Self-censorship is the censoring of one's own work, in order for the public to be unaware of whatever it is that is being censored. A lot of people would say that self-censorship is a terrible idea, because they think that the public should be aware of everything about everything. However they do not understand the deepness behind self-censorship. Self-censorship is used mainly in controversial issues when people are too afraid to report something in fear of the reactions from the public. Self-censorship in the media does not only mean that one single person is not publishing their work. A newspaper, an online newspaper, or a news station can choose what they want to publish, regardless of what the reporters want. If a reporter self-censors their own work from being published, they just won't give it to the news team that they work for. But if they give it to the news team, the news team can choose from there whether or not they wish to publicize it. .
In times of crisis such as wars, newspapers have to make bold decisions on whether or not they wish to print something. And although there is freedom of the press, and the government cannot directly step in to stop publishing of a story, there are times when a government official will ask a publisher not to publish a story. They do this because they are afraid of how the public will react. There were numerous times during World War II when Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman went to major newspapers or radio stations and asked that certain stories or topics not be published. Looking back on those actions, a lot of people were extremely upset that the government stepped in and that the news teams did not publish such important stories.
So why did they self-censor? During World War II, there were many times when the nation's morale was extremely low. Hundreds of thousands of United States army soldiers died during the war, and certain battles would have made many soldiers' families devastated.