Advantages and Hazards of Embedding Media Elements with Forward Deploying Units

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Advantages and Hazards of Embedding Media Elements with Forward Deploying Units

Colorado Springs, Colorado
September, 2012

Abstract

War has evolved, as has the media and society’s demand for its updates. Operational security continues to remain a top combat priority however; we must not ignore the first amendment rights of the press. Our government exists for its people, and when we mobilize our military assets it is on the behalf of the people we need to ensure they are informed. Thus, we must analyze and balance the hazards and advantages of the media’s involvement with ongoing military operations.

Commanders Brief:

Advantages and Hazards of Embedding Media Elements with Forward Deploying Units

As we prepare for an impending military mobilization, we must decide the level to which the media will be embedded and have access to military updates. Members of the media desire to be able to send near real time reports and updates as the battle unfolds. Concurrently, unit commanders want to insure that operational security (OPSEC) is not compromised as a result.

Advantages of Media Inclusion

The modern American is a creature dependent on immediate gratification in everything they do. Receiving news updates on operations that their military is conducting is no different. Several public opinion polls suggest that, by and large, the public was well satisfied with wartime coverage during the initial invasion of Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom (Kim, 2004). This was thanks to, in part, by the unprecedented access granted to reporters on the battlefield, as well as advances in communication technologies. It was particularly helpful from the perspective of the United States Government (USG) as it helped ensure that the information relayed to the public was credible rather than propaganda from the enemy. Additionally, as the USG maintains a civilian controlled military, more transparency can garner more support and less...
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