Pentagon revises manual to clarify protections of journalism

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has revised its Law of War guidelines for U.S. military commanders to remove wording that could be interpreted as permitting commanders to treat war correspondents as “unprivileged belligerents” if they think the journalists are sympathizing or cooperating with enemy forces.

The amended manual, released Friday, also drops references that equate journalism with spying.

News organizations had expressed concern that updates to the manual published last summer contained vaguely worded provisions that commanders could interpret as allowing them to detain journalists for any number of perceived offenses.

The revisions more explicitly state that engaging in journalism does not constitute taking a direct part in hostilities.