Media and military relationship problems

The Dysfunctional Relationship Between The Military And The Media - CBS News

media and military relationship problems

THE world over, the media and the military have never had an easy relationship. In Pakistan's case the issue is more than usually complicated. Abstract of. THE MILITARY AND THE MEDIA: PROBLEMS, POLICY, AND OPERATIONAL ISSUES. The relationship between the U.S. military establishment and. evolution of military media relations through various conflicts over the last years. paper will look into historical issues, current problems and what are the .

While the concept of embedded journalism is generally considered a black chapter in the history of the military-press relationship, it has firm foundations — though in a different vein — in Pakistan. Selected groups of journalists are taken to the militancy-hit areas where they work in a controlled environment.

media and military relationship problems

Journalists too have been ready to avail themselves of the offer. As one Peshawar-based journalist working for a large television channel put it: This can cast a pall over the entire exercise. Last year, the ISPR took a group of journalists to South Waziristan to brief them about development projects undertaken in the conflict-hit areas.

Unexpectedly, one of the district correspondents expressed doubt over such claims. This led the accompanying official to rush towards the reporter, saying: Free media access to the conflict zone is globally considered a threat to national security. This misperception has led militaries to cobble journalists and soldiers together but conflicting interests have always kept this relationship in a flux.


The more journalists show their readiness to compromise their independence, the more they are expected to retreat from professionalism.

The end-product is always a bitter experience. Given all this, the uneasy media-military relationship is not going to deliver despite growing ties between journalists and militaries everywhere. Historically, militaries have successfully kept a lid on information.

The Dysfunctional Relationship Between The Military And The Media

But things have changed now and thanks to technological advances time and space barriers have been breached. The embarrassing announcement comes after other instances in which the military has come under fire for misleading or withholding information from the press and public, most notably in the cases of the rescue of Jessica Lynch and allegations of prisoner abuse in AfghanistanIraqand Guantanamo Bay.

I spoke to reporters and military analysts about what kind of impact these revelations have had on the relationship between the military and the press, and how each party views the other.

media and military relationship problems

There is a strongly held perception in the military — particularly the Army — that the media is doing the enemy's work. You guys are seen as the Jane Fondas of the Iraq war.


And so the military attitude is, 'why should we level with you, because you're going to screw us. Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that "the steady stream of errors [by the media] all seem to be of a nature to inflame the situation and to give heart to the terrorists and to discourage those who hope for success in Iraq. But today, he argues, "both the military and the media have unrealistic expectations of each other," as they have for the past 40 years.

When the military is dealing with a problem, it has to go through the chain of command, there are reviews — it's a very laborious process. But critics argue that the press has given military officials reason to be particularly distrustful of them by portraying the situation in Iraq as worse than it is. One reporter who covers the military, and who did not want to go on the record, told me that the military was unforthcoming before anyone could argue the press gave them a reason to be, however.