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July 05 2010

09:29

E&P: US military officials will now need permission for press interviews

According to a piece in Editor & Publisher, defence secretary Robert Gates has has demanded that military officials must now get clearance from the Pentagon for press interviews.

Gates allegedly sent a memo ordering military and civilian personnel across the globe to first gain permission before sharing stories with the media, which would prevent a repeat of the General Stanley McChrystal affair.

The order, issued by Gates on Friday in a brief memo to military and civilian personnel worldwide and effective immediately, tells officials to make sure they are not going out of bounds or unintentionally releasing information that the Pentagon wants to hold back.

The order has been in the works since long before Gen. Stanley McChrystal stunned his bosses with criticism and complaints in a Rolling Stone article that his superiors did not know was coming.

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June 28 2010

14:43

‘The imperatives of the news cycle’: A licence to steal?

Last week we highlighted some of the criticism being directed at Rolling Stone magazine for its decision to hold off publishing the now notorious General McChrystal article online.

The magazine’s hold-for-the-newsstand tactic led Time.com and Politico to make full PDF copies of the printed article available through their websites – copies which were not provided directly by Rolling Stone, as was first thought, but by third parties.

In the wake of Rolling Stone’s much-derided decision, New York Times’ Media Equation blogger David Carr turns his attention to the behaviour of Time.com and Politico, which later linked back to Rolling Stone’s website when the magazine finally published online.

Publishing a PDF of somebody else’s work is the exact opposite of fair use: these sites engaged in a replication of a static electronic document with no links to the publication that took the risk, commissioned the work and came up with a story that tilted the national conversation. The technical, legal term for what they did is, um, stealing.

Jim VandeHei, executive editor and a founder of Politico, defended the site’s move by claiming that “the imperatives of the news cycle superseded questions of custody”.

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