Help: Media Ops/Handling- Falklands 82

#1
Hello,
I'm trying to help a friend (Retired Navy Capt.) with his PhD dissertation on Social Communication Studies (he's writing about Media and the War). He'd like to know whether the UK had a pre established pamphlet/manual for Media Ops/Journo's Handling in 1982, if that manual took the American Experience in Vietnam into account and, furthermore, if such manual/publication was implemented/adopted/whatever by NATO after the conflict.
We are looking for official or academic material on the matter or, if anything else fails, some reaearch leads derived from first hand knowledge. Any official reprts that deal with the issue are welcome as well. He'll try to contac the Brit liasion officers over here, but I suggested ARRSE to him, since chances are that somebody in here has worked on the matter.
I'd really like to help this friend, he's been a mentor on my naval career, and I reallly have to respect the fact that, wit several undergrad degrees and a master's under his belt, still wants to complete his doctoral dissertation (he's 76 yrs. old).
If anyone could offer any help, they would be credited in the thesis (if so they wish)
Cheers and thanks in advance
DS
PS: This is not a fishing trip, I can give details of the thesis, the student an the thesis director (as well as the Uni) by PM
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
DownSouth,

I thoroughly recommend a few books that would provide excellent background information. Further, their chapters on the Falklands conflict could help point your friend in the right direction for additional research.

"War Report" by Trevor Royale deals with the subject of war correspondents as a whole and so is heavy on the Crimea and WW2. However because it was written in 1987, the South Atlantic campaign was fresh in mind and gets detailed attention.

Valerie Adams published a study called "The Media & The Falklands" about the same time, as was the report by House of Commons Defence Committee titled, "Handling Of Press & Public Information During The Falklands Conflict".

All in all it would seem that the British press (for only UK media were allowed with the British Military Task Force) had a generallly frustrating time trying to do their job. A lot seemed to depend on which unit a journalist was attached to:
War Report said:
One of the more depressing lessons learned from the Falklands War was that very little had changed in the relationship between the war correspondents and the armed forces. As happened in just about every earlier campaign, a modus operandihad to be established as the war progressed. Generallly speaking, the military units, with the British Army's experience of Northern Ireland, were more open in their dealings with the war correspondents while the Royal Navy remained fairly obdurate throughout the conflict. Added to the the Ministry of Defence's inconsistencies and discrepancies in providing accurate information it made the reporting of the war a tetchy and difficult business, resented by both sides of the relationship.
Another excellent in pretty much the same vein is Phillip Knightley's, "The First Casualty- From the Crimea to the Falklands: The War Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist and Myth Maker"
The British MOD started with one major advantage: it and only it controlled access to the war zone. The very nature of the campaign - a seaborne task forcesailing to invade a group of islands 8,000 miles from Britain and 400 miles from the nearest land mass - meant that correspondents could not get to the war unless the MoD took them. In return for access to the action the correspondents had to acceppt the ground rules. these were crippling.

... The seventeen correspondents who were eventually accredited had to sign forms agreeing to accept censorship at source by the six MoD "public relations officers:. There was no way around this because as well as controlling access, the MoD also controlled the means of communication. And to give the correspondents an idea of their duties, they were all issued an MoD booklet telling them that they would be expected to "help in leading and steadying public opinionin times of national stress or crisis".
I believe this last sentance (my bold) answers one of questions, at least partially.
 
#3
RP578 said:
DownSouth,

I thoroughly recommend a few books that would provide excellent background information. Further, their chapters on the Falklands conflict could help point your friend in the right direction for additional research.

"War Report" by Trevor Royale deals with the subject of war correspondents as a whole and so is heavy on the Crimea and WW2. However because it was written in 1987, the South Atlantic campaign was fresh in mind and gets detailed attention.

Valerie Adams published a study called "The Media & The Falklands" about the same time, as was the report by House of Commons Defence Committee titled, "Handling Of Press & Public Information During The Falklands Conflict".

All in all it would seem that the British press (for only UK media were allowed with the British Military Task Force) had a generallly frustrating time trying to do their job. A lot seemed to depend on which unit a journalist was attached to:
War Report said:
One of the more depressing lessons learned from the Falklands War was that very little had changed in the relationship between the war correspondents and the armed forces. As happened in just about every earlier campaign, a modus operandihad to be established as the war progressed. Generallly speaking, the military units, with the British Army's experience of Northern Ireland, were more open in their dealings with the war correspondents while the Royal Navy remained fairly obdurate throughout the conflict. Added to the the Ministry of Defence's inconsistencies and discrepancies in providing accurate information it made the reporting of the war a tetchy and difficult business, resented by both sides of the relationship.
Another excellent in pretty much the same vein is Phillip Knightley's, "The First Casualty- From the Crimea to the Falklands: The War Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist and Myth Maker"
The British MOD started with one major advantage: it and only it controlled access to the war zone. The very nature of the campaign - a seaborne task forcesailing to invade a group of islands 8,000 miles from Britain and 400 miles from the nearest land mass - meant that correspondents could not get to the war unless the MoD took them. In return for access to the action the correspondents had to acceppt the ground rules. these were crippling.

... The seventeen correspondents who were eventually accredited had to sign forms agreeing to accept censorship at source by the six MoD "public relations officers:. There was no way around this because as well as controlling access, the MoD also controlled the means of communication. And to give the correspondents an idea of their duties, they were all issued an MoD booklet telling them that they would be expected to "help in leading and steadying public opinionin times of national stress or crisis".
I believe this last sentance (my bold) answers one of questions, at least partially.
thanks!
any chance of getting a copy of the booklet?
Cheers
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Your best bet is the Imperial War Museum. Failing there try to contact one of the journalists or newspapers. Max Hastings, who covered the war for the then London Standard, wrote about the experience in an autobiography (Going to the wars) and he might prove a good contact. The BBC and ITN may also have archived documents for you. Good luck!
 
#5
Thanks so much... I have just talked to my friend, he'll buy you a pint (or several) if you are ever over here
Cheers
DS
 
#6
Hi DownSouth

I know this is an old post but I am hoping that this message will still get to you. I am writing to ask for your assistance. I am a former Royal Marine now studying at university. I am currently writing my dissertation and it seems my question is almost identical the one your friend wrote for his PhD thesis. I was wondering if he ever managed to find an MOD pamphlet that took into account Vietnam that made suggestions how the media should be handled in any conflict following. Also whether NATO implemented any lessons learnt from the Falklands in following conflicts. Any help or pointers you could give me would be most appreciated.

Many thanks.
 
#7
Hi DownSouth

I know this is an old post but I am hoping that this message will still get to you. I am writing to ask for your assistance. I am a former Royal Marine now studying at university. I am currently writing my dissertation and it seems my question is almost identical the one your friend wrote for his PhD thesis. I was wondering if he ever managed to find an MOD pamphlet that took into account Vietnam that made suggestions how the media should be handled in any conflict following. Also whether NATO implemented any lessons learnt from the Falklands in following conflicts. Any help or pointers you could give me would be most appreciated.

Many thanks.
Hello
I'll try to get a copy of the dissertation and "fish" for the info you're looking for. I can also give you some background info on the Argie side of things, for comparison. Fell free to contact me via PM. Cheers
DS
 

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