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The last fifty years have seen the further expansion of the role of media during times of war. Although no longer dominated by large-scale propaganda agencies as during the two world wars, the media nevertheless have become ever more integral to the planning and conduct of wars. This article applies the concept of mediatization in an attempt to capture the ever-increasing role of the media during war times as part of an ongoing and accelerating historical process. It uses a comparative analysis to highlight the commonalities of this process as well as to emphasize national particularities. The article argues that the mediatization of war has significantly accelerated over the past fifty years and has established the media as the “fourth branch” of military operations, just as essential as the army, navy, and air force.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in American Journalism on Fall 2011, available online:

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American Journalism: A Journal of Media History


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