Public Affairs, Military

The relationship between the U.S. military and the press has a long history; however, only in the 20th century did the branches of service codify the role of public affairs officers. Prior to the 20th century, public affairs were the concern of the commander. A commander decided when and how to interact with the press. There was no staff officer permanently assigned to this role. This entry discusses the history and the role of public affairs officers in the U.S. military.

From Journalists to War Correspondents

For much of the 18th and 19th centuries, journalists traveled with military units or by themselves to the battlefield so they could provide reports back to their paper. Initially, commanders had little control over what journalists reported to their news organization. ...

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