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News coverage of warfare poses a difficult problem for political systems with a free press, such as ours in the United States. In an era of high-tech weaponry and nearly instantaneous global communications, conflicts are inevitable between the obligation of the press to inform the general public, and the obligation of the military to successfully conduct war. The military’s controls over news-gathering during the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War set off a controversy still smoldering during the Haiti occupation of 1994. This paper examines the legal, historical, and technological aspects of this issue.


This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Cooper, S. (1996). Military control over war news: The implications of the Persian Gulf. The New Jersey Journal of Communication, 4, 1-20, as published in THE NEW JERSEY JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION, 1996, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: