The Media and Foreign Policy
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In this volume journalists and officials, as well as academic experts, analyze the respective roles of the press and the government in the formulation and implementation of American foreign policy. It examines the influence of the media on issues such as the US involvement in Vietnam.
government activities. Such a role, he asserts, "has no historic or legal foundation .... The constitutional system of government under which we live does not envision a town meeting approach to the conduct of national military and foreign policy, such that every issue regardless of sensitivity is submitted to the public for resolution." "In certain situations," Odom concludes, The Media and Foreign Policy 11 "national interests can and should limit the unbridled exercise of individual rights
government. ... 16 Simon Serfaty Even though there were telltale signs that what we were being told was not true, we believed the government." After Vietnam, noted Kalb, "our collective attitude, and the attitude of the government, changed from innocence to constant testiness." 3. Jimmy Carter, Keeping Faith, Memoirs of a President (New York: Bantam Books, 1982), 566, 463 and 594. 4. In July 1985, Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher asked for "a voluntary code of conduct under which
crescendo: "My fellow Americans, tonight we are launching an effort which holds the promise of changing the course of human history." In the next day's Washington Post, reporter Lou Cannon, whose contacts with the Reagan entourage stretched back to Reagan's days as governor of California, described the ground work that had been done to maximize the speech's impact. "Last night's speech was carefully orchestrated by White House officials, who have become sensitive both about news leaks and about
intelligence, is a critical issue in determining who makes and is involved in foreign policy decisions. In the not so recent history, the 76 Robert J. Kurz executive branch could collect and analyze information largely for itself. The U.S. government invests large sums of money to maintain an extensive network of collection platforms. In the days when large governments enjoyed a monopoly on overseas posts and the ability to transmit information quickly, they also had a natural monopoly on
they do, they find plenty of interested readers. That, in turn, can only enlighten the foreign policy press. Building Local Interest in Foreign News: The Minneapolis Star and Tribune The experience of one regional newspaper-the Minneapolis Star and Tribune-offers an illustration of how this process works. It is an unusual story, but hardly unique. There are lessons in it for both journalists and officials in the foreign policy community. The Minneapolis newspapers have been for fifty years one