Reversing the Downward Trend of National Security Journalism

National Security reporting saw a long lull during the Clinton ‘peace dividend’ and relatively stable period of international affairs during the 1990s. Since the demand for foreign reporters dropped, so did the availability of education for these journalists. After the attacks of September 11th, national security reporting was once again pushed to the forefront of media attention, and a new generation of editors, reporters and producers found themselves struggling with these issues.

With constant dangers to American security and instability in the world such as the war on terror, nuclear arms proliferation and arms control, the growing threat posed by the People’s Republic of China, and Russia’s gradual reversion into an anti-democratic state the need is as acute as ever for solid reporting on these issues.

In response, the Center for Security Policy established the National Security and New Media Journalism Project. Few reporters today have the background, expertise and understanding of critical national security issues required to report effectively on the subject. Worse, the Center noticed signs of increasing bias among journalists who often promote value-neutral and politically-correct news that is undermining the American system of government while ill-serving both American and foreign publics.

The goal of the Project is to focus the debate on these trends in news reporting, and work towards new standards for accuracy and integrity in national security journalism.

One of the main ways the Project confronts these trends is to hold periodic conferences and seminars. The first conference was held after the Mightier Pen Award Ceremony this past December and included Sara Carter, David Feith, Roger Simon, and Andrew Breitbart among others.

On June 21st the Center for Security Policy held their second conference as part of the National Security and New Media Journalism Project, in conjunction with Hillsdale College. The theme for this conference was Balancing National Defense Interests and Press Freedom and included a panel on Reporting on Sensitive National Security Information.

[youtube qLnT4Pl_lZo]

The panelists included:

  • George Little, Director of Public Affairs, CIA
  • Brian J. Kelley, retired career CIA counterintelligence officer
  • R. James Woolsey, Chairman, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, former Director of Central Intelligence
  • Bill Gertz, national security editor, columnist, The Washington Times
  • Stephen Hayes, senior writer, The Weekly Standard
  • Catherine Herridge, Fox national correspondent and author, The Next Wave
  • Jamie McIntyre, host, Line of Departure military blog, former CNN Pentagon correspondent

Please visit www.nationalsecurityjournalism.org to sign up for the mailing list and acquaint yourself with the other resources the project has to offer.

.