In humanitarian operations we often operate in an environment in which information is more important than the number of trigger-pullers or weapon systems in theater. Combatants are becoming information publicists. Therefore, warfighters must school themselves in the manipulation of information as a means of gaining a military advantage. The media can have a positive impact on the overall scenario when it increases public awareness and understanding of an operation. This outcome, of course, presupposes that reporters are understood, treated appropriately, and even used to the unit's advantage. The absence of a good media strategy, however, can have disastrous effects.
Nobody Asked Me, But ... We Can't Afford to Leave the Media Alone
By Captain K. J. Kalogiannis, U.S. Marine Corps