Commentary and links relating to media coverage of war; both before, during, and after.

William A. Dorman is Professor of Government at California State University, Sacramento, and has taught a course in War, Peace and the Mass Media since 1970.

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War, Peace, and the Mass Media
Tuesday, December 30, 2003  
MRE fights access problems
Board sends protest letter; begins media access probe

With increasing reports of tighter media restrictions, confiscations of film and videotapes and new reporting ground rules in Iraq and stateside, Military Reporters and Editors, Inc., has taken several steps to protest and investigate media access problems.

On Nov. 17, the MRE officers and board sent a letter to the Pentagon joining other news media organizations protesting recent confrontations betweeen journalists and U.S. military personnel in Iraq attempting to restrict coverage of ongoing operations.

To read the rest of this article, see Military Reporters Editors

12:10 PM

When George Bush’s Pentagon doesn’t like what a reporter writes, it attempts a preemptive strike

In the case of Tom Ricks, military reporter for the Washington Post, the Pentagon took the attack right to the heart of the enemy. Defense Department spokesman Larry DiRita first sent a letter of complaint to the Post; then he met with the paper’s top editors to press his points.

Ricks is one of the most senior defense reporters in the country. He covered military affairs for the Wall Street Journal for 17 years and has been doing the same for the Post since 1999. He’s written two books about the military, one about the Marines and a novel about the US intervention in Afghanistan, published four months before the United States sent in troops.

To read the rest of this article, see Washingtonian

12:06 PM

Journalists Take Flak in Iraq


The Nation
January 12, 2004 issue

When US Central Command has good news to report in Iraq, as it did after troops from the Fourth Infantry Division captured Saddam Hussein on December 13, it adores the media. But journalists say that when there's bad news--a helicopter crash, a mortar attack--they are increasingly being blocked from covering the story by US soldiers, who frequently confiscate and destroy their film disks and videotapes.

This happened to Detroit Free Press photographer David Gilkey while covering the crash of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter carrying thirty-six US soldiers, shot down near Fallujah on November 2. His film disk was erased by a soldier from the 82nd Airborne, who then forced Gilkey and other journalists on the scene to a site twenty miles away. "Listen, I have respect for these guys," Gilkey says of the soldiers. "I truly understand that they are upset, and angry, that they've lost friends. The point is, however, you don't have the right to take disks and clean them. When did that become standard operating procedure?"

To read the rest of this article, see The Nation

12:02 PM

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