Too close for comfort

The aim of this dissertation is to examine the concept that embedded journalism has set a new pattern for war reporting. But In order to reach any definitive conclusion on this we must first ask some key questions.

Prior to the 2003 Iraq war the relationship between the military and the press was abysmal. So why did the military agree to the embedding process? Did they take a chance and hope for the best? Or was this a new military tactic designed to censor and manipulate the media? I suggest the military may have deliberately used the embedded program as a smoke screen for hiding the bigger picture - the justification for the war.

The military wanted to embed, the embedded wanted to be embedded. Was this relationship too close for comfort? What impact did embedding journalists have on news coverage from the battlefield? The very nature of the word 'embedded' implies closeness, and I believe that the vast majority of reporters were unbiased and professional in their reporting from the battlefield. Embedded reporters have also been accused of sanitising the battlefield and producing a war fit for the TV living room. This accusation, though true in context, is a matter for broadcast legislators not reporters.

So was the embedding of reporters a success or failure? I think we will find there is no definitive answer here. I suspect that both parties may have benefited from this experiment. The true benchmark for success will be measured in future pro-government supported military campaigns.

There has been considerable post-war research carried out, by both the Cardiff School of Journalism on behalf of the BBC, and Columbia University on behalf of the Pew Research Centre. The findings from these reports are by no means conclusive, and I think as such remain open to interpretation. I would like to re-evaluate the findings, and draw my own conclusions. I have been fortunate, or unfortunate, enough to have experienced both sides of the coin. Having served in Iraq and now as a broadcasting student, I feel I am in a position to evaluate both sides of the argument without prejudice to either side. I have also carried out extensive research into the subject using facts attained from personal interviews, journals, books and internet based sources.

It is often said that truth is the first casualty of war. (Reporting War 1976:454)

In a demographic democracy the media are presumed to provide an unofficial check on the Government. The watchdog attitudes of the press has commenced since John Stuart Mill's writing of the Forth Estate (Reviving the Forth Estate 1998:16). His writing has educated the public about the abuse of Governments. In today's battlefield a journalist captures wartime images with greater ease. Technology has paved the way for images of war to be transmitted instantaneously to a global audience, both directly shaping and forming public opinion. In turn this access has complicated the relationship between the media and the military.

Technology has provided the military with a longer reach and capability to carry out warfare far from the battlefield, limiting the media's ability to carry out an independent assessment of the military's actions in times of war. There have always been tensions in war between the press and the military. The job of the press is to expose the actions of both the military and the Government.

The military and the press endured a strained relationship during the post Vietnam era (Arab Media Information Age 2006:390). This was a time of experimentation for the Pentagon and the military.

Drawing on experiences learnt from the British of press management during the Falklands campaign in 1982, in 1983 the invasion of Grenada proceeded with a complete news blackout (Reporting War Journalism 2004:29). The press were only able to cover the events from Barbados, over 150 miles away. After this debacle there was an outcry from news organisations which resulted in a commission being set up to investigate the future of military/media relations. The report argued for the possible setting up of a large 'press pool' limited by the practicalities of war. The first use of the media press pool was during the 1989 invasion of Panama and was a complete failure. Journalists were forbidden access to the military and the frontline.

During the 1991 Gulf war the military denied access to sensitive areas and provided very little opportunity for reporters to interview military personnel. The media war was effectively reported and produced from the information they received from daily military briefings. Media organisations were extremely frustrated by this lack of access, and the military had intentionally exerted tremendous control over the written and visual news coverage.

All media organisations in situ relied heavily on the military to relay communications back to their editors in Washington and London, with communications being prioritised, the media often found themselves at the bottom of the queue. This was not particularly helpful during periods of actual combat when transmission facilities were prioritised for military use only.

After the Gulf war the Pentagon and Ministry of Defence (MOD) promised open and independent reporting from any future military operations. However, this procedure was still not implemented during the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. With news organisations complaining about denied access to coalition forces in Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the Pentagon referred to the country's sensitivities as the reason for denied access. Initially in Afghanistan reporters were not allowed access to military personnel. Again the Pentagon explained the difficulties associated with covert operations against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda as a reason to keep reporters out of there 'theatre of operations'.

