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The power of example is very important to people under stress.

-- General Sir John Hackett

Current poll results

How have embedded journalists affected the coverage of the war in Iraq?

Coverage is better67 %67 %67 % 67.86 % (57)
Coverage is worse17 %17 %17 % 17.86 % (15)
I do not know1 %1 %1 % 1.19 % (1)
I have no opinion5 %5 %5 % 5.95 % (5)
Other, please list in comments7 %7 %7 % 7.14 % (6)

Total votes: 84
One vote is allowed per day

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Re: How have embedded journalists affected the coverage of t
by Anonymous
on Apr 21, 2003

I think they show things to fast at home.Folks see it on TV.Before anyone can show up at there houses.I know I don't want to see my son live on TV.God Bless

Re: How have embedded journalists affected the coverage of t
by Anonymous
on Apr 22, 2003
Coverage of the war by embedded journalists was sort of interesting but not earth-shakingly different. I don't believe I learned anything more or better than we did from the efforts of our journalists in Vietnam or WWII (etc.). General Franks seems to have become a big fan of the method, which counts for something. Some senior embedded journalists regard the experience as having the effect of their reporting becoming part of the war propaganda, because the "auditing" function they usually have was limited by their logistical inability to freely move around outside the confines of their assignment. Others, mainly those who had not covered war in the past, apparently found the experience enlightening and life-changing. Both camps, however, had nothing but praise for how they were treated openly by our troops and officers.
The question, however, is, "Did the rest of us have a similar experience?" Nope. I cannot help thinking we saw what somebody somewhere WANTED us to see.

As for any difference embedding made in the news people saw, it didn't seem to amount to very much at all. It was helpful to see the conditions our troops had to endure and so forth, yet very little actual news seems to have gotten through. It was sort of a play-by-play kind of thing, without much analysis of what the game was supposed to be about (other than ousting Hussein and company). The method must have given some information to families back home, which was mostly a good thing. Having had the luxury of time to watch the reporting hour after hour from start to "finish" (if it is finished), my impression was that sketchy reports were repeated over and over again in each 24-hour news cycle, almost as if there was only one camera in the whole of Iraq whose footage got shared by all the networks.

It would have been more interesting to have seen some reporting by non-embedded journalists, or those who were embedded representing other nations of the Coalition, or even some regular features showing how other nations were reporting the events. All in all, I got the feeling that most of what I was seeing was extremely limited, very tightly controlled and well orchestrated. It did not seem to be reporting in any meaningful Ernie Pyles emerged, in other words.

At the beginning, Baghdad reporters were severely limited by their Iraqi "minders", but in different ways so too were our own. Battle Damage Assesssments, for example, were not and still are not being shown except in the most limited way...though they certainly are available to SOMEONE with a camera and microphone. Truth to tell, Still-Photographers for magazines are getting more realistic and complete information out than embedded reporters.

Though the Commander has yet to declare a military victory, by now embedded reporters are back taking showers at home for the most part, which seems to be very wrong somehow. Our troops are still there and in great danger most of the time, but I guess the "action" is over, or something? I'd prefer to see the reporters hanging in with our people at least until they board the homeward-bound transports, if embedding is to have any lasting value for anyone. Now that the political and diplomatic phase is underway, one would think that wide and deep reporting would be every bit as vital to a "Free Press" as showing us how big the explosions were in a distant capitol city, waiting (if people would be honest) to see if the Air Force did, actually, drop the "Mother Of All Bombs" yet.

In the end, one supposes that embedded journalism has its place nowadays and from here on. But, as for it being any kind of revelation for those here at home whose civic duty it is to think carefully about such dire issues as warfare, the method was in many ways a yawner. I'm sure it was exciting for the embedded reporters themselves (Colonel North sure had a lot of "fun"!), and it must have been useful to the mission planners at the Defense Department, but I don't recall learning all that much from the whole thing.

I remember the startled look on the faces of Marines landing on a beach somewhere years ago, in some place over in that region... maybe it was Sudan or Lebanon or somewhere... there they were, rushing into God-knows-what
dangers, and some camera crew had arrived before they did, bright lights were shining in their eyes as they moved forward into battle; just what they least needed. So, if embedding journalists will keep our "Free Press" from screwing up military maneuvers, then it is for the best, if for no other reason at all. However, as for valuable information sharing, it was pretty much an entertainment-based-ratings- improver that did not offend the military requirements of war.

Re: How have embedded journalists affected the coverage of t
by David
on Apr 22, 2003

Your analysis was far more in depth then the reporting BLUEHAWK. I could not agree more. It was the pinnacle of what has come to be known as "Reality TV" and little else.

Re: How have embedded journalists affected the coverage of t
by Anonymous
on Apr 22, 2003
There is no editing, so when they say something, its like they got there hand on a bible, and sometimes there wrong.,

Not only that, but, They only see a small peice of the picture.


Re: How have embedded journalists affected the coverage of t
by Anonymous
on Apr 23, 2003
Thanks David...
It was really kind of disturbing actually, especially now that most of those journalists are back home (except Ollie, for one) and there's a whole bunch of work being done by our people over there, not to mention in Afghanistan and Yugoslavia. Its almost as if the "main event" got done, so now attention from networks is on the "fight card" or something...
I dislike the idea of our troops being forgotten when they are deployed, and of war being treated like a sporting event or a video game by the media.
I was thinking yesterday about what would happen if serious hostilities broke out again in Iraq, for whatever reason (that whole region is FAR from being pacified!) long would it take for the embedded reporters to get embedded again?

Re: How have embedded journalists affected the coverage of t
by David
on Apr 23, 2003

Fox was talking to a couple of their embedded guys that are already back this morning and they brought up an interesting point. When you embed a reporter it is very unlikely you will get unbiased reporting. They live with the troops 24/7 and not only gain great respect for the troops but, given the circumstance, would rather not rock the boat. Both of the reporters denied this as fact but both also visibly squirmed at the statement and had to think a bit before forming a response. One went so far as to allude to a specific incident which he did not elaborate on as proof they reported the bad with the good. I was left with the impression they were not forthcoming in their responses.

Re: How have embedded journalists affected the coverage of t
by Anonymous
on Apr 24, 2003
I think it minimized what really happened there. We did "win" this one, according to the reports, however I think it omited the pain and suffering that must go with the territory. I only know of war from my dad and signifigant other. My dad passed on 3 years ago, but my other had a hard time watching the coverage. He said it was s***, and it still "don't mean nothing". I say When will they ever learn?

I am not talking about the men and women who served, without them I might not have freedom to post this. I am saying What a high price they paid. I wish there was another way. All and all, the media was in it's glory. I found it disgusting.

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