The War Correspondent looks at the role of the war reporter today in context with contemporary issues: the perks and the risks of the job; the tendency for western journalists to take sides in civil conflicts like Bosnia and Kosovo; the media politics of international intervention in humanitarian crises; the seductive power of military ‘public relations’; and of course the commercial and technological pressures of an intensely concentrated, competitive news media environment. The book features interviews with prominent war and foreign correspondents such as John Pilger, Robert Fisk, Maggie O’Kane and Christiane AmanpourA special case study in military-media relations during NATO’s bombing of Serbia/Kosovo in 1999 suggests that in spite of widespread passivity among the correspondents who attended the daily briefings in Brussels, some sections of the news media were at least prepared to ask some hard questions of NATO strategy and policy.Greg McLaughlin argues that the future for war reporting and foreign correspondence will be determined not so much by professional imperatives but by military pressures and market forces outside the control of the journalist. The self-serving myth that war stories are no longer what 'consumers' want disguises the reality that foreign news is becoming too expensive to produce. Unless 'our boys' are directly involved in combat, wars and rumours of wars will continue to slip down the media agenda as 'the rest of the day’s news'.
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Greg McLaughlin is senior lecturer in media and journalism at the University of Ulster. He is author, with Stephen Baker, of The Propaganda of Peace: The Role of Media and Culture in the Northern Ireland Peace Process and The British Media and Bloody Sunday.
"Given the tense state of the world, this volume could not come at a better time. McLaughlin reviews the historical background of war correspondents, their role in the war zone (from the Crimea to Korea, journalists and the military since Vietnam, and lessons learned in the Kosovo crisis), and--especially relevant now--their varied roles in times of crisis (reporting on the Cold War and the new world order, objectivity and the journalism of attachment, and what needs to be changed). McLaughlin includes several appendixes: recommendations to news organizations concerning journalist safety and information about surviving in hostile regions, the UK military's rules for media reporting, and US military ground rules for media reporting of the Persian Gulf War. Though the context is largely British, the book offers broadly useful and insightful suggestions on how the always-tense relationship between fighting forces and reporting media can be made more productive and efficient. Collections supporting work in journalism and mass media at the upper-division undergraduate level and above." -- C. Sterling, George Washington University in CHOICE
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