Live from the battlefield: an examination of embedded war correspondents' reporting during Operation Iraqi Freedom (21 March-14 April 2003)
Mooney, Michael J.
Thomas, Gail Fann
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During Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), the U.S. Department of Defense instituted a program to attach civilian journalists to coalition military units. Their purpose was to report firsthand on the military campaign to topple Saddam Hussein. These "embedded journalists," as they were called, would travel, eat, sleep, and endure the same hardships and dangers of the soldiers and Marines they were accompanying. While their immediate and highly dramatic accounts offered a perspective not before seen by the news-hungry U.S. public, they also raised questions if the "embedding" process resulted in a more thematically narrow coverage of the war. This study addresses the newspaper coverage of OIF by examining the content of the embedded and non-embedded war reporting of various highly circulating U.S. newspapers. It is posited that being attached or embedded within U.S. military units resulted in the journalists producing a body of stories concerning military operations and personnel markedly different than nonembedded reporters during OIF.
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