The notion of the fourth estate–the “press” (or the “media”)–has evolved over human history from oral recitation through the advent of print to the current digital age.
The notion of the fourth estate–the “press” (or the “media”)–has evolved over human history from oral recitation through the advent of print to the current digital age. The ability of the press to cover conflicts has also evolved, as have the objectives of those who announce and write history, including modern journalists and others who purport to report the “news.” Issues specifically attached to the media during wartime have included how to obtain and disseminate information to the public, the inevitable conflict between the media and the state, and their competing interests during wartime. The role of technology has had a particular impact–from the invention of the printing press (fifteenth century) to the modern era of the Internet–on how information is gathered and distributed by the media from the battlefield to people’s living rooms and how the public is influenced by the media’s coverage of war.
The relationship between the media and the state during wartime has often blurred the distinction between information and
CNN’s Peter Arnett reports from Iraq during the Gulf War in 1991.
The collapse of the Roman Empire meant a total breakdown of society. Because of the collapse of the political order, the infrastructure and security that made an urban and cosmopolitan way of life possible simply disappeared. In Western Europe, people were reduced to a far simpler way of living. Between 500 and 1000
The emergence of the modern
In 1631, a physician named
After the Thirty Years’ War, newspapers began acquiring their present characteristics. Newspapers began establishing
The wars of the
A pedestrian passes by a television screen in Seoul during a report about a North Korean missile launch on July 4, 2009.
Official information from generals and admirals did not make for exciting reading to the larger public. For example, during the
By the middle of the nineteenth century, the modern newspaper was undergoing an evolution: The formerly haphazard means of gathering information were becoming more structured and standardized, leading to the sophisticated media organizations recognized today. American journalists such as
Another effect of Russell’s reports on the lot of the ordinary British soldier was that they inspired Florence Nightingale to lend her services, which in turn led to the modern nursing profession. While Russell was reporting on the conditions of the British army, the British government, perhaps instigated by Prince Albert, sent royal photographer Roger Fenton (1819-1869) to counter Russell’s reports on incompetence and suffering. Fenton portrayed British soldiers as happy and well dressed in order to maintain public support for the Crimean War. The Crimean War established the practice of the special correspondent, the role Russell most exemplified. His example would be emulated by future war correspondents throughout the rest of the nineteenth century, from the
War correspondent Walter Cronkite reporting from Vietnam during the Tet Offensive in 1968.
In the 1960’s, technology revolutionized the dissemination of information as television and satellite communication brought the war to people’s living rooms. The
With the end of the Cold War came new conflicts. The Persian
By the mid-1990’s, the
Aronson, James. The Press and the Cold War. Indianapolis, Ind.: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970. Concentrates on the role played by radical journalists in raising public awareness during the Cold War, especially during the Vietnam War. Badsey, Stephen, ed. The Media and International Security. Portland, Oreg.: Frank Cass, 2000. Presents the proceedings of a 1995 conference, including presentations by academic scholars, members of the media, and representatives of the armed forces. Kennedy, William V. The Military and the Media: Why the Press Cannot Be Trusted to Cover a War. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1993. Argues that American journalists have largely failed to acquire proper training to cover military matters, and that this failure was dramatically evident in their coverage of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Knightly, Phillip. The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist, and Myth-Maker from the Crimea to Iraq. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004. Probably the standard-bearer for historical examination of the media’s coverage of wars, this volume has been updated with nearly every significant conflict that has appeared since its first edition in 1975. Matthews, Joseph. Reporting the Wars. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1957. The first book-length treatment of the history of the coverage of wars. Salmon, Lucy Maynard. The Newspaper and the Historian. New York: Oxford University Press, 1923. Reprint. New York: Octagon Books, 1976. This groundbreaking study examines the interaction between the philosophy of a particular newspaper and its coverage of various conflicts. Sweeney, Michael. Secrets of Victory: The Office of Censorship and the American Press and Radio in World War II. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001. A case study looking at the U.S. Office of Censorship’s role in how information was presented during World War II, in both formal and informal settings.
Civilian Labor and Warfare
Education, Textbooks, and War
Revolt, Rebellion, and Insurgency
War’s Impact on Economies
Women, Children, and War