Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by crabby, Feb 15, 2006.

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  1. Right, this isn't the usual rant about how journos are ruining the free world etc

    Some members of the site (including myself) often feel aggreieved at the treatment of the armed forces in the press, as well as a range of issues with some of their articles.

    However, I would like to suggest that some of this is "free speech", which should not normally be discouraged. A balanced argument is preferred, but people will read and take away from an article what they want to, you can't force something down their throat.

    Therefore, this thread can be dedicated to what good you think journalists and the media press have done, as in my mind there is no doubt that they do some good.

    Quite right a fuss was kicked up yesterday by the article by Martin Samuel (a sports columist by the way) in the Times, here he came across very anti-forces with a "naive" view on society, the public perception of the armed forces and the culture of "violence" that is apparently inherent in any army (you join the army to kill people, therefore army people are bad people). Yet today there were two articles in the Times which I believe helped put a perspective on these issues. One is written by a journalist that was in Al Amarah in January 2004 and the other is reasonably inciteful.,,172-2041183,00.html
    the second does not appear online for some reason, for those with a copy of the paper it is a leading article in letters to the editor, called "being framed"

    So basically is all the press against good, honest people, including the armed forces? What are your thoughts on what good they can do and how we may win some of them over to "our side"?
  2. "Being framed" did appear online. I made reference at o-silly o'clock this morning to NoTW and The Times not singing off the same hymn sheet. I believe it's in the Times thread?

  3. My apologies. However I can not find it anywhere on the Times website at the moment, I spent quite a while looking. If it has become unavailable even with a link from "The Times" thread then I will attempt to insert a copy here, all properly referenced of course...
  4. It's worth it Crabby , I imagine terse e-mails were exchanged between The Times and News of the Screws :D
  5. Right, for those that didn't buy The Times today, here is the article, it has been removed from the website unfortunately. This appears because the article refers to the al-Jazeera website which is NOT associated with the TV channel. Therefore take some of this article in context, with the al_Jazeera channel appearing to give a less radical view than this website. Here is the link to the apology (,,542-2042544,00.html )

    I will re-emphasise the misleading part of this article with regards to the al-Jazeera comments, there is an obvious and probably unintentional flaw in this article which detracts from it's overall worth.

    Other articles worth reading would be those of a columnist called Anatole Kaletsky who wrote two extremely interesting articles, one based mainly on the American religious right, then the second on their reaction to his article and the fundamental differences between their reaction and the reaction of extremist muslims to the cartoons etc (,,1061-2020738,00.html and,,1061-2031276,00.html )

    So, are journalists all bad? I think they can be inciteful, generate debate and contribute to society... responses?
  6. Oh TOM was wrong, very naughty and now TOM will be punished with the full force of UK Law and Blur will be only too happy to have the Guilty Barstwards Hung Drawn and Quartered in full view of the World.
    Have the ever so rightious Arab press yet tracked down the men who punished POWs from Gulf I and would they not have been happier if TOM had dragged them inside for a shellacking then their own Islamic Forces.
  7. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Very thoughtful piece in the current RLC Review by some bright young spark whose blushes I will spare here - Let's call him Lt Kris O'Malley.

    Piece entitled " Public Opinion and the Armed Forces" p17 - 20 ecopy can be obtained from the Review Editor at

    Good dit, worth a read in full.

    Lee Shaver
  8. Those who recall the disasterous performances by 'Major Blimp' type officers in NI during the early days will endorse ....members of today's Armed Forces are operating around the clock in a globally influenced media rich society. Never before has there been such a wealth and variety of information published on such a massive scale at such rapid speed. Every soldier regardless of rank must be educated,informed and prepared to deal with the media, and aware of the potential effects both short and long term. Commanders who fail to adequately prepare their soldiers for this are failing to manage a spiralling risk with complex and disastrous effects. Military leaders must consider the risk of Media transparency in every setting and continuously seek to develop positive solutions to working in partnership with the Media and the Govt of the day in order to satisfy evolving public opinion.
    One way or another, journos will follow their own agenda. It is the Army's task to be aware what this may be and to counter anything adverse with full honesty and openness.
  9. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    For those of you who appreciate a really good, bad, article - try this one, from the Guaruudiaian:,,1710836,00.html


    "The Basra video should lay to rest a scurrilous lie - The smug superiority of the British over their peacekeeping efforts in Iraq is an insult to those of us who live there."

    "...ever since the fall of Saddam Hussein's tyrannical regime, abuses and atrocities committed against Iraqi civilians have been a regular, at times daily, occurrence throughout the country, including in Basra. These have been committed by American, British and Iraqi official forces."

    "It saddens me that Britain has had a significant hand in every episode that has heaped misery on Iraqis

    It's only at the end that you notice: "Dr Jasem al-Aqrab is head of organisation for the Iraqi Islamic party in Basra"

    This is a leading Ex-Ba'athist organisation, purporting to be pro-Sunni, but mainly a ragtag of ex-Regime 'loyalists'. For more examples of their unbiased handiwork, try

    Oddly, the Guauaurddaain doesn't mention this chap's slightly biased outlook. As for their local support, I don't think that they did that well in the recent elections, especially not in the Basra area!

    It's articles like this that stir up hatred of UK forces, at Home more than abroad. I hope that The Guardian has the decency to apologise for this tripe tomorrow - but I very, very much doubt it. Now, who was it a couple of days ago on here saying that this was a decent, unbiased and fair 'paper?

  10. I am reminded here, of some quotes far too familiar to our predecessors.

    For almost 3 decades I analysed, evaluated, collated ( sometimes developed and processed) film and video taken in a wide range of operational contexts. Some of thse were taken for intelligence purposes, some for personal reasons and some for operational records.

    What never ceased to amaze me was the OPSEC violations that took place on camera. Some of thees come home to roost in books, burglaries of soldiers unoccupied houses, in the media and sometimes in the MUP office in Prijedor.

    Sadly, one day someone will be captured and then interrogated and the incident exploited, on the basis of the media recovered from their camera alone. This could be catastrophic in Geopolitical terms, but personally I am more concerned about the impact on that individual's comrades, and worse their immediate relatives and NOK.

    Used correctly, a camera can be as potent a weapon as any other on the 1198. Sometimes the camera's range, effect and duration will surpass that of any other weapon in the allied armoury; sadly, it is more frequently used to commit fratricide as opposed to attrition.

    During the 1960's highly refined policies and procedures for censorship in the field disappeared from British Military Doctrine. I am not advocating a return to that era.

    However. perhaps the time has come to review the carriage and use of cameras on sensitive training and operations. Since the Loughall photos did the rounds of Sussex Arts faculty, we must have accumulated enough lessons learned for quite a meaty Training Needs Analysis?

    .. as to "what good journalists have done".. They could help in future training, ( as clearly some would) to point out the pitfalls of negligent discharges with the camera.
  11. Well most of our bad publicity is down to our own troops stupidity, I wonder why they feel need to film this incidents and then pass them on to the press. I can understand one mistake by why in Gods name do they keep doing it, can it be they are really that daft. Now if you are a journalist and material like this falls into your hands then you can make a name for your self on just a couple of articles and get world wide coverage and bloody great pay rise, so why blame them.