In Afghanistan in 2001 Marines confined journalists to a warehouse so they could not report on wounded U.S soldiers returning from patrol. This is somewhat strange considering reporters now had access to both the Northern Alliance and Taliban fighters in theatre. A war being fought by Americans but not chronicled by Americans was unheard off. In September 2001 Victoria Clarke, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defence for Public Affairs 2001-2003, discussed with bureau chiefs how to implement the next generation of the so called embedding system. The warehouse incident had brought about condemnation from media organisations, an apology from the Pentagon, and a swift implementation toward a new media strategy ensued. Creating the embed programme for the Iraq war in 2003 made strategic sense for the military and the media. Embedding is the preferred alternative to the media pool system. The Pentagon at this stage was responding to demands made by bureau chiefs to replace the flawed pool system of the 2001 Gulf war.

Brian Whitman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Media Operations, concurred when discussing Iraq:

"We are going to try to use embeds to the maximum extent possible. We are doing it because that's what news organisations tell us they want to do. They want their reporters to be able to cover any potential conflicts at the frontline. So we are going to try to accommodate that."

Secretary Rumsfeld, Defence Secretary, United State of America

"Embedding would counter Saddam Hussein's ability to disseminate propaganda. Having people who are honest and professional that is very useful." (Clarke 2002)

Chapter 1 - The Military Perspective

Embedding personalizes the war by showing the professionalism of the military. The Pentagon relied on the support of the journalists to showcase the military, there by building support for the war effort. This was about shaping domestic and foreign policy, any day the military is shown in a positive light, is a good day.

The American military relied on the professionalism of its soldiers and marines to minimise civilian casualties and reduce collateral damage. Showing audiences in the USA and the rest of the World the extent to which the military will go to reduce collateral damage against innocent Iraqi civilians and civil infrastructures.

Prior and during the war the Pentagon realised that international public opinion was not on their side. Embedding journalists would help create transparency about the war's aims. Such increased transparency could have a positive impact on international public opinion, but only if third party observers reported it. The Pentagon planners drew a strong connection between winning the media war and winning the war on the ground. Failure to do so would allow Saddam Hussein's propaganda machine to manipulate the war, affecting World public opinion.

The Ministry of Defence only embedded one foreign journalist, an American working for Reuters, the rest were British nationals. In comparison, the Pentagon embedded 80% of nationals, with 20% of this made up of local media nominated by parent units. The other 20% was made up of foreign media, which included European and Arab news media such as Al Jazeera. The Pentagon had been preparing for this war not just militarily but also from a media/'psych-ops' perspective months before the invasion. The Ministry of Defence on the other hand was restricted by the political uncertainty of the war and the British Governments desire to avoid a stance that war was not inevitable. This in turn had an impact on the training and implementation of journalists into military units.

Unlike their American allies the British kept their propaganda and 'psych-ops' quite separate from their media operations. The military was concerned about its reputation and the impact that bad press can have but assumed that reports from embeds would be only part of a wider picture. From the allied military perspective, the media clearly complied with their agenda to make this war an information- television war. The different aptitudes expressed by both the Pentagon and the Ministry of Defence about the media suggests that this relationship is closer in the United States than in Britain (Too Close for Comfort:21).

The Ministry of Defence was well aware of the pro-anti war stance of some of its embedded journalists throughout the war. The American media on the other hand had been enlisted to the patriotic cause of embedding from an early stage. From the Pentagons perspective the intended journalism was not one which would investigate the war or the justifications for it. It was journalism designed to keep the public opinion focused on the side of the Americans and allied forces and away from the wider questions. While the Ministry Of Defence's media relationship could at times be seen to be strained, the tension and distance this implies may be more clearly in the public interest.

Research implies that the military was indeed well aware and ready for the consequences of embedding journalists into military units (Too Close for Comfort 2003:22).

"A relative handful of Pentagon civilian elites have formulated for US policy in the entire Arab and Islamic Worlds. A view in which terror, pre-emptive war, and unilateral regime change - backed up by the most bloated military budget in history, are the main ideas debated endlessly and impoverishing by a media that assigns itself the role of producing so -called experts who validate the governments general line."

Chapter 2 - The Journalist Perspective

So what did embedded reporting yield? Given that the Pentagon's desire to accommodate embedded reporters and the embeds desire to be embedded free from the restrictive media pools of the 1991 Gulf war. The journalistic experience with the American military for most journalists was a positive one. They were given unprecedented access to military commanders, and more information than they expected to receive. The American military seemed to understand their requirements, and was able to supply adequate transport and support for their equipment. American media outlets also benefited from being able to pool equipment between broadcasters. The Pentagon saw the embedded programme as part of a well co-ordinated media strategy. Journalists embedded with British units experienced a different reception. Unlike their American counterparts who were able to uplink reports by satellite, thus helped by having a good working relationship with their unit commanders on the ground, the British reporters relied on the 'good will' of their commanders to allow them access to satellite uplinks.

