The News Media: Keeping the Public Informed or Intelligence for the Enemy
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
Pagination or Media Count:
The military and the news media have competing objectives when it comes to access to, and reporting of, information during times of military conflict. The operational commander has his sights set on mission accomplishment and preservation of U.S. lives. On the other hand, the media has its eyes set on public awareness and the next big story. The collision of these competing objectives illuminates a fine line between operational security OPSEC of military operations and the publics right to know. The military understands the importance of the media as a link to the American people and public support. Public support is paramount to government and military success. As such, the military allows media access to military operations. Historical case studies of U.S. military conflict illustrate varying degrees of media access and their impact on operational security. The modern media environment powered by globalization, multinationalism, engaging reporting techniques, and technology also affects OPSEC. A combination of the medias historic performance, and the current media environment, causes modern media coverage of military conflict to be a risk to operational security. The operational commander must mitigate this OPSEC risk by educating the media, educating the troops, matching reporters to assignments, and ensuring media accountability.
- Military Intelligence