Whistleblowers, Leaks, and the Media: The Legal Rules

Russia’s hack of the Democratic National Committee and the release of those materials to Wikileaks reminds us that the legal line between whistleblowing and leaking is thin indeed, as is the line between journalism and activism. [Read more…]

Pentagon’s Law of War manual revises military journalists’ status

The Pentagon has revised its Law of War manual.

Concerns were raised by Military Reporters & Editors Association members last year at the organization’s conference when the manual was initially released. Sections of the manual were written in such a manner that field commanders could classify civilian journalists as enemy combatants.

“Military, Reporters & Editors was very happy to see that the Pentagon heard our concerns and updated the Law of War manual to make it clear that journalists are not combatants. There should no longer be a question as to whether a reporter operating down range will be punished simply for doing his or her job,” said MRE president Amy McCullough.

The revised manual clarifies the section, and sets journalists as protected civilians. [Read more…]

FOIA site helps reporters

A useful tool for those sending FOIA requests to the DoD or departments.
The tool give you the percentage of requests denied, average length of time, backlog, previously sent FOIA requests, what other journalists are searching for. [Read more…]

Veterans data center

Submitted by Frederick Paul Wellman:

One of our regular clients for ScoutComms, the Housing Assistance Council, has created a fascinating online database for veterans issues ranging from national level statistics all the way down to county-by-county breakouts of veteran numbers on healthcare, homelessness, employment and a number of other categories. I think it might be a great resource for you as you cover veterans stories in the future. Offering it up for you to leverage for what can sometimes be a complicated set of the population to get data on:


Bales Incident Report Available

MRE_150CENTCOM has released the Bales incident report after an FOIA request was made. Below is the link to the PDF file.

[Read more…]

The DoD’s Law of War Manual

Note (Aug. 18, 2015): The Pentagon deleted its copy from their websites. They are now reviewing and revising the document. We will keep you informed on any revisions.

Below it the link to the Law of War Manual released June 2015.

Department of Defense Law of War Manual