Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Pentagon, media debate access

Monday, April 07, 2008

Pentagon, media debate access

Mark Jurkowitz, a staff member of The Boston Globe, wrote in 2002 about how unhappy the news media were with the lack of cooperation they were recieving from military commanders in the field, and from officials at the Pentagon regarding access to people and casualty reports in the early days in the War in Afghanistan: "We continue to be frustrated with limited or lack of access on the ground and in the region", said Sandy Johnson, Washington bureau chief for The Associated Press."
The article goes on to describe how the press is stonewalled in it's attempts to gain any information beyond that which is packaged by the Pentagon for public consumption. At the end of the article, the author mentions that once reporters are allowed to travel with the troops, the natural distrust normally disappears:
"There's so much handwringging about secrecy and classified material, and once your inside, (military) people say, 'we like this" Unfortunately Mr. Jurkowitz has missed the point. The Pentagon has decided that from now on, the rules have changed. The U.S. military neither wants nor needs the cooperation of the news media when fighting modern wars, as the public has no stomach for the deaths of civilians, or of the death of U.S. soldiers. Ignorance is bliss, and too bad if that makes for a boring nightly news cast.

The Pentagon does not any more pictures like this one, taken during the Vietnam War, undermining public support for the war in Afghanistan.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post. There are of course a lot of pictures coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of them equally as heartbreaking as the famous image you have posted. They do not seem to get the circulation or the reaction that the photos from Vietnam received.

4/13/2008 11:03 PM  

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