This story is basically a public relations move by the US Army to put a good spin on some embarrassing recruitment tactics that have been exposed lately. The video footage used by channel 13 is exclusively of military recruitment offices or soldiers setting up tables in public places for recruiting purposes. The story mentions that the Army is failing to meet their recruitment quotas and then says “Some blame the war in Iraq.” Viewers should ask themselves what kind of a source is “Some?” Who is saying that the war in Iraq is contributing to a decrease in people signing up for the military?
The story does mention one instance where an Army recruiter used a questionable tactic, but doesn’t provide any details, nor does it explore the larger questions around military recruiting tactics, such as on college campuses or in high schools. There is also only one perspective provided, that of the US military. Viewers should ask themselves why no other perspective was provided particularly that of groups doing counter-recruitment work.
WZZM 13 News reader – The Army has ordered its recruiters to stand down today for retraining. 8,000 soldiers spent the day watching videos on Pentagon recruiting policies. The service has not met its recruitment quotas. Some blame the war in Iraq. The Pentagon also punished some recruiters for violating military policy in seeking new recruits. One soldier threatened to arrest a teenage if he didn’t sign up with the Army.
Army Recruitment Commander – We are a very dispersed command and as a result we rely on the personal integrity and the adherence to Army values of every single recruiter in order to live up to the standards of those values.
WZZM 13 News reader – Well the goal for this year is 80,000 new soldiers, but the recruiting so far is about 15% its year to date goal.
Total Time – 49 seconds