Accession Number:



The Media Factor: An Essential Ingredient to Operational Success.

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.,

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Media is as important a factor in military operations as fire and maneuver. Without the commander utilizing his operational art and leadership to plan for, manage and employ this factor, he may never realize total success of an operation. The report starts with a historical review of media relations from the Revolutionary War to the Haiti operation. The review demonstrates the evolution of the militarys attitude toward the media, from the recommendations of the Sidle commission following the Grenada operation to the development of the DOD Principles for News Media Coverage of DOD Operations published after the Gulf War. The relationship of the media and the operational commander is discussed, particularly how the media has an affect on the principles of war and the necessity for media planning to be integrated with operational planning. General Boomer, USMC, General Zinni, USMC and General Peay, USA are presented as examples of commanders who successfully understood the media and developed a trust due to open communication with the media. The possible advantageous use of the media as a tool on the battlefield is another option that the commander must consider during the planning. Finally, a consolidated list of recommendations that have been eluded to throughout the paper are presented. Understanding the role and purpose of the media, keeping the media informed, ensuring access to the commander by the media, and planning and training for media relations are the recommendations. They are intended to facilitate the commander in implementing his operational art with respect to the media factor that is present in all operations.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement: