Military and the Media

This entry reviews the history of military–press relations, spotlighting U.S. military operations and the evolution of battlefield censorship and war journalism from the mid-1900s, through two World Wars, the U.S. involvement in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf region, and up to the early decades of the 21st century. For almost 200 years, the relationship between these institutions has been marked by the struggle to balance citizens’ right to know with the Armed Forces’ goal to provide defense and military secrecy. The military depends on the support of the American public to authorize and fund its operations and missions. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, and the idea of the Fourth Estate exemplifies the media’s responsibilities to inform the public and provide ...

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