Naval War College Review


"In peace time," John Sorrels of the Scripps-Howard chain of newspapers stated in 1943, "the sole responsibility of the newspaper is to inform, to enlighten, to illuminate. In war time, a great part of the responsibility is not to inform, but to suppress, to guard, to screen information of the most interesting sort." Both in and outside the profession of journalism there were many who in the name of patriotism would have agreed with this editor. After all, no loyal American wanted to render aid and comfort to the enemy, the standard which was ubiquitously employed to justify withholding news. But was the decision not to inform so simple to make?