The two academic texts give a detailed over view of the way public relations organises the content and distribution of war news. The first text by Liz Tynan, ‘Spinning the War: How PR made the first Gulf War’ look at the way public relations controls the distribution and the opening of events in War. The reading identifies the use of press pools and reveals controversial safety issues with journalists. The second reading Censorship in the Gulf by David Benjamin, depicts the manner of how governments control the ins and outs of journalism in all different political conflicts. They key themes I recognise in both texts is their use of press pools for control.
Tynan analyses the press pools as being “a system in which a small number of reporters are given access to gather information and then shared with other members of the pool” (Tynan, 2010, p.148). The government holds a control of “the military as a way of maintaining military security and preventing a massive influx of reports in war” (Tynan, 2010, p.149). Whereas Benjamin says that “restraints are necessary” (Auburn, 1995) the writer makes positive light on the block of freedom in the press, which represents that the author feels that the block is “needed to win” (Auburn, 1995). Although the writer does express that the media would have liked to “change the public’s perception of war” (Auburn, 1995) whereas Tynan disagrees and feels that “restrictions on their reporting were too stringent” (Tynan, 2010, p.152) representing that journalists cannot do their real job in war time. Both readings present to their audience that the government control on press effects the public. It can’t see the extent of pain on military civilians.
The text represents the struggle for journalists in war and that censorship plays a huge part about what information we gain in time of war. I agree with David Benjamin that it’s necessary for a control on information for the safety of country’s. These texts conclude that governments of any country will control what information comes out. If this was to be looked further into I would choose to carry out oral history research as it studies the “recollections of ordinary people” (STOKES, 2003, p.124) allowing me to analyse journalists who have been put into press pools for writing about war or were “working in culture industries at important points of their history” (STOKES, 2003, p.124).
AUBURN. (1995) Censorship in the Gulf 1995. [Online] Available from: http://www.auburn.edu/~benjadp/gulf/gulf.html [Accessed: 19th February 2016].
STOKES, J. (2003) How to do media& cultural studies. London: SAGE Publications Ltd
TYNAN, L. (2010) Spinning the war: How PR made the first gulf war. Case Study 2. P.147-p.152