Information Warfare: November 4, 2002

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After years of being urged to establish a "boot camp" for journalists, the Department of Defense is finally doing so. A one week course will be offered, free (at various locations the journos will have to get to). The course will not only help make reporting more accurate, but is intended to help save journalists lives. Basic battlefield common sense will be taught, as well as some first aid and what to do in the event the enemy uses nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. On the reporting side, the students will learn "military customs" (who is who, what the jargon means and why the troops do certain things in and out of a combat zone.) Also taught will be the concept of "rules of engagement" and what the various weapons used are (sort of show and tell.) The trainers will probably also be prepared to answer a lot of questions. The Gulf War saw the first calls for this kind of course, for it was then that it was realized that most new war reporters had no military experience (the draft ended in 1975) and were prone to misidentify and misinterpret things in a way that put the military in a bad light. Dates for the first of these training sessions have not been announced yet, but they are specifically for a possible invasion of Iraq. 

 


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