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Mr. Rosenblum reports on how the first Gulf War, with its “doctrine of overwhelming force,” rewrote the rules. He quotes Col. David H. Hackworth, a much decorated officer who wrote for Newsweek in 1991 that he had “more guns pointed at me by Americans who were into controlling the press than in my years of actual combat.”

The author, who also clashed with overbearing military authority, charged bitterly that to them, reporting on the state of mind of the soldiers instead of accepting “patriotic puffery” meant a journalist was “not on the team.” He recalled how Christiane Amanpour, when starting out with CNN, complained, “If we happen to stumble across news, we can’t use it because it has to be cleared. Now suddenly we are the enemy.”

Yet Mr. Rosenblum seems to think there is still hope for those who seek a journalistic career despite the current era in which you “point your phone anywhere” to reach a global audience. And he repeatedly returns to his basic concept of journalism, that “for all the wondrous potential of new tools and techniques, what counts is getting close to the story.”

Muriel Dobbin is a former White House and national political reporter for McClatchy newspapers and the Baltimore Sun.