OPINION: Information Warfare - Monday's Radio Commentary by MTSU Professor Larry Burriss

Mar 07, 2022 at 07:28 am by WGNS

Information Warfare is part of the problem today, according to MTSU Professor Larry Burriss in Monday’s Radio Commentary…

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VERBATIM: “Not so long ago the two main news outlets in the old Soviet Union were Izvestia, which means “News” and Pravda, which means “Truth.” And it didn’t take long for some wordsmith to put the two together in this somewhat famous saying: There’s no Pravda in Izvestia, and no Izvestia in Pravda; no truth in the news, and no news in the truth.

Today there are a number of words lots of people, including reporters, are tossing around, sometimes to deliberately confuse people and governments.

Let’s look at a few.

Information warfare and disinformation occurs when the government uses news and social media to gain public support for their side, and at the same time confuse and demoralize the other side.

Disinformation, on the other hand, is deliberately spreading lies.

Suffice it to say, every government and organization on the planet tries to create a favorable image for itself, and a negative image of the other side.

Cyber warfare is used to infiltrate and damage the enemy’s computer infrastructure. This may be something as simple as changing an opponent’s web page, perhaps with disinformation, to manipulating or destroying data.

Imagine what would happen if a cyber-terrorist hacked into a hospital’s date base and changed all of the medication dosages. Or changed the chemical balance in a water treatment plant.

Some authorities consider electronic warfare to be different branch of combat. Here the idea is to disrupt systems such as navigation, radar, cell phone service and radio/television systems.

Intelligence and counterintelligence is the gathering of information about the enemy, and preventing their side from gathering information about your side.

What is not generally known is how little spying is done by James Bond-types. Most intelligence is gathered from what is known as open source information: newspaper stories, academic research articles, social media and other public sources.

Actually, most of this is nothing new. Julius Caesar in Europe and Joshua at Jericho were doing the same things, without computer assistance, centuries ago. - I’m Larry Burriss.”

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About Dr. Burriss

Larry Burriss, professor of journalism, teaches introductory and media law courses. At the graduate level he teaches quantitative research methods and media law. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University (B.A. in broadcast journalism, M.A. in journalism), the University of Oklahoma (M.A. in human relations), Ohio University (Ph.D. in journalism) and Concord Law School (J.D.). He has worked in print and broadcast news and public relations, and has published extensively in both academic and popular publications. He has won first place in the Tennessee Associated Press Radio Contest nine times. Dr. Burriss' publications and presentations include studies of presidential press conferences, NASA photography, radio news, legal issues related to adolescent use of social networking sites, legal research, and Middle Earth.

Dr. Burriss has served as director of the School of Journalism, dean of the College of Mass Communication and president of the MTSU Faculty Senate. He was appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to serve on the Tennessee Board of Regents. He was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and served on active duty in Mali, Somalia, Bosnia, Central America, Europe and the Pentagon.    


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