Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Jennifer Lee

First Page



In recent years, U.N. peacekeeping operations have become an increasing focus of international military action and media coverage. While the military and the media have maintained a precarious balance in the United States between the military's objective of operational success and the media's call for uncensored reporting, the evolution and growing importance of U.N. peacekeeping offers new considerations to this balance. This Note examines the ability of the United Nations to affect the balance between the military and the media through the implementation of U.N. media rules during peacekeeping operations. This Note begins by reviewing the history of media coverage of U.N. peacekeeping and discussing the international conventions addressing freedom of expression and the free flow of information. Next, the Note examines both the United Nation's ability to restrict the media during peacekeeping operations and the interests of the United Nations and the media concerning such restrictions. The Note continues by proposing that the United Nations establish media rules for peacekeeping operations which balance the respective roles of the United Nations and the media. Finally, the Note concludes that to be effective, U.N. media rules must not only limit media coverage when necessary for operational success, but must also have the support of the media and the participating member states in each peacekeeping operation.