Gulf War 1991

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Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm
When Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2nd 1990 it forever changed the way media covered conflicts and wars on the front lines. Over the course of four months, the circus played out on worldwide television. The conflict turned CNN from a fledgling cable network into the source of all information – in real-time. During the Vietnam War, the media was allowed to go wherever and whenever it wanted to but it was always a few days late with the real story. During Desert Shield, everything was captured live before the deadline of January 15, 1991. After that date, it was a different story, but the point is this conflict was going to be televised. (Johnson) This War became known as the “Video Game War.”

In 2003, nearly 600 journalists working for news agencies from around the world traveled alongside U.S. and coalition forces as they invaded Iraq. The Pentagon’s embedded journalists program allowed reporters for the first time to attach themselves to military units. While Bush Administration officials hailed it for its intimate access to soldiers’ lives, media watchdogs criticized its often restrictive nature and publicly worried reporters would do little more than serve up rosy stories about soldiers’ courage and homesickness. (Lindner)

Today the freedom and access to military units the media has in coverage is a far cry from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Instead of having to cover events via organized pools and formal briefings, or being restricted in their travel movements and being subject to their copy of formal security review (Tumber Howard) the media can provide coverage in real time unprecedented 20 years ago.

Johnson, R.T. The History Rat. 21 November 2010. 15 09 2012. Lindner, Andrew M. "Controlling the Media in Iraq." Contexts, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 32–38. ISSN 1536-5042, electronic ISSN 1537-6052. © 2008 American Sociological Association (2008): 32-38. Tumber Howard, Palmer Jerry. Media at...
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