It is rare these days for governments or other bodies to impose literal censorship: that is, requiring text or images to be shown before transmission or posting to an official who can block them or modify their content. It still occurs occasionally, however.

Some journalists will have nothing to do with censors, submitting nothing to them. They will look for opportunities to get their material, uncensored, out of the country or jurisdiction involved even if it means delays.

Others will submit material to censors, hoping for the best outcome. If their material is too distorted after censorship, they will refuse to send it. Some journalists will allow censors to remove material, noting on their stories that “portions of this report were deleted by [for example] the Israeli military censor.” If the censor makes changes to wording, however, journalists may decide not to send the story at all.

When journalists accompany military units in the field, a practice known as embedding, they may be required to submit to various kinds of censorship. They may have to pledge not to mention force sizes or numbers of casualties; to respect “operational security” about force locations and upcoming operations; or not to report the identities of casualties until their families are notified. On occasion, military units may demand to see all stories or imagery that reporters accompanying them wish to transmit. They may refuse to have it transmitted, or ask reporters to destroy it.

The main author of this section is Thomas Kent.