felt that a strong warning flag on each of the (segments) containing audio was enough," said David Callaway, the newspaper's editor-in-chief.
The audio recordings were made available after New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott issued his approval Tuesday despite heavy opposition from the community and prosecutors.
The Associated Press has sought the recordings to examine the police response to the massacre, and won a ruling by the state's Freedom of Information Commission that the calls are not exempt from public information laws.
Newtown police and State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III fought against the ruling, arguing that the calls could cause pain for victims' families and hamper investigation.
Contributing: Associated Press