Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Military & Media Discussion | National & State Politics

by Kenneth Moeng

Andy Alexander,
'Andy Alexander, former Washington Post Ombudsman and Cox News Washington Bureau, ponders over a stand point where during the war with Vietnam, reporters were not able to provide information as it happened in the battle fields'. While these reports came through, a lot was left behind for example, covering the effect of war on children, women, families or villages were often destroyed in entirety. 
“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” (or “the one”). 
Jim Mitchell, aligns this discussion correctly and often reminds us that due to our scholarly discussion, there are things we must not misconstrue to be the position of Wright Patterson Air Force Base but his applied personal comments and will make the difference in opinion and fact. The military has been able to work closely with the media by building trust. The stand point is to provide acknowledgement or stand point of the military whatever that position is, with Minimum Delay. In our discussion, the military  has since learnt a lot so far by providing access to the media. 
Ethical Bounds
Jim Mitchell, Operations Chief-WPAFB
As reporters what we need to do is find one small good story and start from there says Jim. He goes on to say that the base is behind with agreeing to start using Facebook and Twitter, than waiting for the 6 O'clock news only for the military to do corrections from misquotes and rumors. It is my take that war has changed and media has changed but what has not changed is the new set of iReporting and Social Media frenzy that is always ahead with news for the mainstream to often come back for followups.
Question to Andy Alexander
Do you think there ever can be a State of emergency based civil disturbances, where one might argue that USA is Over Militarized, people get influence from Movies, Gun Proliferation is stalled, Police Brutality is high and psychotic Individuals go into churches or movie centres shoot people: What is the role of the military.
It is against the law for soldiers to go to the streets and protect civilians under federals law. If you are out of federal grounds you cannot be protected or go out and patrol the streets. The military unless under the order of the commander in chief, can they only go this route. Federal jurisdiction do not allow crossing state boundaries, at the same time, civil disturbance can only be mitigated for example to offer humanitarian support to free up first responders and so forth, but not to be involved as military to guard and do civil control.
The last 2 years when I did lectures in places like Russia, this movies with excessive guns for example do play on TV, but they do not go off to the streets and kill people like here in USA, even in Jerusalem or Tell Aviv that does not happen. There are lot of gun deaths in US compared to other countries.
A reporter will be sent and assigned to a military unit, the rough came when they limited the people to take photographs and others. But this created lots of issues, but lately its getting better. The idea is to report but with guidelines that are manageable, where a public affairs officer or unit goes with the soldiers, so that he/she can deal with whats going on and liaise with any reporter for what to report and not and more. 
Hence reporters are now able to be trained like in Fort Knox Kentucky) to be allowed to go with the amour crew before going to battle field. 

There are occasions when despite the popular imagery of the apparent invincibility of US technology, things go horribly wrong and American military personnel get killed. How does the US mainstream media and the military handle this.
Also there are a number of warmongers in a section of the mainstream media who think that bombing out a nation works better than any other solution. How do you deal with that 
Knowing the environment helps
Yes technology fails us sometimes and the only way to be informative is to confirm if something failed while still retaining military confidence.   Technology is against its own kind, for example to test a tank, you need to test it on another tank. We do so by taking oath or allegiance and hope that at the end of the day, that normal people who have a broader horizon and can find way around the confines of their lives, will find right or wrong and politics is often expected do the rest where federal law does not allow otherwise. But the military cannot make a political position and this is the basic logic that must go on.
We talked at length with Thomas and Andy on National and State Politics, below is the snap discussion.
Horse race journalism is political journalism of elections that resembles coverage of horse races because of the focus on polling data, public perception instead of candidate policy, and almost exclusive reporting on candidate differences rather than similarities. 
American National and State Politics Discussion 

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