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Milblogging and the GWOT
Posted by: mcq on Saturday, May 05, 2007

Moderated by John Donovan of "Castle Argghhh", this panel is an eclectic mix of bloggers who are discussing milblogging and its role within the GWOT.

Panelists inclued Noah Schactman of Wired's "Danger Room", Lex of "Neptunus Lex", Murdoc of "Murdoc Online", CPT Anthony Deiss of Centcom, Mark from "EagleSpeak", and Charlie Benbow (blogs as "Slab") from Op-for.

OPSEC reg., of course, was brought up.

Some myths about the MSM from Noah at Wired. MSM reporters are some kind of 5th column or disloyal. News stories have biases toward violence, conflict and action. It has nothing to do with a bias against the war effort, but instead the "if it bleeds it leads" paradigm lives.

There is also a built-in skepticism against government and military authorities.

Two different cultures. Newsroom culture vs. military culture. That's compounded by a lack of military experience in the newsroom.

Milbloggers can help that by lending their expertise on the subjects and explaining "the rest of the story".

Why fewer journalists in Iraq? The Iraq war is the most dangerous war ever. Almost 100 journalists have died in Iraq.

John Donovan - do milbloggers make a difference?

CENTCOM, Wired, Fox News, the President, Admiral Fox from Iraq, The Weekly Standard and a letter of support from various Senators and Gen Petraeus all say yes.

The primary audience of the military is Congress. MilBloggers have been sort of a second string player. However, as the above list points out, the visibility is obviously rising. However the value of blogging isn't in parroting what is released by various agencies, but adding expertise and analysis.

A representative from DoD says that the new under-secretary of Defense for the Public Affairs says that there is a huge push to engage blogs because of their immediacy. She used the example of the Israeli/Hezbollah war in which bloggers immediately outed the photoshopped releases from the "photojournalists" in the area right after it happened. Israel finally released a report on that 5 months later, and as she noted, at this point, "who cares". So DoD is actively engaging MilBloggers and that points toward what I said above - visibility and value is definitely rising.

Interesting fact: When MNFI opened its YouTube channel, it went from nowhere to the 16th most popular site. As I've said any number of times, we're woefully poor in the propaganda war and moves such as this underscore that point. However they also underscore the fact that we're learning our lesson.

Murdoc makes the point (as a civilian blogger) that many people with no military experience have no context in which to analyze military matters. MilBloggers can have a tremendous impact by explaining these matters and giving civilians a frame of reference.
 
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News stories have biases toward violence, conflict and action. It has nothing to do with a bias against the war effort, but instead the "if it bleeds it leads" paradigm lives.
Sorry, no sale. No doubt "if it bleeds, it leads" explains part of the problem, but it doesn’t explain it all, not by a good long shot. The news media has a palpable bias against Bush that goes way beyond the normal "loyal opposition" aspect of being news media.

One example: Anti-war rallies get intense, uncritical coverage and inflated crowd estimates. Pro-war rallies are mostly ignored.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Why fewer journalists in Iraq? The Iraq war is the most dangerous war ever. Almost 100 journalists have died in Iraq.
I guess it shouldn’t, but that really does surprise me. If I’d been asked to guess, I doubt I’d have guessed more than half that number.

Here’s an interesting article from nearly a year ago, marking the grim point at which journalist deaths in OIF equaled journalist deaths in the Vietnam war.
The news media has a palpable bias against Bush that goes way beyond the normal "loyal opposition" aspect of being news media.
That’s for sure.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
"News stories have biases toward violence, conflict and action. It has nothing to do with a bias against the war effort, but instead the "if it bleeds it leads" paradigm lives."
Someone has been sold a bill of goods. The real culprit is the liberal journalistic practice of "putting stories in a proper context". Need confirmation? The AP reports:
"… MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said a Giuliani campaign representative had called NBC News to complain about Olbermann being part of the debate telecast following his commentary.”
A liberal reads that AP story and comments:
”"AP Uncritically [!!!] Reports Giuliani Campaign’s Efforts To Marginalize Olbermann...

The Giuliani campaign has a right to make its complaints known, just as many on the left have raised arguments about the bias of Fox News’ participation in Democratic debates. But it’s the role of the media to place the story in its proper context, and the AP account fails to do that. “
There you have it: "it’s the role of the media to place the story in its proper context..." IOW to be critical of the Giuliani campaign!

If you read the full AP story, IMHO you will see a spin-free reporting job that discusses the facts and the statements made about them in a remarkable (these days, especially for the AP) unbiased manner. If I were asked to comment on the AP story I would say that it is a rather dull account of the “he said” “she said” of the issue – the very thing that an AP story should be.

The liberal commenter is appalled that the AP did not “place the story in proper context” and criticize the campaign for complaining. IOW he is incensed that the AP did not give the story a liberal spin. This traditional practice is waning under pressure from the right (pocketbook pressure) and my, don’t the liberals scream about it.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Just to give you an idea of how whacko some liberals are, here is a comment from the blog whose author thought the AP was not doing its job putting things "in context":
"What is the world coming to when Keith Olberman is held up an identified as representative of The Left!? Olberman is MAINSTREAM. Practically ALL the other talking heads on the major networks today are so-called Right to FAR Right, although as far as that moniker, Right, meaning correct…well, they are ANYTHING BUT CORRECT! If you want a TRULY LEFT anchorperson to moderate a debate get AMY GOODMAN from Democracy Now! Or LEWIS LAPHAM! Have NOAM CHOMSKY on the panel…too bad MOLLY IVANS is dead but she would have been perfect! The problem with America today is that even Progressives can’t really identify a TRUE PROGRESSIVE anymore! Fascism is like alcoholism, folks…it’s an insidious, progressive disease, and I don’t mean Left-Wing.

Comment by Shirley Ugest — May 5, 2007 @ 9:52 am"
Indeed, what is the world coming to when Olberman is held up to be a leftie.

???
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Ugh, maybe I was wrong. I thought I had a great comment about a lefty confirming that the MSM had a liberal bias - much better than the usual rightie claiming that bias.

After reading some more of the comments on that blog I have to admit that its readers appear to be fugitives from mental health institutions and therefore perhaps the author of the blog is one as well. I still believe in the concept of my comment, but perhaps this particular blog was not the best one to use to illustrate it.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://

 
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