The Vietnam War was a two-part war, the one the U.S was fighting in the fields and the war the media was fighting as well. But, what could have happened if the Vietnam War was fought under the same censorship and stipulation that the Gulf War was? "What if?" This is a question that many ask when it comes to the media’s coverage during the Vietnam War. What if the media were NOT granted absolute freedom? What if there was some means of regulation for the press during Vietnam, would that have made a difference? The big difference between the two wars is Vietnam contained no press censorship, where during the Gulf War the media had 12 rules they had to follow regarding all news coverage. These 12 rules stated; The following should not be reported because its publication or broadcast could jeopardize operations and endanger lives:
1.For U.S. or coalition units, specific numerical information on troop strength, aircraft, weapons, systems, on-hand equipment, or supplies (e.g., artillery, tanks, radar’s, missiles, trucks, water), including amounts of ammunition or fuel moved by or on hand in support of combat units. Unit size may be described in general terms such as ‘company size,’ ‘multibattalion,’ ‘multidivision,’ ‘naval task force,’ and ‘carrier battle group.’ Number or amount of equipment and supplies may be described in general terms such as ‘large,’ ‘small,’ ‘many.’
2.Any information that reveals details of future plans, operations, or strikes including postponed or cancelled operations.
3.Information, photography, and imagery that would reveal the specific location of military forces or show the level of security at military installations or encampments. Locations may be described as follows: all Navy embark stories can identify the ship upon which embarked as a dateline and will state that the report is coming from the ‘Persian Gulf,’ ‘Red Sea,’ or ‘North Arabian Sea.’ Stories written in Saudi Arabia may be datelined ‘Eastern Saudi Arabia,’ ‘Near Kuwaiti border,’ etc. For specific countries outside Saudi Arabia, stories will state that the report is coming from the Persian Gulf region unless that country has acknowledged its participation.
4.Rules of engagement details.
5.Information on intelligence collection activities, including targets, methods, and results. 6.During an operation, specific information on friendly troop movements, tactical deployments, and depositions...