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Late-Breaking Foreign Policy: The News Media's Influence on Peace Operations / Edition 1

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Overview

The influence of the media--particularly the "CNN effect"--has dramatically changed the way foreign-policy decisions are made. But there have been few in-depth studies of how televised news reports and newspaper accounts of humanitarian tragedies abroad affect the decision to deploy U.S. forces.

This insightful book by a working journalist examines the media's influence on the deployment--or withdrawal--of U.S. peacekeeping troops to avert humanitarian disasters the world over.

Drawing on interviews with senior U.S. national security officials and the journalists who covered the humanitarian-relief operations in Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, Haiti, and northern Iraq, Strobel provides riveting behind-the-scenes accounts of recent peace operations. He describes the conditions in which the media has the greatest, and the least, influence, and offers recommendations to civilian and military leaders on building and maintaining public support in an age of intense media scrutiny.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
While recognizing that media can have a powerful effect on process, Warren Strobel carefully and effectively debunks the 'media makes policy' myth in this book

A revealing read. Strobel, himself a practitioner of daily 'newsbreak' journalism in the print medium, peels away the veneer of magic around today's global newscasting and offers a glimpse of how policymaking and instant journalism mix.

Insiders in the policy and media establishments will see themselves in Late-Breaking Foreign Policy. Consumers of news and policy will never watch 'live' television journalism the same way again.

A useful exploration of the issues raised when CNN intersects with international diplomacy. Strobel's case studies from the post-Cold War crises in Somalia and Haiti are especially instructive. In short, an important contribution to the field.

A well-written piece of research that will completely engage readers interested in the media's place in today's culture.

The very fluidity and uncertainty of our times make Warren Strobel's thoughtful, perceptive study an important book for policymakers, reporters, and students of foreign policy

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ever since the Persian Gulf war and the constant television coverage it received, there has been a growing public debate about the media's role in defining American foreign policy. It is widely thought that with the technological advances made in communication, American foreign policy is subject to the "CNN effect"meaning that it is based on public pressure generated by the media. Strobel (a Washington Times reporter and former fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace) here argues that the relationship between policy makers and the media is a complex one, and that government officials use the media to serve their own goals more than the media drives policy decisions. He focuses on the major peace initiatives that the U.S. has participated in since the gulf war, with particular attention paid to the humanitarian effort in Somalia. Strobel believes that television can exert undue influence over policy decisions only if there is a lack of leadership. If the government defines particular objectives and goals for a mission, the government can usually rely on the support of the American public no matter the media's position. However, if an operation veers off course, the media can make officials react to the pressure of the moment. Many military and political officials in Somalia, for example, considered the U.S. operation there a success in that it prevented hundreds of thousands of people from dying of starvation. But because the government did not clearly and repeatedly state the objectives, it is considered a failure by many in that there were 28 American casualties. Drawn from scores of interviews and government documents, this is a well-written piece of research that will completely engage readers interested in the media's place in today's culture. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781878379672
  • Publisher: United States Institute of Peace Press (USIP Press)
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Warren P. Strobel is White House correspondent (and was formerly State Department correspondent) for the Washington Times and is the author of articles in American Journalism Review and the Christian Science Monitor. He was a fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in 1994-95.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Fighting the Last War: A Brief History of Government, the Military, and the News Media 19
2 Driving Fast without a Road Map: The News Media and Foreign Policy Today 57
3 Reporting the New Story: The News Media and Peace Operations 91
4 The Push: The News Media and Intervention 127
5 The Pull: Public Opinion and Peace Operations 165
6 Assessing the Gap: Conclusions and Recommendations 211
Notes 235
Index 265
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