Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Pentagon's Strategy for the Press: Good News or No News

Friday, April 14, 2006

Pentagon's Strategy for the Press: Good News or No News

This article for the most part sums up the pool system and the way it worked during wartime. The U.S military gives the reporters restrictions and limited their way to get information and that's why they created the pool system. Reporters felt as though they were unable to do things by themselves and they thought that by them not being able gather information they would liked to have, it is blocking their reporting. Under the Pentagon rules, they decided which groups of people are able to go and visit the military. The Pentagon can also decide what can be shown on television and what can be written in a story. They can also tell the soldiers what they are aloud to say and that is because the soldiers do not want any information getting back to enemies and it gave them a lesson from Vietnam: to keep the wars short and keep the news media controlled in the first days of the war. Under the Pentagon, you had to be chosen to be in a pool and if you weren't part of a pool you would have to get your information from someone that was. Reporters has to be careful of what they said and did, because if the Pentagon did not approve they would take away their access to information. If they write an amazing story, but do something to upset the Pentagon, they will get taken out immediately. LeMoyne talks about an example of how the Pentagon took away the priviledge to talk to Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf because their last story that had been published has Army enlisted men who were talking badly of President Bush and was asking why they were being sent to Saudi Arabia. If you were in a pool, the Pentagon took care of all your needs and made sure that you were secure. A lot of the reporters in Saudi Arabia spend a small amount of time or no time in the field and have restricted knowledge of certain commanders and units. The pools system is a very smart system but does not work for large wars.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

Be careful about over-stating the power of the pentagon to control the press. To say that the "Pentagon can also decide what can be shown on television and what can be written in a story" would be serious overstatement. Limiting access, shaping the coverage indirectly, promoting the dependence of reporters on the Department of Defense for as much information as possible, yes, but we still have an independent news media that needs constant management

4/17/2006 10:14 PM  

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