In Don’t Mention the War: The Australian Defence Force, the Media and the Afghan Conflict,Monash University media and cultural historian Associate Professor Kevin Foster examines how reporters covered the war. He looks at how the ADF impeded journalists’ access to the country or interfered with their freedom of movement among the troops, how the government looked the other way, how some in the fourth estate were happy with the lack of coverage, and how public understanding of the conflict was affected by these dispositions.
“The war in Afghanistan is now the longest and, arguably, worst reported conflict in Australian history,” Associate Professor Foster said.
“The Australian media coverage ensured the war functioned as another platform for the celebration of national military virtues, that why the ADF was in Afghanistan was far less important than how it performed there.”
Don’t Mention the War considers how the ADF’s arrangements for media access reflected the status of the military in Australian society and compares it with the status of the military and their relations with the media in Canada and the Netherlands. Where the Dutch and Canadian forces went to Afghanistan eager to re-build tarnished reputations and interact candidly with the fourth estate, Associate Professor Foster says the ADF was determined to defend its exalted status and fashioned a media management program tailored to this purpose.
“Transfixed by the ritual affirmation of identity, neither the military nor their political leaders appear likely to learn from the reverses they suffered in Afghanistan or the lives they cost. Our worst reported war may also tur n out to be our least illuminating,” Associate Professor Foster said.
Associate Professor Kevin Foster teaches Media and Cultural Studies at Monash University. He has written widely on war, cultural history and national identity. His books include a study of the Falklands conflict, Fighting Fictions: War, Narrative and National Identity (1999), What Are We Doing in Afghanistan? The Military and the Media at War (2009) and The Information Battlefield: Representing Australians at War (2011).
Don’t Mention the War: The Australian Defence Force, the Media and the Afghan Conflict will be launched by Overland editor Jeff Sparrow on Thursday 5 December at the Avenue Bookstore Elsternwick, 434 Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick at 6pm.
Find out more:
ARC grant success for School of MFJ
Five researchers in the School of Media, Film and Journalism, Associate Professor Shane Homan, Dr … Continue reading ARC grant success for School of MFJ
The role of social media in environmental reporting – comparing Australia and China
by David Holmes In a recent piece for The Guardian, environmental journalist and activist George … Continue reading The role of social media in environmental reporting – comparing Australia and China
Academic freedom isn’t the issue with Lomborg’s consensus centre
David Holmes, School of Media, Film and Journalism Controversial campaigner for climate change trivialisation Bjorn … Continue reading Academic freedom isn’t the issue with Lomborg’s consensus centre
There is one thing the Coalition can do for climate change that Labor cannot
David Holmes, School of Media, Film and Journalism After barely two weeks in office, the … Continue reading There is one thing the Coalition can do for climate change that Labor cannot
What does the ‘Border Farce’ tell us about the future of crisis politics in Australia?
David Holmes The convulsive reaction to Friday’s failed security operation by the Australian Border Force … Continue reading What does the ‘Border Farce’ tell us about the future of crisis politics in Australia?
sensiLab Forum: Communications and Media Studies’ Daniel Black
A key initiator of the spread of digital interfaces into our everyday lives was the … Continue reading sensiLab Forum: Communications and Media Studies’ Daniel Black
Larrikin carnival: an Australian style of cultural subversion
Tony Moore, Monash University This article is part of a series, On Happiness, examining what … Continue reading Larrikin carnival: an Australian style of cultural subversion
Monash at the first Shangai City Lab
The first Shanghai City Lab and Cultural Economy International Summer School took place at Shanghai Jiaotong University’s Xuhui … Continue reading Monash at the first Shangai City Lab
PR and Communications Internship with Haystac
Gain some valuable work-experience in the area of media and communication with a leading marketing … Continue reading PR and Communications Internship with Haystac
Australia’s radical media sphere link
Monash University senior lecturer Dr Tony Moore has presented his historical research from his book, Death … Continue reading Australia’s radical media sphere link
Young celebs and LGBT rights: what would Hall say?
By Andy Ruddock Any lingering doubts about the political power of popular culture have surely … Continue reading Young celebs and LGBT rights: what would Hall say?
The great global warming subsidy: the truth about Australian corporate welfare
by David Holmes The demise of manufacturing in this country has captured the news headlines … Continue reading The great global warming subsidy: the truth about Australian corporate welfare