Saturday, May 05, 2007


Rapid Fire Roundtable

Great lunch, we're ready to get started with Rapid Fire...

John Donovan (Moderator), Noah Shachtman, Neptunus Lex, Murdoc, CPT Deiss of Centcom, Eagle1 from Eaglespeak, Slab of OPFOR.

John: I started blogging because I got tired of yelling at the TV. Talking about Ted Kazinski, "people aren't always what they seem to be. Guy may have an arsenal in his basement."

The object was to be an explainer. Media -- 24 x 7, they have to make money.
Example from before, Saddam trial versus operations...

Eagle1 of Eaglespeak: I try and work through history of the Navy, current events, piracy, how terrorists might attack maritime interests... Things the Coast Guard is doing, haven't met many others...
Eagle1: Son Navy helicopter pilot, another who wants to be the next Lex.

Murdoc from Murdoc Online: Emails, started blogging about military things. Hobby, something fun. Google, finding military stuff. Background interest in military, started taken off. A lot of neat people to meet here. Nothing makes my day better than getting a thumbs up from someone in the military.

Noah Shachtman: Yelling at the TV, used to yell at TV myself. At Walter Ctronkite, Proto-baby blogger. Interested in blogging from the start. Went to his editor, want to write about blogging, he says, yeah, yeah.

6 months later, that guy got fired. Now, Wired has 12-15 blogs, that's an important part of what we do.

Thinking about being the lone MSM guy here...luckily I put my fangs away...

Wrote a story the other day about AR 530-1 OPSEC...

Charlie Bendil, SLAB, at OPFOR: 2nd and third deployment, kept people up via Matt on Blackfive. Invited to join OPFOR. Try to keep a grunt's eye view. Not too sweeping with my posts, that's not my lane. Ready to go over, try to keep blogging.

Lex from Neptunus Lex: Great opportunity to share your experiences.

CPT Anthony Deiss, Army National Guard, mobilized at CENTCOM: PAO by trade, since working at CENTCOM, blog outreach program and Electronic Media Engagement Officer. Has a couple soldiers that support effort. CENTCOM really looks at blogs as credible media. Many in military don't feel that way. We really embrace you guys. Honor to be here.
Noah, myths about the MSM: I think there's an idea that MSM reporters are some kind of fifth column or disloyal Americans. Deliberately put out there, a little evidence out there. But incorrect.

I have noticed that news stories have a bias towards the dramatic. In Iraq, I didn't write about hanging out playing Halo 2 on the FOB, but about days when things blew up. Not a bias against the war. If it bleeds it leads.

Another myth, reporters sitting in Green zone, lazy. Not the case. Iraq is the most dangerous place for things like this.

Friend, David Axe, been to Iraq 7 or 8 times. A lot of others like him. In general in the press, value to being skeptical towards officials, especially military officials. Run up to Iraq war, kept skepticism in back pocket, have to get behind the war, got burned as a result.

In Manhattan or LA, not many coming from a military background. Seems weird, southern, alien -- audience, cluebat time -- right, everybody here is a cluebat.

Can teach reporters about military and our specialties.
John: You're fooling yourself if you think you don't need the MSM. Most of us are secondary and derivative. Filling in the edges.

Reading from senior Army PAO guy: what are the smaller steps, to accomplish the bigger step of Army recognizing milbloggers.

Last year, Centcom sent two majors, most spoke outside conference. This year, PAO sitting on the panel. ADM Fox live from Iraq, a small step. President addressing us this morning, a small step.

I don't think bloggers are an after thought. Still an attitude that MSM is the money maker. Lack of means to measure milblogs. Real target audience isn't people, it's Congress. Go to MSM because that's how to reach Congress.

Sees a potential improvement in GEN Casey. I still see milbloggers as secondary or tertiary comms channel.

Not how many, but who reads you.
DoD speakers, we love bloggers, we're big on bloggers, Conference calls, hooking up with bloggers...

Leadership in Iraq, Pentagon, in touhc with you. Happy to engage with you.

John: What has changed in last year that made that worth the effort?

A: Hezbollah Israeli engagement, faked pictures, propaganda, blogosphere outed the fakery. Israel did a study 6 months later, but milbloggers a barometer.

Latest Zogby survey, people getting news from Internet versus TV. Military looking at it, we tend to be innovative, getting in and looking at the whole medium, important to the military.

Question: Jihadists can spin out a video in 24 hours, why can't the military?

(Female DoD Officer in Audience) Answer: Has to go through OPSEC review, real-time, even Gulf War, enemy watching on CNN to gauge retargeting...

CPT Deiss: Everybody wants to get their chop on it. Unavoidable.

Jack Holt PAO guy in audience: Jihadist enemies have no compelling reason to tell the truth. We have to make sure our stuff is accurate, as well as protecting operational details...

1st Army DIVIT (sp?) System. One of the areas where we had to get products out there. Very successful. MNF-I You Tube video system. Most people don't know DIVIT was there, MNF-I in one week, You Tube site up to #16 in popularity.

John: We're losing the information war. All the reasons given, but there it is.

Jack: That's why I came here. We will have to look at the way PAO is done.
Question: Embed, register bloggers? Feedback.

Chuck Z: I have been credentialed its called the Constitution, I have a right to express my opinion. But, I am also accountable for what I say.

Murdoc: Milblogs do a great job of filling in what isn't being reported.


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