Press Pools and Newspaper Coverage of the Gulf War: Attitudes of Newspaper Editors
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
Pagination or Media Count:
Press pools have been the principal means of coverage of front-line U.S. military operations since 1983, and have been strongly criticized. A review of Gulf War literature revealed problems in three categories. Attitudinal problems were rooted in a lack of trust between the military and media. Logistical problems were categorized as copy transmission and access difficulties. Operational problems were characterized as problems with press escorts and copy review delays. Study used a self-administered mail survey of managing editors MEs at the 200 largest daily circulation U.S. newspapers. Response n58 was low. A majority of MEs found Gulf War coverage credible, but respondents indicated strong dissatisfaction with the pool system. MEs were willing to accept brief delays in coverage. MEs with prior military service were more concerned with troop safety than non-service MEs. A quartile design stratified respondents on the basis of circulation into blocks of 50 e.g., the 1st largest circulation to the 50th, etc. Respondents in the last quartile were contrasted with their larger counterparts MEs at the smallest newspapers were more inclined to delay publication of troop movement stories to resolve sensitive details. These MEs were more tolerant of press escorts and Joint Information Bureau JIB personnel.
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