Information Warfare: November 9, 2001

Archives

Journalists are upset that they are not allowed free access to American military operations in the Afghanistan war. Some of the older reporters remember the freewheeling days of the Vietnam war, when journalists could go anywhere they wanted. This was because Vietnam was not, technically, a war. Anyone could buy a airline ticket to South Vietnam and do whatever they wanted. During the Gulf War, journalists were upset at the restrictions put on them. What few journalists remember is that in America's wars during the last centuries, restrictions were the norm. The armed forces have long been leery about journalists inadvertently leaking important information to the enemy. This was first seen in the 1860s, during the American Civil War. After getting burned during the Spanish-American war (1898, and it's aftermath in the Philippines Rebellion) and World War I (1917-1918), a mutually agreeable system was developed for World War II. War reporters were put into uniform. No, they were not part of the military. Their newspapers and radio stations still paid them. But the war reporters were fed and housed as if they were officers and were subject to military law. Press officers accompanied them and saw that their stories went to the military censors before being transmitted back home. There were no damaging leaks. In the Korean War, the reporters were asked to censor themselves. But this didn't always work and many journalists asked for military censors to check their work to make sure they did not release anything that could hurt the troops. While many journalists are not aware of this bit of history, most senior military commanders are. And they have acted accordingly.


 


Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
30

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 30 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close