War Reporters

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by mazoldboy, Aug 2, 2006.

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  1. Hello

    Quick posting on behalf of online magazine The First Post www.thefirstpost.co.uk

    We've posted a few items here before that have provoked some discussion

    Today, we're running an article on embedded war correspondents

    Any thoughts on the role of correspondents from men in the field?

    And any stories about particular journos you'd care to share?
  2. journos no thanks.
  3. Sorry - the military and the "fourth estate" don't tend to have a good relationship.
  4. You come .. tell lies or not the whole truth or slant the story to your editors/owners political leanings.... then have the gaul to take a campaign medal when offered (See Falklands, Gulf War 1 & 2) .

    Go away journo do something useful with your life.
  5. And now we've got the Journo bashing out of the way , any comments on the role of journalists on today's battlefield?
  6. I realise that relations between the press and the military have not always been rosy

    Im after some fair and balanced replies to the article

    And with your permission I'll submit them as letters to run next week, crediting the ARRSE board

    But Im not a journo, I don't have an angle on this

    Literally I am just after any thoughts you may have, although the silence speaks volumes...!
  7. Feckin' Louis Lane! Journalists are generally scum buckets PTP and deserve a good verbal thrashing on ARRSE, lions to the slaughter. Sorry journo, I've no interest in you or your toss thread. I hope your next sh1t is a hedgehog.
  8. coming off R&R flight in basra christmas eve 03 met a drunk journo wanting
    to record xmas greetings from the troops :roll: .At the xmas meal paras started a food fight and forced the camera crew to withdraw . :D .
    Sometimes a bit of a laugh but essentialy pointless.Though media ops was great for runs to kuwait
  9. Thinking of recent incidents, it appears that certain journalists expect to be able to mince around the battlefield with impunity, crossing the lines at will. They then act extremely surprised and outraged when they get shot at or shelled by either side. I'm thinking in particular of the current Lebanese fracas. In these cases, they also seem to have no compunction in filming what appeared to be extremely well stage-managed "incidents" (Google "Green helmet man", or "paliwood") without any comments that either restrictions were placed on their reporting or that activity only started once the cameras were in place.
  10. Over the last few days, many journalists have commented on the shortage of body armour in 2003, following up on the enquiry surrounding the death of Sgt Steve Roberts. Many have commented that Messr's Blair and Hoon should be answerable for the political decisions that led to these shortages.

    As these shortages were more than obvious at the time, maybe a journalist would like to comment on why these issues were not covered at the time?

    ...and in relation to pure war reporting, perhaps one of our visiting journalists would comment on what actions should be taken against media organisations and their' staff when their' reporting methods cause loss of life or injury to our armed forces?

    Lastly, the publication on The Sun's website requesting information from people who knew Cpl Mathew Cornish, the LI soldier killed in Basrah is sickening.

    To treat the death of a British soldier like the two dimensional celebrity coverage that our' media engages in is insulting - doesn't the PCC code have guidelines in place? Or, as I suspect is this "publish and be damned?"
  11. Scum - end of
  12. The reporting of Audrey Gillan of the Grauniad (Op Telic) and Christina Lamb of the Sunday Times (Op Herrick), has contrasted sharply with the pisspoor output of many journalists.

    Anyone who has served can identify with what they wrote about, whether it was the privations (and humour) of life in the field, or the reality of being under fire.

    On the other hand, there is The Sun. Though it claims to be 'The Paper That Supports Our Boys', it regularly prints sensationalised and salacious stories (but mostly non-stories) about service personnel which seem designed to damage the reputation of the forces.

    Puff-pieces about The Sun have recently appeared in both Soldier magazine and Focus (MOD's in-house paper). It is strange that MOD seems so keen to promote The Sun in this way, given that it regularly offers money to service personnel for stories, and stranger still that no action seems to be taken against those who speak to The Sun without MOD permission, contrary to QRs. Still, Sun editor and gwa Rebekah Wade is one of Tony Bliar's cronies, and so can probably act with impunity.

    One journalist I'd like to see embedded (in concrete), is Tom Newton-Dung, the risible Defence Editor of The Sun.
  13. untallguy

    untallguy Old-Salt Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I will be honest - I dislike the media in general. I have come into contact with them through work in the UK and on ops and am related, by marriage, to a journalist (we don't talk much about work!).

    There are some journalists who I feel are honest, capable and have the capability to think about the ramifications of their stories - Max Hastings and John Simpson spring to mind. They know their job and have a good background knowledge of the subject areas about which they report. I may disagree with them but I can respect their opinions and views expressed in their articles/reports.

    However, the majority, IMHO, are interested in one thing - getting their story out with their name under the headline/face in front of the camera.

    Their failure to cross-check stories frequently leads to inaccuracies, their desire for the 'impact' (especially in visual media) of a video clip/photo often leads to misinterpretation and their lack of knowledge about their subject is embaressing (be it the Armed Forces, local customs and norms, geography, history etc).

    Add to this the belief that they have a God-given right to go anywhere on a battlefield and then complain that their Press badges don't stop bullets and my opinions sink even lower. I can respect courage and desire to get the story (it is their job after all) but I can't respect a distinct lack of common sense.

    A friend of mine does tell a good story about a certain UK TV journalist (ex-BBC) who refused to be an embed on TELIC 1 and then was most surprised when a British Army unit refused to provide her and her crew with water, rations, NBC kit, an escort, fuel and the like when she turned up unexpectedly at their site. Her threat of "I'll do a bad story on you" was met with a Wellingtonian "Broadcast and be damned" from the CO. No bad story went out.

    All this said, I do feel that the article in First Post shows why journalistic integrity will fall even further in the future. If it's deemed too dangerous for journalists to go to the battlefield (such as it in an asymmetric conflict), they will sit in the hotel and rely on footage/stories brought to them - be it by the military or local sources - neither of which can be said to be impartial. This will lead to greater inaccuracy, more bias/spin and a greater subsequent effect, for good or bad on public opinion, troops' morale, political action etc etc.
  14. There was a documentary on Channel 4 presented by Jon Snow recently (it was commented upon in the archives here) which highlighted this point in an Iraq context; information only comes from either 'official' (read sanitised) sources, or from indigenous reporters without the necessary skills to investigate a story thoroughly or present information objectively.
    However, the truth will always become a slanted story as portrayed by whoever chooses to air/print it.

    *edit for spelling*
  15. Have to agree - some of them get it right. Lets not tar them all with the same brush as Sun reporters - there are some proper journalists out there.