Role of the u s press in regional conflicts
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Role of the U.S. press in regional conflicts. “It is a mark of a democracy that its press is filled with bad news. When one comes to a country where the press is filled with good news, one can be pretty sure that the jails are filled with good men.”Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Impact Proximity

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Role of the U.S. press in regional conflicts

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Role of the u s press in regional conflicts

Role of the U.S. press in regional conflicts

“It is a mark of a democracy that its press is filled with bad news. When one comes to a country where the press is filled with good news, one can be pretty sure that the jails are filled with good men.”Daniel Patrick Moynihan


News values selection in the u s

Impact

Proximity

Well known persons

Human Interest

Unusual event

Independence

Competition

Audience interest

Newshole

Staffing

News values selection in the U.S.


Freedom to gather news

Freedom to gather news

  • News flow in open societies

  • Highly developed media systems

  • Equipment

  • News? Or

  • Propaganda


Role of the u s press in regional conflicts

  • Associated Press---8,500 foreign subscribers in 112 countries

    • 480 foreign correspondents, 71 bureaus, “stringers”

  • Location of bureaus

  • Cost of broadcasting from abroad

  • Equipment

    • Satellite time, phones, cameras, video


Big international stories

Big international stories

  • Iranian hostage crisis ‘81

  • Beirut war in Lebanon 80’s

  • Arab-Israeli conflicts

  • Airplane hijack stories

  • Pan Am jet bombing

  • Tiananmen Square demonstrations

  • 90-91 Gulf War


International stories

International stories

  • ‘89 Berlin Wall

  • ‘91 Soviet Union

  • ‘91 Rodney King

  • ‘94-95 OJ Simpson

  • Swiss Airliner Crash ‘96

  • ‘97 Princess Di

  • ‘98 Clinton-Lewinski Scandal

  • ‘99 Kosovo


Trends

Trends

  • Tabloidization and entertainment

  • Budget cutting at network level

  • Neglect of foreign news

  • Headline service concentrates on “crisis reporting”

  • “coups and earthquakes” syndrome

  • Americans uninformed on world events


Difficulty in gaining access spies or propagandists

Difficulty in Gaining Access:Spies or Propagandists?

  • Iran-Iraq War

  • South Africa--’85--ousted the press

  • Lebanon--T. Anderson kidnapped ‘84-’91

  • Algeria--49 killed--’93-’95

  • Croatia, Bosnia--50 journ. killed-’91-’94

  • Chechyna


Issues re u s international coverage

Issues re: U.S. international coverage

  • Too few bureaus and journalists in the right locations

  • Denial of visas, censorship, lack of access, harassment of reporters

  • Limitations and subjectivity of news reported for people far away

  • Sensitivity about negative coverage


Role of the u s press in regional conflicts

  • Ethnocentrism and racism

  • Proximity and American lives make a story for U.S. audiences

  • Reflection of our national concerns--our foreign policy

  • Emphasis on change--”the journalism of exception”


Background of restrictions

Background of restrictions

  • Vietnam War-Press-military relations

  • Press had free rein in Vietnam

  • Military felt press contributed to defeat

  • Press felt that military lied, misled press

  • Falklands War provided new model

  • Grenada controls followed; press blamed White House for restrictions


Reporting today s wars

Reporting today’s wars

  • Persian Gulf War--42 days

  • CNN turned world into global community--world wide media event

  • “a real-time” war--”CNN effect”

  • CNN viewed in Baghdad, Riyadh, D.C

  • Combatants tried to control and manipulate the media


Media manipulation during gulf war

Military briefings

“Pools” of reporters

Military escorts

Military controlled news flow

e.g. ‘smart bombs’

Rumors, speculation

Huge audiences

Public opinion supported the war

Support for military censorship

“not another Vietnam”

Media manipulation during Gulf War


Lessons for the press

Lessons for the press

  • Gov’ts at war will try to control & manipulate news

  • Report called mil. restrictions “censorship”

  • Somalia ‘92

  • Haiti ‘94


Supreme court rulings

Supreme Court rulings

  • First Amendment right to inform

  • The right to be at “public events”

  • Duty to prevent gov’t from “deceiving people & sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.”


Cpj postmortem 1998

CPJ Postmortem 1998

  • 25 journalists murdered in line of duty

  • 118 journalists in prison for their work

  • Onerous new press laws

  • Explosion of violence against journalists in Sierra Leone, Congo and Colombia

  • 472 killed in past 10 years

  • World press freedom day May 3


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