British journalists relied on the Forward Transmission Unit (FTU). Journalists would send their reports back to the FTU by courier where senior correspondents were waiting to package them, supposedly after having access to field commanders and the most up to date information available. In reality the courier service did not work well. Correspondents back at the FTU were frustrated with the lack of information and deemed the FTU a failure. Instead any journalist with the technology bypassed the FTU sending their reports direct back to London for packaging.

From the British perspective the FTU was a total failure caused by the breakdown in trust between the Military and the journalists. The Ministry of Defence was accused of being ill prepared. Meetings between major broadcasters and the MOD occurred at a very late stage and the Ministry of Defence underestimated the amount of equipment and vehicles needed to support television journalists. Unlike the Pentagon who had pre-briefed and trained embedded journalists 6 weeks prior to the invasion.

The advances in technology by 2003 compared to 1991 and the Iraq war was staggering. We had converted from analogue to digital broadcasting in the space of a decade with enhanced imagery and faster access to television and radio broadcasting. Even with this new technology the reality on the ground was very different. Journalists struggled with the constraints of the technology, the long satellite uplink times, and the harsh desert conditions. However, journalists with access to more options found their experience of technology in war more satisfactory.

The media had agreed to abide by the nineteen restrictions that would not compromise the military's mission (see Public Affairs Guidance 2003 index B).

This restricted reporting on the enemy's strength's, any current or future American military plans, troop movements and locations, but unit names, hometowns, enemy personnel captured or detained was acceptable. This type of reporting is likely to produce a specific type of reporting. Embedded reporters found it difficult to be critical since the systems structure worked against it. The journalist as the independent watchdog was replaced by spending the bulk of their time working at a micro level. This hindered their mission to provide an independent assessment of the military's actions.

Colonel Paul Brook, Assistant Director for Operations - Ministry of Defence, described the embeds view of the war as "like looking through a Smartie tube, through a net curtain at night." (Too Close for Comfort 2003:17).

The journalistic community thought the embedding process would be an opportunity to gain unprecedented access to the battlefield, and who could have blamed them. After the media pool's fiasco of 1991, critics of the programme thought embedding reporters restricted their independence in term of their physical mobility. This meant they were unable to confirm or deny reports outside of their local area. The main complaint from journalists was their limited perspective of the battlefield this created what was known as a 'Soda-straw vision' (E.g. Carter and Rutenburg 2003). This was a direct result of having to live with and rely upon the soldiers you're embedded with for food, shelter and security. Thus the reporter's perspective is always from whatever piece of dirt his sitting on.

'One journalist described being embedded akin to the second dog on the dog sled team, and you see an awful lot of dog in front of you and a little bit to the left or to the right. But if you see an interesting story to the left or to the right, you can't just break out of the dogsled team to investigate it.' (Arab Media in the Information Age:392)

Embedded journalism by nature produces a more contextualised style of coverage, which tends to focus on military units and combatants instead of content and analysis. The journalist's job is to frame stories that creates meaning. Framing is about the choices journalists make, and the effect these choices have on the way these stories are interpreted by the consumers of news. Framing can be approached in a number of ways.

Lyengar describes two methods; episodic and thematic framing. Episodic framing attempts to personalise issues whilst thematic framing collects information and evidence relevant to the issue. Lyengar argues that television relies more heavily on episodic frames; this could be down to the visual nature of the medium, which gives priority to individual exemplars (Lyengar Framing Responsibility for Political Issues 1991:33, 62).

Embedding reporters during the 2003 Iraq war produced episodic framing of news stories in both television and print, the reason is down to the inherent nature of embedding.

Embedded reporters were responsible for producing 83% of overall broadcast coverage. Unilateral reporters showed more visuals of Iraqi soldiers than their embedded counterparts and they were also more likely to show wounded and dying civilians. The differences between the unilateral and embedded reporter was not in how biased their stories were but what stories they covered, despite them both being in the same theatre of operations.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism 2003 reviewed 108 embedded reports from the battlefield from March 21st through to March 24th 2003 and 40.5 hours of televised programming (Project for Excellence in Journalism 2003:2). They concluded that initial war television coverage was combat focused similarly accessing that the footage was non graphic in nature. All combat footage showed weapons being fired at non-human targets such as buildings and vehicles. Analysis of unilateral and embedded reporting reveals a pattern. Embedded reporting provides a rich context for news but a narrow context of the wider picture, when compared to unilateral coverage which showed the real extent of the war, the casualties and the destruction, allowing the consumer news audience to understand the wider implications of the war. The news consumer may appreciate the front-line perspective of the embedded reporter, but it comes at a cost. They saw America's military's might in weaponry being deployed but they were less likely to understand about the context in which the war was being fought.

