The U.S. military has banned the use of certain satellite phones -- Thuraya phones -- because they have built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) features. Reuters correspondent Matthew Green reported that military is concerned that using the phones to transmit stories from laptops could give away troop locations. ''They say it's for security, that the Iraqis can use it to triangulate the signal and fire missiles," he reported. One Chicago Tribune reporter had to borrow a Washington Post reporter's phone after his phone was confiscated, and USA TODAY reporters are relying on the military's satellite phones to transmit stories. USA TODAY has asked that the ban be reconsidered, the newspaper reported.
Every time there's a significant news event, the Internet gets a little stronger as a medium, Steve Outing writes in Editor & Publisher. And the bigger the event, the bigger the boost. Now with the U.S. war on Iraq in full swing, the Internet is (mostly) there as a mass medium capable of meeting high public demand with quality coverage delivered efficiently.
Photojournalism in the battlefield moves into a new era with advanced digital equipment. J.D. Lasica says news Web sites are poised to demonstrate how this medium has become increasingly powerful at shaping public understanding of conflict.
ABCNEWs.com is letting campaign workers file dispatches to its Web site in a new feature.
Reuters has launched a free streaming video feed online that shows raw war-related footage such as government briefings and footage from on the ground in Iraq -- including battlefield images. The service is free, although Reuters plans to charge for it eventually.
Norbert Specker analyzes online sites' approach to war's start, and David Carlson says news sites have learned to cope with big-story traffic in a special war edition of E-Media Tidbits.
CBS MarketWatch executive editor David Callaway says war rumors breathlessly reported on the Internet have been picked up by television, radio, and newspapers. "As America prays for the safety of our troops and the Iraqi people, the media bears a responsibility now more than ever not to sensationalize events or run with shaky reports," Callaway says. "It's a tall order. But in war, there's no other kind."
Before a war has even begun, the inevitable stories are already being written about how the war will be covered online like no other war before. Reuters reports that the "maturing Web offers focal point for war coverage." The Associated Press reports that the "Internet serves menu of viewpoints on Iraq." The Guardian reports on "How the net will play a key role in this war." Warblogs," meanwhile, are exploding in popularity. "Blogging is an online equivalent of going to a demonstration,'' said Colin Hunter, a co-founder of Antiwar.com.