Media blamed 'for Iraq attacks'

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#1
See this on BBC Website:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4083939.stm

About time too. There is no doubt in my tiny mind that the good General is correct. If, for example, there had not been the massive media outcry over Ken Bigley, then the poor woman who had been working there for 30 years would not have been kidnapped and proably murdered - terrorists thrive on publicity, and our verminous press give it to them in spades.
 
#3
i agree. when will someone see sense and ban the press from joyriding in the next excursion of Bliar/bush tours? they get in the way and think they have the god given right to put us at risk in the name of "freedom of speech" a right given to them by soldiers in the first place.

Rincewind
 
#4
Without media coverage, the kit shortages in Iraq last year would not have been exposed, nor would the abuses of MCP, pensions scandals, criticism of defence policy etc. Furthermore, the info on the BW's movements came from MoD. The media are an easy target, but the comments so far are unjustified. Not all journos are anti. What about John keegan? We have to remember the forces are not a private club which exists in isolation and out of the public view. The public pay our wages. Like it or lump it, it's an information society.Learn to live with it.
 
#5
"Claymore" wrote
Without media coverage, the kit shortages in Iraq last year would not have been exposed, nor would the abuses of MCP, pensions scandals, criticism of defence policy etc. Furthermore, the info on the BW's movements came from MoD. The media are an easy target, but the comments so far are unjustified. Not all journos are anti. What about John keegan? We have to remember the forces are not a private club which exists in isolation and out of the public view. The public pay our wages. Like it or lump it, it's an information society.Learn to live with it
Have we unearthed the PoD's nom-de-plume?
 
#6
[quote="OldRedCap Have we unearthed the PoD's nom-de-plume?[/quote]

ORC,
I seriously doubt I'd be on POD's Xmas card list, far less his choice of nom de plume. :lol:
 
#7
claymore said:
Without media coverage, the kit shortages in Iraq last year would not have been exposed, nor would the abuses of MCP, pensions scandals, criticism of defence policy etc. Furthermore, the info on the BW's movements came from MoD. The media are an easy target, but the comments so far are unjustified. Not all journos are anti. What about John keegan? We have to remember the forces are not a private club which exists in isolation and out of the public view. The public pay our wages. Like it or lump it, it's an information society.Learn to live with it.
Hear, hear. I don't like to disagree with Gen Walker who is an able, decent and intelligent officer; he did phrase his remarks in a rather roundabout way; however I believe it is wrong to blame the media. The enemy have often been clever in their targeting, and were always going to target the 'junior' partner in a multinational force. Classic doctrine.

As I argued previously, there would have been far less media and political speculation about the move of the Black Watch, had there not been genuine public disquiet (rightly or wrongly) about our allies' methods, and a widespread loss of trust in our own Government. Naturally Gen Walker couldnt say that.
 
#8
Friday, 10 December, 2004, 12:53 GMT
Journalists reject Iraq criticism

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has rejected accusations by a senior general that media reports prompted attacks on British troops.

A spokesman for the union said Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Michael Walker had "no right" to criticise coverage of the Black Watch mission.

Sir Michael had told BBC Two's Newsnight programme that media reports might have "enhanced" violence.

Five members of the 850-strong group were killed in mortar and bomb attacks.

"What the government ought to be doing is thanking journalists for keeping the public well-informed in the most difficult and dangerous circumstances," said NUJ spokesman Tim Gopsill.

Mr Gopsill, editor of The Journalist magazine, said that 62 international media workers had been killed in Iraq since the war broke out.

He also argued the military had a "considerable degree of control" over so-called "embedded" journalists.

The posting of the Black Watch was a major political issue," he said.

"It wasn't the press that whipped it up - it was debated in Parliament," he added.

"When generals turn around and start blaming reporters for their own mistakes, it is a sign they aren't doing their own jobs properly."

Sir Michael had told Newsnight that the initial attacks against the Black Watch had been "enhanced by a media picture that was being laid across a number of channels in all sorts of places."

The reports meant "there could well have been a response by those who wished us ill to go and meet us with something like a bomb", he said.

Most of the attacks on the Black Watch happened during the early stages of their redeployment from Basra to near the Iraqi capital, where they relieved US forces preparing for an attack on the city of Falluja.

They included roadside bombs as well as mortar and small arms attacks on their base at Camp Dogwood.

A 10 Downing Street spokeswoman said: "I think Gen Walker was just making the point that, for reasons of operational security, everybody should be careful about what we say about military developments.

"Obviously, any speculation about timing and movements can put people in danger."

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said Sir Michael's criticism was in no way aimed at embedded reporters.

"The problem was with speculation in the media here in the UK," she added.

She said there would be no change in the MoD's handling of the media, but editors would be urged to consider the difficulties reports could cause to troops on the ground.
source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4085297.stm
 

Unknown_Quantity

War Hero
Moderator
#9
From the BBC link...
"The contribution towards the initial attacks against the Black Watch was certainly enhanced by, if you like, a media picture that was being laid across a number of channels in all sorts of places,"
"I'm certain, too, that the media coverage would have made it easier for anybody who wanted to conduct those attacks to do so."

these seem like reasonable statements, not laying blame, but pointing to a contribution, no matter now unintended.

Then there's the anonymous spokesman...

"When generals turn around and start blaming reporters for their own mistakes, it is a sign they aren't doing their own jobs properly."
This makes me furious, a man who is not willing to be named is speaking about a job he clearly know's nothing about! The military may retain a control over embedded journalists, but not the papers back home. These papers then take the fact given via the embedded journalists and produce countless editorials and articles elaborating or predicting what may happen. It is these that do the damage to OPSEC, not the embedded journalists who have a very good reason not to compromise OPSEC - they're in the middle of it!

This man, and I use the word in it's broadest possible terms, clearly has either no respect for the lives of men out in Iraq, or has no idea how information released affects the rest of the world. :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

I did that all without swearing... How?
 
#10
Unknown_Quantity said:
Then there's the anonymous spokesman...
"When generals turn around and start blaming reporters for their own mistakes, it is a sign they aren't doing their own jobs properly."
Hardly anonymous. He is named earlier in the piece as Tim Gopsill. Here's his contact details:

TIM GOPSILL
Email journalist@nuj.org.uk

I agree with much of what you say. The slant given to reports by embedded reporters is very much in the hands of editors. Are we also to thank the press for keeping us informed of 'difficult and dangerous' situations such as some Pte getting her norks out, officers shagging around and so on?
 

Unknown_Quantity

War Hero
Moderator
#11
VB,
oops, good point well made. I'm still furious, but will reconsider the reasons then send an email. Cheers for that. :oops:
 
#12
I'm going to be a bit controversial here ... I feel these remarks just underline the fact that our information warfare campaign is complete arrse.

This conflict will be won or lost inside people's minds, not by campaigns or battles. The press are quite predictable animals, you may disagree with their ethics and methods but if you are surprised by them you have not been paying attention. So if you embed them in a unit they will report what they see and their editors will slant it if a suitably newsworthy story comes along.

So, if CDS displays a lack of appreciation of the situation by complaining that the press acted like, well, the press and compounds this by saying some things that don't help us achieve the mission then what chance have the rest of us got ?
 

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