Ever since the advent of U.S. military personnel blogging about their experiences in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military brass has been in a conundrum. Do they allow these eye-opening first-person accounts from the front lines, or do they try to rein them in to keep control over the storylines of the Iraq War? Not only are milblogs providing first-person text accounts of war, but there are also photos and video streaming in from the front lines as never before. (See this MediaShift guide to soldier videos from Iraq.)
I recently received a question on this topic from Chris Eder, a broadcast journalist for the Air Force who blogs at AFNBroadcaster. “The Air Force’s #1 weakness is telling a timely story, and its #1 strength is telling an accurate story,” Eder said. “Citizen journalism’s #1 strength is telling a timely story. Given these restraints, how do you think the Air Force could best leverage all of these voices to tell one message?” Good question and one I will put to you, dear MediaShift readers. How should the Air Force and the rest of the U.S. military deal with citizen journalism among soldiers? Should they just filter posts that could give away strategy or soldier locations? Is it something they should embrace, and how? Share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll run the best ones in the next Your Take Roundup and send them to Eder.