Unilateral Reporting

The death of the reporter Terry Lloyd by American friendly fire was a turning point for unilateral reporting in Iraq; it prompted a withdrawal of all unilateral reporters operating in Southern Iraq. The emphasis was now placed on the embedded reporter; they suddenly found themselves as the only 'show in town', but with the technology to transmit compelling reports back to London and Washington (Too Close for Comfort 2003:13).

The death of any reporter operating in a war zone is always a sad occasion. This was a dangerous and difficult conflict for many unilateral reporters. The vast majority of unilateral reporters were killed by American friendly fire incidents, none by British forces. The Ministry of Defence regarded the unilateral reporter as somewhat of an awkward nuisance. However, British forces were more mindful to the needs of non-combatants, which may be a direct consequence of the Ministry of Defence guidelines stating that unilateral reporters are to be afforded the same considerations as civilians. The status for them under the rules of the Geneva Convention is -

Unilateral reporters are deemed to have officer status if taken prisoner (Convention I, Art 13, Sec4; index D) (MOD Green book 2008: Index A).

The article also points out that those reporters are to be dressed in civilian clothing in the course of their reporting. Some journalists were seen to be wearing combat fatigues making them unidentifiable as civilian journalists.

Oliver Poole worked as an embedded reporter with the American 3rd Armoured Division. The initial assembly point for embedded reporters was in Kuwait, prior to their deployment. He recalls that at least 10% of unilateral reporters waiting to be deployed were wearing military combats (Oliver Poole: Falmouth University 2010).

The death of unilateral reporters was viewed by the Pentagon as the inevitability of a certain kind of warfare. In short, fair warning had been issued and that was the end of the matter (Too Close for Comfort 2003:22).

The Pentagon (PAG 2003 Index B) had made no provision for unilateral reporters working in the theatre of operations. To date the MOD is currently considering ways in which some kind of 'half way house' may be arrived at by providing a provision for safety, without compromising journalistic endeavour or military operations. The Pentagon's approach is to insist the battlefield is not a safe place for non- combatants.

The report 'Too Close for Comfort 2003' indicates that the embedded reporters were conscious of the difficulties involved in maintaining objectivity. They highlighted the fact that they felt uncomfortable with the degree of closeness to the troops they were with. Most of the embedded reporters said they would be able to maintain impartiality and if necessary file reports that would have shown the military in bad light.

Biased Reporting

The day allied troops crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq a CNN reporter, Walter Rodgers, was seen embedded in an Abrahams Tank from the Seventh Cavalry. Prattling enthusiastically about the deadly potency of his big 120mm gun his boyish enthusiasm was reported to have been very offensive to Arab News consumers globally.

'This 'gee whiz' style of reporting quote his boys, are going to bite a chunk off Baghdad, this report was seen and heard by Islamists around the world. (Jonathan Raban:The Guardian April 19th 2003)

On March 22 an embedded reporter, Oliver North, reporting about a helicopter air assault from attack helicopters on enemy positions, talks about a remarkable display of military prowess and might on the part of "my marines". (Project for Excellence in Journalism 2003: 9)

Unbiased Reporting

The amount of positive independent reports emanating from the battlefield by embedded journalists far outweighs any criticism heralded at the legitimacy of the embedded reporter.

On 31st of March 2003 William Branigan, a reporter with the Washington Post, witnessed an event. Soldiers from the US Army's Third infantry Division fired upon an Iraqi civilian vehicle containing 13 civilians. After the driver failed to hear instructions from the soldiers, warning shots were fired, but they were fired too late for the driver to react. Subsequently, the platoon commander ordered the vehicle to be destroyed. If it was not for Branigan's reporting I'm sure we would not have know the truth about this incident. In fact the Pentagon's follow up report, gave a very different version of events. They described the by the book procedure the platoon commander should have followed. It's interesting to note although unhappy with these reports the military did not prevent their publication (Arab Media Information Age 2006:393).

This may have something to do with a comment made by Bryan Whiteman, the Pentagon Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Public Affairs, and the chief policy architect of embedding explained subsequently, "We knew that we were going to get reporting of the good, the bad and the ugly" (Project for excellence in journalism 2003:24).

