Media and War





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The Falklands Conflict Technologies

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The Falklands War has been described as "the worst reported war since the Crimean". The implication being, that in 1982, war reporting reverted back to an era before mass communications. There was a dearth of news from the front line and what made it back was tightly controlled by the Government.

There were no photographs from the Falklands for the first 54 days of the conflict. The press therefore filled the vacuum with human interest and home front stories.

Reporting from the front
Why was there so little news from the Falkland Islands?

Controlling the media
Reporters in the Falklands were reliant on the British forces for their access to the fighting and also their safety.

House of Commons Defence Committee
In 1982-83 there was an investigation into the handling of press and public information during the Falklands conflict. See the BOPCRIS website for more information.

There was no direct TV transmission. TV reports were what Julian Barnes calls "radiovision": reporters' voices accompanied by still images.

"I counted them all out, and I counted them all back."
Journalists often found clever ways around reporting restrictions. BBC reporter Brian Hanrahan's phrase, "I counted them all out, and I counted them all back", is one such example. It conveyed the restricted information that all the British Harrier jets had returned safely.

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