News Coverage of War
In his weekly column, Rocky Mountain News Publisher John Temple discusses his paper's coverage of the war in Iraq.
As usual, it is well-written and informative. I have to disagree with one of his statements, however. Temple writes
War is not the place to hide the truth from a free people. Yes, combat photos can be disturbing. But I believe it's much better to allow journalists to make the decision as to what crosses the line of decency than to have the government essentially make the decision for the people.
It is indeed rare for me to be in favor of governmental power. In this case, I am.
Disregarding the policy behind this war, conducting war is one of the few things the government can do better than private enterprise. The government can certainly do a better job than a newspaper.
I realize that Temple is not advocating that journalists run the war. He is, however, advocating that journalists decide what information is released without any military oversight.
We have already seen that people like Jerry Rivers (he goes by the stage name "Geraldo Rivera") will broadcast information that is detrimental to the war effort and that can lead to American deaths.
To avoid such information being released, the military needs some level of control over the media in the war zone.