Published on December 29, 2007
Crisis Management, The Media and International Crises: Crisis Management, The Media and International Crises Lecture 2 The Media and International Crises Prof. Philip M. Taylor Agenda: Agenda The media as observer, participant or catalyst? The operational constraints on the media in the reporting of war and crises ‘Real war’ and ‘Media War’ ‘Our wars’ and ‘Other Peoples’ Wars’ The problems of Crisis Management (next week….) Slide3: What is news? E W S N NEWS Slide5: It is a process of selection Therefore can ‘objectivity’ ever be achieved? People decide what to include/omit Their choice determined by their individual profiles, training, ‘instinct’ operating within a commercial (or public service) context Presentations vary: print, radio and TV Slide6: Is War Different? Observer, Participant or Catalyst?: Observer, Participant or Catalyst? “Voyeurs of strangers’ miseries” Parachute journalism The Heisenberg Principle – observation changes movement “The tyranny of real-time” (Nik Gowing) The “CNN Effect” What can be shown? What should be shown? Slide8: Role of the International Media Increasingly competitive, deregulated ‘infotainment’ market Human Interest stories and the decline of the specialist/rise of the freelancer Easier to ‘manipulate’ within certain ground rules (Gulf War 1, Kosovo, Embeds in GW2) More difficult to control access to communications technologies Slide9: What can be reported? Operational constraints of journalism in the field Matters of ‘taste and decency’ Matters of ‘operational security’ Questions of access vs. safety Communications and technology A mediated event Slide10: What should be reported? Events vs.context ‘The whole truth?’ Reporting from the ‘enemy’ side? Patriot or Propagandist? Bad News Disasters and their consequence (from the Crimea to Vietnam) Slide11: TV - Why some things and not others? ‘Taste and decency’ Tension between reporters and editors Government pressure The public service tradition vs. competition ‘Armchair generals’ and speculation The “tyranny” of 24/7 rolling news Slide12: Real War and Media War Do we expect too much of war reporters? Mediation or desensitisation? Public support for military rather than media (‘tell us the truth, but it’s OK to tell it when it’s all over’) How wide is the gap between image and reality? Slide13: Our wars and Other Peoples’ Wars The historical record and the reporting of our wars OPWs – why some and not others? Differences for reporters (seen as ‘spies’): safety vs. access denial ‘The journalism of attachment’ When OPWs become Our Wars….. Slide14: Journalism of attachment? In Our Wars, isn’t this propaganda? How does this work? (Gulf War) In OPWs, isn’t this propaganda? When OPWs become Our Wars (Kosovo) ‘News is the shocktroops of propaganda’ (Reith) So what’s the difference between war and peace? Slide15: Wartime reporting Access – to the story AND to communications – is pivotal (Falklands 1982, Grenada 1983) Controlling access has become an obsession since Vietnam. Why? Is this possible anymore with NCT’s? Was it necessary anyway? Slide16: ‘Peacetime’ reporting Media less interested in defence and military matters since end of Cold War When war breaks out, the issues which caused it are subordinated to the event Diplomacy difficult to report on, especially on TV Who is interested in foreign policy anyway?