your story. Other editors acknowledge receipt of the
story, tell you when it will run and send you courtesy
copies after publication.
Some editors will not accept unsolicited manu-
scripts and prefer to get a query letter first. Facsimile
machines can deliver queries quickly and cut waiting
time. Other publications may want an exclusive (such
as All Hands). When in doubt, send the story.
Learning Objective: Identfy the relationship between
the military and the media during hostilities.
When the military shifts gears from peacetime
operations to that of a conflict or war, the rules regarding
the media also change. In peacetime, there is greater
media access to the military and a more open and candid
dialogue. However, as tensions increase and the military
moves toward crisis and finally hostile action (conflict
or war), the news interest or value of covering the
military increases dramatically.
Also, the military becomes more closed-mouthed
because of operational security considerations. This
normally leads to a certain amount of friction in the
military/media relationship during crisis and conflict.
The basic principle governing the release of
information in hostilities is this: released information
must be consistent with operational security and not
compromise the safety of United States or friendly
nation (allied) personnel. Security at the source must
Figures 4-4 and 4-5 show the general ground rules
and guidelines used during Operation DESERT
SHIELD/STORM in 1991.
You were briefly introduced to media pools in
Chapters 2 and 3. During hostilities, a news media pool
is usually sized to the number of seats and baggage
capacity of ground or air transportation and host unit
billeting. Using the amphibious exercise Imminent
Thunder as an example, Navy and Marine Corps units
were able to accommodate four media pools. Each pool
had six people and was deployed as follows:
Imminent Thunder Media Pool:
1. Television reporter
2. Television photographer
Television sound man
Pool 1 Embarked aboard USS Guam and flown
ashore by helicopter
Pool 2- Embarked aboard USS Gunston Half and
transported ashore by LCAC (landing craft, air
Pool 3- Covers the assault from ashore and
remained overnight with maneuver units
Pool 4- Same as pool 3
An important point to remember about media pools
is that they are not tour groups that must be tightly
banded together. Television reporters need video and
print reporters need interviews. It is up to you to make
sure individual media needs are met.
During crisis and hostilities, news media seek Navy
families to discuss their personal reactions to the
deployment of their service member. As discussed in
Chapter 2 of this manual, family rights in dealing with
the news media should be clearly understood and passed
along to military families as soon as possible.
Learning Objective: Detail the concept of credibility
when dealing with the media.
In Chapter 1, you were introduced to the concept of
credibility in your day-to-day job activities. This
encompasses the credibility you must obtain when
working with the news media.
While the media can, at times, be difficult to deal
with, they can also be the fun part of Navy public affairs.
Fun, that is, if your credibility rating is where it should
How is credibility with the media established? By
being knowledgeable about Navy public affairs, the
command to which you are attached and the willingness
to go that extra mile for a reporter.
The following are some tips that will help you
establish and maintain media credibility:
. Do not be obscure. Reporters can spot a con artist
at 50 paces, so do not assume a snow job will be