‘Consider Your Audience’
"I am sickened to see the front-page headline “Veteran charged in rape, murder of Iraqi woman” (Associated Press, July 4, Mideast; “Veteran charged with rape, murder of Iraqi woman,” July 4, Europe). This has been going on for a few days now with the same, damaging effect.
I won’t insult your intelligence by reminding you what makes Fourth of July special. I would expect better of the newspaper that is for the military. I think someone in your organization would have a grasp on what role the media play in this day and age.
As the son of a retired lieutenant colonel who specialized in psychological warfare, I know the impact that printed media, propaganda and leaflets have on populations. Well, right now you guys are waging your own little propaganda war on our servicemembers.
In a war of ideas, what do you think the ammunition is? Headlines that highlight “atrocities” that are “allegedly committed” by servicemembers are negative, negligent and demoralizing to us all. They have no business stealing the headlines away from all the brave and positive work being done here in Iraq and around the globe by the men and women in uniform, especially on Independence Day.
You have the right to freedom of the press, but you do not have the right to give aid and comfort to our enemies. I would think that with the events surrounding the treasonous actions of The New York Times and the whirlwind it is now reaping because of its disclosure of secret information, you would think about the effect you have on the world around you. Just because “it happens” doesn’t always make it “news.” The first rule in speaking is “consider your audience.” I suggest you start doing so."
--Sgt. Dennis Bartow, Baghdad (Stars & Stripes: Letters to the Editor)
...girls of the U.S. Army...
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