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Media is the Battlefield

Newsletter 07-04
October 2006

CALL Handbook No. 06-08: Catastrophic Disaster Response Staff Officer's Handbook Cover

Role Play Media Training Guidance

Appendix C

The following information provides an example for training guidance regarding the role of media on the battlefield.

Role Play Media Credentials

  1. Media representatives are accredited by the Multinational Corps (MNC) public affairs (PA) officer (PAO). PAOs will have the identification below, see Figure C-1. Units should expedite access of credentialed journalists and escorts into unclassified unit areas.
  2. When unscheduled, but properly credentialed, media visit a unit, the unit’s designated PA representative should contact the higher headquarters PAO.
  3. If uncredentialed journalists arrive at your unit, courteously refer them to the higher headquarters PAO for accreditation and coordination of their coverage of coalition forces.
  4. Absence of an official MNC PAO badge does not prevent media from accessing information for their news service. The MNC badge only verifies the bearer’s acceptance of the published MNC media ground rules. Security at the source is essential.
  5. The media badge is a serial-numbered item and corresponds to a master list maintained by the MNC PAO. If an individual’s credentials are in question, the unit should request verification of the badge through the higher headquarters PAO.

Sample of accredited media credentials
Figure C-1: Sample of accredited media credentials

Role Play Media Contact Report (MEDIAREP) from Unit Standing Operating Procedures

  1. The following MNC MEDIAREP format will be used for reporting media contact within the area of responsibility.
  2. Brigade level (or equivalent) units will submit a MEDIAREP to their higher headquarters PAO no later than 1300 daily. MEDIAREPs will include reports from subordinate battalions.

  3. Media Contact Report (MEDIAREP)
    Line # Line Subject/Content
    Line 1: Unit submitting report (Down to the lowest level).
    Line 2: Date-time group of contact with media.
    Line 3: Location of contact with media (Grid or vicinity).
    Line 4: Names and news organizations of all media representatives (Include agency, name, and country).
    Line 5: General categories of lines of questions.
    Line 6: Outcome of interviews (positive, neutral, or negative, and why).
    Line 7: Concerns about which the division commander needs to be alerted.
  4. Include any command information interviews/stories conducted to provide the MNC PAO possible feedback from these products (attach photos).

Example of a Reporter Profile

Name: Lars Magnusson
Occupation: Reporter/Photographer
Organization: Western European capital newspaper

MNC Identification # 022005-032

This is an experienced, influential reporter who was born and raised in western Europe. The readership of the newspaper he works for (tens of millions) tends to be pro-U.S., but skeptical of U.S. policies in the Middle East and its continued presence there. Magnusson’s articles have been analyzed and tend to be neutral. He reports the facts as they are known with no editorial bias, and he is likely to include coalition comments in his products to give both sides of an issue. He has expressed interest in embedding temporarily. He wants to talk to leadership and staff officers. He typically lives and works in the local area. He currently is based in Talatha and must file stories from offices there by 2 p.m. local time. Magnusson has spent the last six months covering the Talatha conflict. He has left the country only for brief periods of vacation and has developed a keen appreciation of how the war has affected all involved.


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