Kevin Sites was a freelance reporter working for NBC news at the time of the war. On the 13th of November 2004 the marine unit he was embedded with, 1st Marine Regiment, was carrying out military operations against insurgents in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. In a mosque lies a badly injured Iraq insurgent, unarmed, moaning, he records the event.

A marine approaches the insurgent cautiously, raises his weapon and points at the insurgents head, Sites assumes the marine is covering a fellow marine about to search him for weapons. A shot rings out; the marine has shot the insurgent in the head, Sites watches the man's head explode on screen. The marine turns on his heels and makes a quick exit. When it looks like other injured Iraqi's are about to be shot, Sites intervenes.' (Digital War Reporting 2009:1).

Having previously worked hard to establish a good relationship with his embedded unit, Sites now alerted NBC to his video tape. Aware that once broadcast the consequences would be far reaching Sites say's his professional code of ethics commands him to "seek and report the truth regardless of the consequences".

Branigan's and Site's stories show that embedded journalists are not 'in bed' with the military, but they are capable of filing honest and accurate reports despite any empathy they may feel towards the soldiers and marines they travel with.

Reporting Trends

Embedded reporters represented a minority of reporters covering the war, yet their coverage represented the bulk of reports (Too Close for Comfort:Index Table1). Assessment from analysis indicates that access to the frontline came at a cost. Personalized reports trumped wider discussion about the validity of the war and the impact of the war on World affairs. This was not surprising since journalists had a tendency to produce cheap personal frames, due to the easy availability for embedded journalists and the wider news consumers. This cheap type of reporting does not have to be the fixture for future wars.

Technology for Technology's Sake is not Enough

If you have people out there with new technology there is a tendency to use it regardless of the news. The amount of news information and the sheer velocity of this information can be overwhelming. News consumers were taken from location to location, images of Umm Qasr, Baghdad, and Basra. The irony was that the pictures while live conveyed nothing of particular interest. Viewers are left trying to puzzle together the meaning of the different slivers of embedded reporting. The media needs to be able to digest reports coming from embedded reporters on the battlefield, with news editors and those responsible for shifting through field reports aware of the need to keep the larger picture of the war in focus.

Unilateral reporters noted that a large proportion of their reports were dismissed because they were not in line with reports coming from embedded reporters. Despite the occasional criticism of the embedded program, from senior military officials and journalists, I think we can expect a continuation of the embedded program as long as similar pro-active wars occur. Future technologies will be one of the key components in the journalists' arsenal. It will allow them to disseminate information instantaneously without military intervention. For the military this means granting reporters access to the battlefield with some restrictions. The military understands the power of words and images, and the support of the public is essential to their success, they recognize an unbridled media can wreak havoc in a war zone.

Sanitising the Battlefield

Matt Damazer, Deputy Director of BBC news, speaking in a personal capacity, said we are not being presented with the full picture. "I'm not saying we should go fully down the Al -Jazeera route and show everything, but we need to move from where we are."

(The Guardian 2003: 6TH November)

The culture of British Broadcasting makes it impossible to screen particular violent or graphic images. British television viewers have not seen images of dead or injured soldiers since the Falklands war, we are running a risk of double standards, and it's not a service to democracy. Journalists are particularly aware of this, and as a result fashion there reports accordingly. Ironically the embedded reporter brings us closer to the reality of war but fails to show us its ugly side, yet norms, taste and decency exclude the realities of war. This creates a sanitised almost fictional quality to embedded reporting or a made for TV version of the war fit for living rooms. By contrast regional media such as Al-Jazerra and Abu Dhabi TV did not shy away from showing civilian casualties and uncomfortable images. The ideological consequences from this are profound. Despite the fact that embedded reporters are often diligent, objective, and courageous, they may be forced by current constraints to produce coverage that for some may make war more accessible.

Chapter 3 - Response to the Coverage

In order to provide a sense of how a member of the public responded to the coverage, the Cardiff School of Journalism carried out a national survey based on a sample of 1002 people across Britain in August and September 2003. The survey explored attitudes to the extent and nature of the coverage, trust, the embedded policy, and what the audiences remembers about the war and why (Too Close for Comfort 2003:31).

The TCC and PFEIJ survey's looked at the audiences' attitudes to war. The surveys suggest that the major support for the war was only really achieved during the war and for a short period afterward, and this was only as a direct desire to support the troops not the war itself (Bar graphs: index Fig 1).

