By Diane Farsetta on March 04, 2005

"The Department of Homeland Security has tapped Ogilvy PR to provide real journalists for its biennial mock terrorist exercise," reports PR Week. (An earlier Spin noted the TOPOFF 3 exercise.) Ogilvy "will pick six journalists to cover the simulated attack," for what DHS is calling the Virtual News Network. Other activities will occur in Britain. Ogilvy has assisted with the TOPOFF exercises since 2000. Although participating journalists "cannot currently be accredited to a news organization," media ethicists have questioned government payments to reporters.

Comments

I feel kindo weird : I wrote a short story fifteen years ago involving a "Virtual News Network" and that wasn't a nice story. But this takes the cake : controling the media coverage becomes such a key issue it has to be part of the exercise package. What kind of model democracy puts propaganda at the same level as security ? Regarding "mock terrorist exercise" : one of the 3 French former Guantanamo inmates was released yesterday - there was no charge to be found against him. It just took a couple of days to check it in France but 3 years were not enough in Guantanamo's Club Med. Stephane MOT http://www.stephanemot.com