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Thread: What is our Message

  1. #61
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Chapel Hill, NC

    Default Media Madness


    Listen, I don't disagree with anything you write, and I absolutely understand the frustration you express here. Again, I'm far more a critic than a defender of the press. The story you tell is, I think, a function of what happens when you've got folks embedding who don't have a great deal of experience with the military. One response to that is to embed more, not less, another is to be very careful to know the reporters coming out to a unit in advance, by googling their prior work so that you know what kind of stories they've been covering up to that point: it would let you know at what level to pitch a briefing.

    The concern that the press can hurt more than they can help may or may not be accurate, but either way the pt is the same: precisely b/c the power of the press is so great, it's that important that the military work to make sure the relationship works. Decisions that in prior wars were cost free (avoiding press coverage) today come with a price, that's my larger point. That doesn't mean in any given instance you have to choose one way as opposed to another, but it does mean you need to recognize that there's a price to be paid in avoiding press coverage. Keep in mind, too, if you think the press can burn you, then you should certainly want to encourage embeds, because the press is going to cover this war with or without your help -- better to have a shot at telling them your side of the story.

    Like I say, I don't, in the end, disagree: the question is, what can military units do to make the relationship a more productive one? I thought it was important to point out that not every reporter covering the war should be assumed on face unprepared or hostile, but I'm well aware that there are plenty of problems. Given the importance of coverage, I just think it's important for the military to think about what can be done from their side to work to resolve those problems.



  2. #62
    Council Member Ender's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    You make very strong points and in no way have I viewed anything you have said as being against what I said. I may have not artiuculated as clearly as I would have liked; it is difficult to objectively communicate concepts when so much it attached. You have given me reason to pause and consider just what can be done, because I will have to admit, as frustrating as the press can be, I would much rather have them working for us than against us.

    Thank you for your insight.



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