Hotel Warriors: Covering the Gulf War (Woodrow Wilson Center Special Studies)

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9780943875408: Hotel Warriors: Covering the Gulf War (Woodrow Wilson Center Special Studies)
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During America's Civil War, accounts of the Battle of Bull Run reached New York within 24 hours. During the Gulf War, reports took three or four days - sometimes two weeks - just to get from the front lines to the nearby press headquarters at the Dhahran International Hotel. From an insider's perspective, Fialka tells why the Marines had a better plan than the Army for getting news back from the front - and how even good plans go awry in the fog of war. He describes the hotel warriors, journalists who experienced the war mainly through televized briefings, pool reports, and CNN.

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From Publishers Weekly:

In this volume , whose title refers to the correspondents who covered the Persian Gulf war from posh hotels in Riyadh and Dhahran, Wall Street Journal reporter Fialka ably chronicles the day-to-day difficulties faced by reporters--ranging from sheer incompetence to outright obstruction on the part of the U.S. Army--and demonstrates the woeful inadequacy of the pool system set up by the military and the press. In large part, he lambastes the Army for its refusal to accommodate journalists and its general attitude of hostility toward the press. (In contrast, the Marines' flair for self-promotion resulted in coverage more extensive than their military role in the war warranted.) Fialka attributes a good deal of this attitude to the military's lingering distrust of the media rooted in the Vietnam War experience. While there was little overt censorship, most of the material written and photographed during the Gulf war was never seen by the American public, and, Fialka says, the Army was shortchanged in accounts of its speedy victory. Most important, says Fialka, the acrimonious relationship between the military and the media bodes ill for future collaborations between the two.

Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review:

Should be required reading by every publisher, producer, editor, and journalist with any interest in war reporting or just honest reporting.

(Theodore Draper New York Review of Books)

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