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In modern times, few people have experienced war directly, and those who have usually possess only a limited perspective past their own, often isolated, vantage point. Therefore, access for war correspondents to the combat zone is a vital link between the battlefield and the public view of a conflict. This link is all the more important for a democracy based on an informed citizenry. However, media access to the battlefield has changed, often dramatically, with each conflict and must balance legitimate military secrets with the public’s desire for information. Thus, the amount of access war correspondents obtain often shapes not only their reporting but also the public’s perception and support of a war.

War Correspondents: The 19th Century

The birth of the professional war correspondent took place ...

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