Back to the Front

Reader Diana points us at IRAQ NOW …… A Soldier Looks Right Back at the Media.
Historians of this, and indeed, all future wars, are going to have it so easy with all these live reports from the field. And any journalist can cultivate real sources.
Consider this post:

One Soldier Wounded in Ar Ramadi.
He’ll be fine. Mortar attack. The first report was that we needed to evac a litter urgent. As I’ve written here, though, first reports are almost always wrong. Once we got him in the aid station and cleaned him up, our surgeon could see that it was a matter of some stitches. He was evaced routine, and he should be back with us shortly. I’ll be able to visit him tomorrow.
We weren’t able to get any counterbattery fire today. No radar acquisition. This mortar crew is good.
You probably won’t hear about it in the news. We don’t have a hotel full of reporters right down the road like they do in Baghdad. There are no scud studs hanging around here right now. Two informed sources tell me that the 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs office has alienated or ticked off a lot of news agencies, so it will be interesting to see who covers this area and how.
This battalion has taken several wounded this week alone from mortar attacks and a couple more from IEDs. All of them will be ok. The picture you get in the press is distorted, though, because you never hear about the wounded in the press unless a soldier dies in the same incident.

But with every soldier a journalist, what is the role of the media?


One comment

  1. Major Sean Bannion

    Yup, I can confirm the 82d PAO shop has ticked off a lot of folks. Having spent my share of time at Fort Bragg sitting on “Green Ramp,” I can also speculate as to why.
    An overdose of testosterone.
    That usually doesn’t impress most reporters willing to head out their way. If a reporter is willing to go to the Sunni Triangle, or any other hot spot, they have a little more guts than the vast majority of reporters here. Who, as a lot tend to be overly impressed with themselves. (Christine Spolar of the Chicago Tribune leaps immediately to mind.)
    But they shouldn’t feel too bad. The 1st Armored Division PAO is a close second on the “not easy to get along with” list.
    Gee, I wonder if that’s why they could get better press but don’t. Ya think?