Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Hotel Warriors: The pools

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hotel Warriors: The pools


To disseminate information to the media during the Gulf War, reporters were addressed by the military in groups. These groups or "pools" were filled with hundreds of reporters, and were totally dependant on information provided by the military. Most of these reporters wanted to get out in the field and report first hand, but there were only a limited number of spots. This resulted in infighting among reporters, each trying to get the scoop. As put by Fialka:

In essence, a pool means that all of the news products from the war be shared, but "beggar they neighbor" was often closer to the reality under which we operated.

This was exactly the envirement the military intended to create with the pool system. These conditions ensured that the news could be effectively managed by limiting access to sensative information, and steering "friendly" journalists to the limited pool positions.

7 Comments:

Blogger Hezellig said...

I suppose keeping sensitive info from the enemy wasn't a valid reason.

4/05/2006 10:08 PM  
Blogger CBarr said...

What should we, as the American public, expect to be informed of during war? What do we expect to be kept private, for security reasons or otherwise? Is it a good idea to put the reporters in danger, as we have in this war? Is the information they are getting by being imbedded helpful or fruitful in any way?

4/05/2006 11:24 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

Cleary keeping sensitive information from the enemy has been a priority for the military and the press in all of our wars. While censorship has been employed off and on, the Pentagon still relies on the professionalism of war correspondents to know the difference between military secrets and the facts that the public has a right to know. Both sides are open to criticism, but you will find few reporters who do not respect the right of the military to keep secrets to protect our troops and their mission. At the same time, we must beware the use of "operational security" as screen to hide the bad news of a failed strategy.

4/06/2006 12:31 AM  
Blogger Hezellig said...

I agree with you both. I just find the tone of some of these cynical statements about war very disheartening. I don't like war, in fact, I strongly disapprove of it. Sometimes, however, people want to kill you and the only way to stop them is to get them first. That said, yes, we should know what's going on in wartime, but sometimes we won't. Too bad.

4/06/2006 10:56 AM  
Blogger Mike Moore said...

While the military obviously has a right (and an obligation) to keep sensative operational information secret to insure the safety of the troops, it's our right, and duty, as citizens to be aware of what military operations are being carried out in our name.

4/06/2006 6:02 PM  
Blogger Hezellig said...

Aha! The key word is "duty". Modern Americans want their rights without putting in their due dilligence. If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. Only problem is, who do you trust? The soldiers or the news? They're both run by the same group of scumbags. However I think the conflicts we are seeing in the Middle East are a different animal from your typical geo-political power struggle. This is not just a conflict of interests, but one of ideals, also. The sad thing is, some of our ideals are being exploited just as grossly as many of the Muslim ideals over there. Why do humans have to be so damn arrogant?

4/06/2006 9:56 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good question.

4/06/2006 10:38 PM  

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