Accession Number : ADA262224


Title :   Media Handling of Sensitive Military Information


Descriptive Note : Research paper


Corporate Author : INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC


Personal Author(s) : Dougherty, Bernard J


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a262224.pdf


Report Date : Apr 1992


Pagination or Media Count : 46


Abstract : The recent war in Southwest Asia has once again raised the controversy over media coverage of military operations. Through an examination of seven significant military actions since 1980, including Operation Desert Storm and two hijackings, this research paper will focus on one aspect of military-media relations: Has the media endangered security and the safety of American forces by publicizing sensitive information? The following military actions were examined: The Marine Expedition to Lebanon 1982-84; Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada (1983); the interception of the Achille Lauro hijackers (1985); Operation El Dorado Canyon (1986 air attack on Tripoli, Libya); Operation Just Cause in Panama (1989); and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in and around the Persian Gulf (1990-91). Also included is a review of the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in Beirut, Lebanon. The review failed to identify any instance in which it could be unequivocally established that a member of the media deliberately disclosed sensitive information, knowing that it would or could endanger American lives. However, on a number of occasions, both the media and the U.S. Government should have exercised a greater degree of restraint and discretion. Several examples are provided of situations in which the media possessed sensitive information that it did not disclose. Finally, while continuing to subscribe to the public's right to know, more members of the media and their sources in government should recognize there is no mandate that the public must know everything or learn about it immediately.


Descriptors :   *MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES) , *MILITARY OPERATIONS , *MASS MEDIA , *INFORMATION SECURITY , *UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT , LEBANON , SENSITIVITY , RADIO BROADCASTING , PUBLIC RELATIONS , PANAMA , PERSIAN GULF WAR , AIRCRAFT HIJACKING , GRENADA , NEWSPAPERS , JUDGEMENT(PSYCHOLOGY) , CASE STUDIES , TELEVISION SYSTEMS , KUWAIT , IRAQ , LIBYA


Subject Categories : Information Science
      Government and Political Science
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
      Radio Communications


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE