April 07, 2004


This sounds like itís aimed at bloggers:

The U.S. military will launch its own news service in Iraq and Afghanistan to send military video, text and photos directly to the Internet or news outlets.

The $6.3 million project, expected to begin operating this month, is one of the largest military public affairs projects in recent memory, and is intended to allow small media outlets in the United States and elsewhere to bypass what the Pentagon views as an increasingly combative press corps.

Clever move; big media outlets are increasingly distrusted. Wonder if the Pentagon's news feed will have a blogroll?

Posted by Tim Blair at April 7, 2004 01:38 AM

Long time lurker, first time poster... (just sayin')

I for one welcome our blog overlords.

I get most of by news from blogs now. My wife is suspicious because they are not 'legit'.

Posted by: AuSkeptic at April 7, 2004 at 03:29 AM

I for one welcome our blog overlords.

I remind them I could be useful, in finding posters from democraticunderground and indymedia to toil in their underground sugar mines.

Posted by: Quentin George at April 7, 2004 at 07:59 AM

Although I can easily see this as resulting in costing blogs a lot more money-- increased traffic--> increased bandwidth--> increased bills.
I for one still remember when Slashdot, which has HUGE bandwidth limits, got slashdotted itself after being mentioned in the New York Times. And that one's not even a political site.

Posted by: Flakbait at April 7, 2004 at 09:40 AM

"toil in their underground sugar mines"

Actually, I'd force my blogger-slaves to toil at Google News, mining data to expand the global hive-mind collective of the blogosphere.

If this had a blogroll, Tim, isn't the more important question really "How high on it will Tim Blair be?"

Posted by: Aaron at April 7, 2004 at 10:58 AM

Oh, man, a DoD sponsored blogroll! That would be GREAT!

On a serious note....

I'm not surprised that the professional, ummmm, journalists aren't in favor of it. The linked article has multiple whines on that score.

I've read a number of the official Army news publications for years (Soldiers Magazine, for example). Yes, it's slanted. So what? The rest of the media isn't?

The Army sends out press releases and holds press conferences, and the media may or may not listen. But when the Army goes around the media, and uses the INTERNET, we see comments like:

"This is the kind of news that people get in countries where the government controls the media. Why would anybody here want to buy into it?" said Mac McKerral, president of the Society of Professional Journalists."

And this is pure crap. The Army is not quashing news -- it's feeding it's own view directly into the system, unfiltered by the media. OK, it'll be slanted. But it's not "media control", it's media competition on a limited basis.

There are multitudes of news sources out there. People can pick and choose. The Army is stepping out into a very competitive field. They may not survive, although they do have one advantage: the Army is not in the media business for a profit.

And rest assured, there will be lots of controls over what is released. It'll be slanted, but it might be so bland that it falls flat.

But I am interested in the project....someone in the Army is really thinking outside "the box".

Posted by: JeffS at April 7, 2004 at 12:53 PM

Any suggestions for names? CrusadeUnspun?

Posted by: Andjam at April 8, 2004 at 12:01 AM

How about "Operation Provide Disinfo"

Posted by: Miranda Divide at April 13, 2004 at 07:55 AM