View Poll Results: Is this type of study woth doing and would you take part?

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Thread: Attitudes twards the media

  1. #41
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi JC,

    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    When a reporter goes further than one-layer, they typically do describe the events better and are more accurate. They also write about the personal struggles that the troops face, and from (what I have seen) are more responsible about printing what a servicemember says when they know it may be a ill-thought out reply to a question, or something that could discredit the unit.
    I wonder if that comes abut as a result of being in the field longer and getting a better "feel" for what's happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    At the end of the day, you have to always be on your toes with what you say to an embed, and it get's tiring to the point that you'd almost rather not have them around. I could talk to my Fox camera guy as though he was a college buddy, but the actual reporter had to be handled differently. Ever have the experience where you are having a discussion with someone, and you can see the wheels turning in their head, trying to find a way to fit what you say into their agenda? It can be unsettling.
    Oh, yeah, I've been there! Quite tiring over the long run, and it really meant that I had to keep a bunch of attention that should have been elsewhere on them <sigh>. I began to feel like a juggler wih too many balls in the air...

    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    Independent embeds who bankroll their visits seem to be a slightly different story, but I've never run across one of them in person.
    I wonder how many of them there are....

    On a different note, I didn't checkout CBC yesterday. When I did, I came across the story of the 6 Canadians just killed in an IED attack in Afghanistan. One thing that struck me about the coverage was that it was so "personalized" - 5 of the 6 named (the 6th soldiers family didn't want his name released at this time) and with photos and micro-bio's, reactions from politicians and Hillier, etc.

    Marc
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    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
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  2. #42
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Just a glimpse of madness but wasn't one of the Fort Carson embeds a former soldier from that unit working as a news paper reporter in Colorado Springs? Maybe that was gulf 1..... durn my old memory.
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  3. #43
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    Just a glimpse of madness but wasn't one of the Fort Carson embeds a former soldier from that unit working as a news paper reporter in Colorado Springs? Maybe that was gulf 1..... durn my old memory.
    Not that I remember. It's possible, but it wasn't any of the Gazette people I saw.
    Example is better than precept.

  4. #44
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    Sean Naylor is another journalist worth contacting. He has done some superb work with the Afghan campaign and SOF forces as well.

  5. #45
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    I would agree that naylor has written some good pieces, and of course his book Not a Good Day to Die is a gem.

    He is a culprit of one-layer reporting as well though, as evidenced by some of the articles he wrote on the shift of Marine forces to the Anah and Rawah area after Stryker elements had to be moved to support ops in Baghdad. He attributed casualties the battalion suffered to a lack of knowledge and familiarity with the area. Surprisingly enough, had he actually talked to more of the Marines involved, he would have realized that the unit in question certainly had veterans (some on their 3rd Iraq tour) of operations in those exact areas, and were not noobs to the Euphrates area of Anbar.

    I'm kind of glad that you mentioned Naylor Ski, because I have one prejudice against reporters that I forgot to mention.

    I think many of these folks, looking for the juicy story, do more than just exaggerate or drift from reporting to commentary. They also hide behind "un-named sources", or "certain anonymous members of the command", etc., when introducing lines of thought that are in fact the reporter's thoughts and bias alone. That skews the reporting to the level of irresponsibility, and I think it's shameful.

    As another case in point, I read an article in the Marine Times the other day, which outlined the removal of a MARSOC company from the Afghan AO recently. This article went to new levels of silliness, and started to quote posters on internet forums who were supposedly, "veterans of years of SOF operations".

    I think that is a line of crap to draw any reporting from an internet forum, without establishing the bonafides of any person interviewed, and then actually physically interviewing them. It's not something to be accomplished by private message, but it seems to be becoming more prevalent as topics of a military nature become a hot-button.

  6. #46
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    My experience with the media is reflected in the title of this post. Some were good and listened carefully. Some were bad in their direct manipualtion of facts to meet preconceived ideas. Some were just ugly in their blatant staging of events to create news. In the latter category I would place the reporters in Goma who hired locals to shift bodies around like stage props just outside the press cage along the road as shown below. PIC is courtesy of Stan Reber)
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  7. #47
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    I'd offer up one more thing Marc, and it's that I love listening to National Public Radio. Not sure if you've ever heard it up north, but it can be an extremely balanced amount of radio programming that "gets off the beaten path" so to speak, and does a decent job of balancing things out.

    I check it out every morning on the way in to work, depending on my car's crappy reception. Even my father, who is hyper-liberal on some matters and hyer-conservative on others, has come around to listening to it for most of the day.

  8. #48
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    Some good points in there - but off the record quotes have been part of journalism as a whole, well, since the creation of journalism. I'm sure a lot if not all of Naylor's SOF contacts would only speak to him on condition of anonymity. Is it irresponsable? Maybe, but there are also times when it can be used for a greater good.

    Overall, the press needs better fact checking on military operations. How many times have you seen a Paladin or Bradley roll down the MSR and some commentator in the background stating, "American tanks have just begun movement..."

