The media’s relationship with the military is a tricky one. In the mid-1700s, the army often interacted with the public, seized food and personal property, and questioned the credibility of the military. But the media and the military were both often wrong. The military was trying to do its best to regain the public’s trust by stressing human connections. However, the relationship is not always as successful as it might seem.
The relationship between the military and the media has always been fraught with tensions. While the Civil War saw reporters on both sides with little restrictions, World War I saw commanders impose severe restrictions. Then, the focus of the war shifted from military to controlling the message of the media. In the Korean War, the media came to terms with censorship in exchange for access to the troops. Ultimately, the military re-engaged with the media.
A series of investigative reports by Reuters in the early 1990s exposed problems with on-post housing for soldiers. Lead exposure, infestations, and mold were uncovered. The senior military leaders took action to remedy the situation and blamed private contractors. But they did not criticize the media for exposing poor housing conditions. The military’s response was a clear indication that they’re not willing to compromise on their own values.
The relationship between the military and the media has always been tense. In the Civil War, journalists were free to report on both sides. During World War I, commanders placed strict restrictions on journalists, but by the end of the war, the media had accepted censorship in exchange for access. It was only during the Korean War that the military and the media finally made the decision to work together in the face of media criticism.
The army was a value-based organization. The Army expects its members to treat others with dignity. That’s why the Army’s online conduct standards are quite strict. The public’s expectations are not influenced by the military’s behavior, but rather by their views. As a result, the military’s behavior on the Internet is a reflection of their values. For example, journalists’ online conduct should be governed by the U.S. Constitution.
During the Civil War, journalists were not restricted from reporting. They were allowed to report and discuss the conflict freely. During the Korean War, the media accepted censorship. They had access to the soldiers, but the media refused to let them cover the war. In both cases, it was not clear if they were willing to speak to the press. The Army has a code of conduct for its online conduct.