The report also found that most people (61%) felt there had been too much coverage of the war in Iraq. With 37% saying the coverage was about right. The report identified an increase in news consumption during the war and these findings were reflected in the survey.

People were asked what aspects of the war received too much or too little coverage and it was here that a divergence appeared between the broadcasters and the public. The survey suggests that the least popular feature of the coverage was 'action from the frontline' which 35% felt was excessive. This could be seen as a contradiction of the embedded programme, but I believe this was due to embed reports being used in the wrong context, and as a result these embedded programmes shaped the coverage more than it should have. I think broadcasters misjudged the importance of this battlefield footage (Bar graph: index Fig 6).

Attitudes towards Embedded Reporting

Despite the phrase 'embedded' being used amongst broadcasters, most people (74%) did not know what the phrase meant. Only 20% could offer any accurate definition, and 68% assumed that these reporters were subject to some kind of military restriction. 57% were in favour of the programme once the term was explained to them and 36% remain sceptical feeling that the media should not get too close to the military and Government. But the highest levels of support were for the unilateral reporter free from any restrictions (TCC 2003 Survey: 36).

Ignacio Ramonet, Le Monde diplomatique, May 200


'It is easier to dominate someone if they are unaware of being dominated. Colonised and colonisers both know that domination is not just based on physical supremacy. Control of hearts and minds follows military conquest. This is why any empire that wants to last must capture the souls of its subjects.' (Krugman: 2010)

The Conclusion

The principle objective in 2003 was to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction, with the consensus being that Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath party would have to be replaced by a Government more sympathetic to western ideals. It comes as no surprise that the Pentagon, unlike their Ministry of Defence counterparts, had been planning and coordinating the embedding system with journalists well in advance of the first bomb and bullet being fired. The military got what it wanted, up close and personal reports of troops that did not detract from public opinion.

The evidence attained from the Too Close for Comfort survey finds it difficult to offer a simple endorsement or straightforward rejection of the role of the embedded reporter. They found little evidence to support some of the prominent criticisms associated with the programme. The report identifies the unprecedented degree of media access that embedded journalism brought. The general consensus from journalists was that it worked reasonably well, and the degree of interference and censorship was less than expected. No evidence was found to support the idea that embeds were necessarily 'in bed' with the American/British military or Government. For their part both the British and American militaries regarded the embed programme as a success. How one interprets this enthusiasm, of course, depends upon your point of view. The fact that so many unilateral reporters were killed during the war may make embedding the only option possible for broadcasting. This would be a major concern for independent reporting and a loss to news consumers globally. The broadcasters and the public are in agreement that a multiplicity of sources and perspectives is essential for objective and balanced war coverage. One of the main limits placed on British reporters was the culture of British broadcasting, limiting the screening of violent or graphic images and creating war coverage fit for TV living rooms. For many viewers what was missing was a broader analysis of the war, and especially in relation to the Iraq people themselves (TCC 2003: 4, 5, 6).

I suggest the embedding system appears to have altered the relationship between the military and the media, there appears to be a warming of relations. Despite the frosty relationship they shared in previous wars, embedded journalists for their part seem to have accepted the military's restrictions despite the grave risks of being manipulated by the military. Department of Psych-Ops and Media was the created to run the embed programme, the combination of these two separate mediums should have rung alarm bells within the broadcasting industry. It creates suspicion that the military may have been using the media as another tool as part of their propaganda. I believe that the majority of reporters were impartial and unbiased in there reporting from the battlefront. However, if I had to make one recommendation it would be that broadcasters refrain from employing ex-senior military commanders as embedded reporters. Biased reporting should not be tolerated as part of independent news coverage. Embedded reporters should avail themselves of every opportunity to be embedded. In the long run this battlefield experience will make it more difficult for the military to misuse and deceive the media. Embedded reporting can only be successful if broadcasters understand the limitations of embedded reporting. News consumers demand reports that are carefully written and edited from a range of sources and perspectives.


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Appendix A: MOD Green Book.

Appendix B: PAG, Public Affairs Guidance.

Appendix C: Too Close For Comfort.

Appendix: Bar graphs: index Fig 1

Appendix: Bar graph: index Fig 6

To be added to military perspective.

The US Military also expected that the Iraqi people would welcome them as liberators. They thought this would make great television, helping to convince the public about the validity of this war.

Overall the embedding process was a success.

The broadcasters need to take more responsibility

They need to understand how to use embedded reporters.

They should not believe everything they are told from the government and the military.

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