    I'm surprised the major networks have hired some retired NCO's or just out of service CPT's to fact check for them. It would lend a great deal more credibility to what they say.


    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    I would agree that naylor has written some good pieces, and of course his book Not a Good Day to Die is a gem.

    He is a culprit of one-layer reporting as well though, as evidenced by some of the articles he wrote on the shift of Marine forces to the Anah and Rawah area after Stryker elements had to be moved to support ops in Baghdad. He attributed casualties the battalion suffered to a lack of knowledge and familiarity with the area. Surprisingly enough, had he actually talked to more of the Marines involved, he would have realized that the unit in question certainly had veterans (some on their 3rd Iraq tour) of operations in those exact areas, and were not noobs to the Euphrates area of Anbar.

    I'm kind of glad that you mentioned Naylor Ski, because I have one prejudice against reporters that I forgot to mention.

    I think many of these folks, looking for the juicy story, do more than just exaggerate or drift from reporting to commentary. They also hide behind "un-named sources", or "certain anonymous members of the command", etc., when introducing lines of thought that are in fact the reporter's thoughts and bias alone. That skews the reporting to the level of irresponsibility, and I think it's shameful.

    As another case in point, I read an article in the Marine Times the other day, which outlined the removal of a MARSOC company from the Afghan AO recently. This article went to new levels of silliness, and started to quote posters on internet forums who were supposedly, "veterans of years of SOF operations".

    I think that is a line of crap to draw any reporting from an internet forum, without establishing the bonafides of any person interviewed, and then actually physically interviewing them. It's not something to be accomplished by private message, but it seems to be becoming more prevalent as topics of a military nature become a hot-button.

  9. #49
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    I'd offer up one more thing Marc, and it's that I love listening to National Public Radio. Not sure if you've ever heard it up north, but it can be an extremely balanced amount of radio programming that "gets off the beaten path" so to speak, and does a decent job of balancing things out.

    I check it out every morning on the way in to work, depending on my car's crappy reception. Even my father, who is hyper-liberal on some matters and hyer-conservative on others, has come around to listening to it for most of the day.
    Even if he can't get it where he is they webcast on their site
    Example is better than precept.

  10. #50
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    +1 on NPR. Anne Garrels is one of the best out of Baghdad. She embeds often - her latest reports on the Baghdad security plan are outstanding.

  11. #51
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    I'd offer up one more thing Marc, and it's that I love listening to National Public Radio. Not sure if you've ever heard it up north, but it can be an extremely balanced amount of radio programming that "gets off the beaten path" so to speak, and does a decent job of balancing things out.

    I check it out every morning on the way in to work, depending on my car's crappy reception. Even my father, who is hyper-liberal on some matters and hyer-conservative on others, has come around to listening to it for most of the day.
    There was a study done regarding media bias a couple of years back (don't remember the name offhand, but it was a California university team) that used a comparison between the positions of members of congress (do set baselines for conservative and liberal political viewpoints) and media coverage. The team went to great lengths to remain as impartial as possible (to the point of refusing some funding if memory serves), and came up with some interesting conclusions. Most of the media tested out as left of center (some well left of center), with PBS actually coming out as the most non-biased (NPR and I think the Lehr News Hour were the most balanced) coverage. Fox was right of center, but not as far as most critics seem convinced.
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  12. #52
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default UCLA - UM Media Bias Study

    Here is an UCLA press release concerning the study - provides a decent summary of the study's findings.

  13. #53
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Another group that might be worth examining in terms of the military's view of the media (although this might be extending the study past your borders, Marc) are military dependents. More and more these days I'm seeing cameras in the faces of wives, husbands, and children of deployed troops, and as a former dependent it really gets me steamed. There was so little attention paid to them before there was political gain involved, and now it seems like they're the centerpiece of many evening news stories. I could see such coverage impacting the view of the press held by many serving troops. Of course, this is something of a pet rock of mine, so ignore if I'm off-track here.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
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  14. #54
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default A Measure of Media Bias

    A Measure of Media Bias - not sure but this may be the study Jon referenced.

  15. #55
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
    Here is an UCLA press release concerning the study - provides a decent summary of the study's findings.
    Thanks! My Google skills (and most others) are quite fried this morning. With commissioning, field training, PDTs, a classroom exercise, and tons of other junk coming up I'm finding that I have precious little room to breathe these days.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  16. #56
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    Thanks! My Google skills (and most others) are quite fried this morning. With commissioning, field training, PDTs, a classroom exercise, and tons of other junk coming up I'm finding that I have precious little room to breathe these days.
    I'm feeling pretty much he same . Yesterday was a very long day but productive - I spent most of the day at RMC. Great people and a productive visit. What with a rehearsal after I got back to Ottawa, it was a long day and I'm slaving away on an online questionnaire right now for another project (with another rehearsal tonight - sigh).

    Let me check out that study. Also, the folks at RMC suggested a couple of articles to go after as well. I have the feeling it's a good things I can read quickly...

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  17. #57
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    As a (semi-) postscript to my last message, I hope you folks know how much I appreciate all of the input and advice you are giving me. It's fantastic!

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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