BACK TO : MILITARY-MEDIA RELATIONS
M-Media Relations: The Future Media Environment and Its Influence on Military Operations by D Goebel
This paper initially reviews the evolving relationship between the military and the media from the Vietnam War to the present. Following this analysis, the paper analyzes the future media environment and its impact on the theater commander and military operations. Many times there has been conflict between the two groups because of their differing missions. The media's goal is to keep the public informed in a timely manner and to remain competitive with respect to the other media organizations. The military wants to maintain operational security for the success of the mission and the safety of the troops. Despite these conflicts in the past, the U.S. military needs to work closely and plan carefully for media involvement in any future contingency. There are two reasons for this. First, the media's power is increasing rapidly because of technological advances and they will be present in any future conflict or operation. This presence will have a great impact on the commander and their planners in future operations. Likewise, the media presence will rapidly shape American and allied public opinion of the conflict with their real time reporting. Second, the end of the "cold war" brought the rationale for a large standing military force into question. The U.S. military needs the media to tell the military story to retain public support.