Conflict communication management: Why Australians didn't see their troops in Iraq

Zoe Hibbert, Amanda Starr

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    As the first conflict to be viewed 'in real time', the Iraq war of 2003 was dominated by almost continuous footage delivered by technological and journalistic innovations. In contrast with the unprecedented coverage provided by British and American embedded journalists, little was reported of the role of Australian troops. The Australian media have been highly critical of the way the Australian Defence Force (ADF) restricted media access to Australian troops, claiming that the ADF obstructed the community's right to know with excessive secrecy and 'strategic unhelpfulness'. The ADF says it was unable to provide media access because of operational and national security issues specific to this conflict. Research conducted amongst members of both the Australian media and the ADF's Military Public Affairs section suggests that the debate around access and secrecy is symptomatic of a much larger clash of cultures. The difficulties faced at the media/military interface are partially explained by the fact that current communication theory does little to enhance understanding of what is really happening in conflict situations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)66-74
    Number of pages9
    JournalMedia International Australia
    VolumeNov-04
    Issue number113
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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