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Army Commander Will Tweet From War-Torn Afghanistan

Telegraph, our source for this story, quotes Graham saying, “I would like to be able to give people a feel for the reality because it’s not all fighting, it’s not all bombs and bullets.”

Military officials around the world are understandably concerned that soldiers could create risks for themselves, their campaigns and others should they inadvertently share information on social media that would be useful to enemy forces. But the initial concern has been easing up lately.

The United States military recently reversed a general ban on social media that was imposed by certain branches such as the Marines. There are myriad caveats and potential exceptions, of course, but it’s a step for soldiers who want to stay in touch with friends and families while fighting abroad.

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McChrystal Clear: Basic Media Training

McChrystal: The Lessons

What lessons are there to take away?

1. As apparently General McChrystal didn’t or wouldn’t, remember when you are speaking to the press that you are speaking to the press. Obvious? Maybe not enough. If you are offered an interview opportunity that may seem attractive to your business efforts, do your homework. What is the publishing organ? Is it Time or is it That is, is it an organization which endeavors to be fair and objective and has a reputation to match? Or is it a shoot-from-the-hip medium which is only concerned about titillating its readers/viewers?
2. Then, who is the writer? Ask for published work if it’s available so that you may review the writer’s credentials and orientations. What you are doing is protecting yourself. But what you are also doing is impressing the writer that you did your own homework, and that you cared enough about the dialogue to familiarize yourself with the writer’s work.
3. And of this, remember: Writers are people, too, with egos. If you liked something the writer wrote, say so. It’s a great ice-breaker.
4. Then, in an interview setting, measure your words. You’re not going to lose your job if you say too little. But you might, like Stanley McChrystal, lose your job if you say too much. If you hear your mind caution you about a comment or revelation you might be about to make, think a couple of homely maxims: “Better safe than sorry.” And/or “When in doubt, leave it out.”

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Now we are well aware that all of you lovely connected people will no doubt receive umpteen forwarded emails every day, bearing constantly amended titles such as: ‘You have to check this out’, or ‘So so funny – you have to read’ or the ever-intriguing ‘Awesome Friday fun LOL’.

Obviously, the clearly fake sarcastic email correspondance between a man and his uncooperative insurance company or pictures of cats on trampolines (can I haz bounce?) which follow, are almost always a dissapointment. Imagine our delight, therefore, when we were sent one that we actually enjoyed reading… [Más…]

It is perhaps no surprise that the copy was slick, sharp and engaging – it was keyed by a critically acclaimed writer, Jason Elliot. He is best known for his travel-based nonfiction, specifically, An Unexpected Light, Travels in Afghanistan and Mirrors of the Unseen, Journeys in Iran. His latest work, however, is something of a departure – a rip-roaring, Bourne-esque espionage thriller set just before the events of 9/11.

His email – sent presumably to most of the contacts in his address book – begins: ‘This message is to acquaint you with a new book released this week in the UK by Bloomsbury. It is not the kind of book I would normally read but, since I wrote it, I did have to study it quite closely.’

He follows by explaining, ‘Those of you who did not fully relish my last book about cryptic metaphysical symbolism in Persian geometric art will be relieved to know that The Network is a page-turning thriller. The terms ‘epistemological’ and ‘ontological’ do not appear. Instead, there are lots of details about guns, explosions, and descriptions of women from hot countries.’

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Gabriel Catalano

octubre 2015
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