'Unfettered Press,' the Unresolved Tension between Warriors and Journalists during the Civil War   [open pdf - 2MB]

This document released by the CIA examines the relationship between the press and the military, using the Civil War as its focal point. The document specifically discusses media outlets releasing sensitive information to the public that may not have been in the military's best interest, and how that affected military relations with the press. From the document: "Despite its continuous and often successful efforts, the US government never cobbled together a reliable apparatus to prevent northern newspapers from publishing sensitive military information or barring their sources from collecting sensitive information and relaying it to their editors. Like today, during the Civil War the First Amendment firmly protected the freedom of the press, and federal prosecutors had few legal options. No US statute existed that explicitly prohibited the press from publishing sensitive national security information or punished it for doing so. The Lincoln administration also recognized, as have subsequent administrations, that to gain voter support for policies, building and sustaining cooperative relationships with the press are necessary to receive fair, albeit not always objective, coverage."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
United States. Central Intelligence Agency: https://www.cia.gov/
Media Type:
Studies in Intelligence (September 2014) v.58, no.3 p.1-12
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