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Nov 21, 2022 | 05:15 am 777 0

US military journalism

US military journalism

Many interesting professions allow people to realize themselves and discover something fundamentally new and practical. Everyone chooses his path, which he will follow according to his interests and beliefs.

The most common professions in the world are teachers, lawyers, and programmers. Why such a choice of career? First, they are client-oriented and aim to clarify human needs and directly provide relevant services. Secondly, there is much less need to actively search for employment, since there are currently many schools, law firms or IT companies, which allows you to focus more on the quality of work than on staying in your place. In addition, such professions as, for example, lawyer, prosecutor, and judge are considered quite prestigious, and many parents at one time were interested in having their children engage in this type of activity. All this is related to jurisprudence, and therefore more and more people today are on the path of its study.

When choosing a profession, one should be guided by one's desire and flair, which is inherent to each person to a different extent. Treating people is a pleasure for someone because the person ideally knows human anatomy and is not afraid to perform various operations or other manipulations with the body. It is easy for someone to write long texts full of cognitive information because he dreams of becoming a writer early. Someone wanted to become an astronaut since childhood and realized his wish. All limits are only in our subconscious; everyone can achieve a goal if they try harder at a particular moment.

Certain branches of industry and the scientific sphere of activity require qualified personnel ready to work to meet the state's strategic goals. They are, in particular, scientists dealing with issues of technological production and implementing the latest changes in various aspects of social life. Thus, their priority is to enrich the state's potential and make it competitive in the world market. The fuel and energy industry is also essential, covering the energy needs of billions of people, ensuring the functioning of various vehicles, etc. These professions require the mandatory involvement of the population to effectively implement the tasks set by the state and fulfill the prescribed plans.

Another profession, which is not so often mentioned but is also quite essential and has its purpose, is journalism. The first thing that comes to mind when studying the duties of a journalist is the simple writing of texts, which the editorial office requests, etc. However, in reality, this profession is multifaceted and affects many people. Imagine: you are a busy person, you work constantly and do not have time to rest, but you want to stay informed about all the current events in the world. Of course, you will read the morning newspaper over a cup of coffee or browse the news on the Internet. Have you ever wondered whom all these people are constantly writing about everything in the world? When do they manage to do it, and what is their work schedule? These people are journalists. Millions of readers form their opinions based on what they read, so journalists must present the material not only entirely truthfully but also in the most accessible way to meet the needs of the public. Sounds hard. Now imagine what it's like to work as a military journalist, whose task is to write an article and convey information to the population from a specific ministry as accurately as possible while not revealing state secrets in some cases. This exciting profession and the history of its formation will be discussed further.

The history of US military journalism

At the beginning of its functioning, the press did not have such leading positions as it has now and was subject to strict censorship. If any publishing house published something the government thought was forbidden, it was immediately closed, and the printed editions were destroyed. The main task of the editors was to let the world know only that information that was beneficial to the state and its military sphere in particular. Yes, former US President George Washington was angry when journalists wrote about things they did not know well and thus undermined his activities to establish friendly relations with England. This is just one example of unsuccessful cooperation between the press and the state. And there are many of them.

At the beginning of the 19th century, another war was going on, which became another reason for writing articles on this topic. However, finding a good information resource that would correspond to reality at that time was pretty challenging. That is why the problem of inaccurate transmission of what is happening arose again. After another victory of the Americans in a military battle, many editors again began to publish articles from their own publishing houses on military topics. This was categorically not to the liking of General Jackson, who believed that before the publication of certain information related to military events, he should have censored it. Despite his order, the editor of one of the newspapers still published another newspaper on the same topic. Jackson filed a lawsuit but did not win the case because the judge ultimately acquitted the defendant. Jackson's trial ended rather quickly at the same time as the end of hostilities. During this period, war journalism was born because some eyewitnesses of the events that took place then on the battlefield described everything in their letters to relatives and friends with a request to publish this news in newspapers. Of course, such letters reached the addressees late, but this was the very beginning of the active and productive activity of journalists in this field.

During the ensuing battles, journalists knew the strategy for getting the latest news. At that time, new newspapers and publications were already being actively created, constantly competing for the most exciting material they could cover. One such publisher - Kendall - was always on the front lines and transmitted all the information he received through communication channels, enabling his employees to describe an event to ordinary people as quickly as possible. Such newspapers from the place of events were called camping newspapers because the information came directly from the soldiers who participated in military operations. This type of newspaper became the first in war journalism and filled every store shelf. It was essentially the only source of information about the war for the US public.

The problem with the population receiving news after a certain period after the events, and not immediately after their occurrence, or even in real-time, continued for quite a long time. And it was only during the civil war that it was eliminated because it was possible to directly transmit everything that was happening by displaying it on paper and publishing it during the day. Of course, the government didn't like it very much because the employees of the state apparatus associated this possibility of spreading the news with military danger. Therefore, there was further suppression of the case of describing such information, which did not stand in the way of zealous editors.

Indeed, in the second half of the 19th century, newspaper publishers began to cross the line and publish such information that started to threaten the security of the United States. Any orders of the leadership and other facts related to military security were transmitted with great speed to all willing readers. Undoubtedly, this contributed to the intensification of the government's censorship activities and increased control over the actions of journalists. In addition, the authorities have promised to subject them to a military tribunal if they do not stop their subversive activities. Newspapers mostly ignored these demands and continued their informative activities. However, one newspaper cooperated with the government and became the official information transmission channel directly from the authorities to ordinary citizens. It's about the Associated Press. Its employees did not cover information from such an extreme angle, as was previously familiar among other publishing houses, and as a result, their activities were fully permitted. In the future, journalists increasingly worked with materials related to war and hostilities on the territory of the United States or at points where the United States was directly involved. Fewer than half of these journalists were themselves soldiers and reported firsthand.

The situation changed radically during the First World War. This war covered several countries at once, and accordingly, it was necessary to strengthen control over the security of the entire population and the country's strategic potential in particular. First of all, a special law on espionage was issued, which prohibited the publication of any information about the course of military events and movements by the United States under the threat of criminal liability. The press was banned. It was also forbidden to criticize certain decisions of the ruling elite and their actions, which could discredit the authorities of that time. Such a policy is predictable because before that, journalists, particularly in the military sphere, constantly presented information that was valuable to the enemy.

Later, a permit system was introduced for the profession of a military journalist. The person had to pass accreditation and a particular integrity check and only then was he included in the list of candidates for the position. It was planned that such persons would not distribute strategically important information without the consent of the government or the first persons in the state. Censorship was introduced on topics such as military security, military command, military decisions, etc. It was a natural necessity of that time, and similar actions were repeated during the Second World War.

Currently, the activities of military journalists are strictly regulated, and compliance with basic principles is fundamental in their work. Yes, they need to cover information in the most accessible way and as close to reality as possible unless the population's military security goals do not deny it. They must also respond quickly to third parties' requests and, if necessary, hide certain information if its disclosure would harm the state's interests. These are far from all the rules, but the guiding principles of their activity are fixed in these points.

Conflicts where US military journalists were involved.

Considering the above information, it can be concluded that the involvement of journalists in specific military actions was precisely their desire, as they always tried to be eyewitnesses of the events they wrote about later. We are talking about the Civil War, the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, the First and Second World Wars, and many other examples in this field. However, according to many scientists, the most important for the state was the coverage of the Vietnam War events, also called television coverage. The majority of correspondents and journalists supported the US actions in Vietnam and promoted public support for the government's actions. Reports from this point made it possible not only to be aware of all the events that happened at that time but also discredited the enemy and contributed to the decline of his military power because the news was announced without proper censorship and everything was publicly available.

Due to the constant participation of representatives of journalism in military actions and the presence of victims on the battlefield, it was decided to build specific measures of protection for representatives of this profession. It was recommended to supplement international humanitarian documents with sections on military journalism and rules for dealing with representatives of this profession during hostilities. Currently, this system functions much better than at the beginning of its development, but there are still cases of victims among media workers, which must be constantly fought.


Therefore, considering the above, we conclude that every profession needs, if not legislative, then ordinary regulation, which will allow it to regulate its activity in a certain way. This especially applies to those professions that naturally influence the formation of the public's opinion about specific facts of objective reality. Among them, in particular, are military journalists; the history of the construction of their profession has undergone many ups and downs, but today their opinion is assumed to be essential and one that must be conveyed to the ordinary population. Today, it is impossible to carry out one's policy effectively without such a profession because there must be constant contact with the public, which representatives of military journalism support.

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