Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University

Who's Embedding Whom?  3.26.03

"Less than a week into the invasion of Iraq, the vaunted firewalls between media objectivity and military necessity proved to be about as formidable as an Iraqi border berm. After decapitation strikes by cruise missiles and F-117's, breathless reports by journalists traversing the desert with the troops..." Read | Discuss
Clippings  6.25.03
Embedded Reporter's Role In Army Unit's Actions Questioned by Military
Howard Kurtz@The Washington Post
In April, Miller wrote a letter objecting to an Army commander's order to withdraw the unit, Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha, from the field. She said this would be a "waste" of time and suggested that she would write about it unfavorably in the Times. After Miller took up the matter with a two-star general, the pullback order was dropped. 6.25.03 Read | Discuss
'The Yanks Have Really Screwed Up in Iraq': Interview with Scott Taylor
Christopher Deliso @
"Scott has just returned from yet another foray into Iraq. His decidedly unembedded views offer a fascinating glimpse into the realities of post-Saddam Iraq..." 5.27.03 Read | Discuss
The Thick Fog of War on American Television
Norman Solomon @ Common Dreams
"Minutes after the dawn spread daylight across the Iraqi desert, 'embedded' CNN correspondent Walter Rodgers was on the air with a live report. Another employee at the network, former U.S. Gen. Wesley Clark -- on the job in a TV studio back home -- asked his colleague a question. When Rodgers responded, he addressed Clark as 'general' and 'sir.' The only thing missing was a salute..." 4.4.03 Read | Discuss
War Stories
Terrence Smith on PBS News Hour
"Terence Smith assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the Pentagon's 'embedding' program and its effect on news coverage of the war in Iraq..." 4.1.03 Read | Discuss
Fog of Coverage Paved the Way For War
Antonia Zerbisias @ Toronto Star
"Forget the fog of war. It is the fog of war coverage that is fouling the airwaves. Over the past few days, the mainstream print media have devoted acres of verbiage to how TV is coping with the incoming information bombardment..." 3.28.03 Read | Discuss
Unembedded Journalist's Report Provokes Military Ire
Howard Kurtz @ Washington Post
"A reporter who never signed up for the Pentagon's embedding program in Iraq has run afoul of the military..." 3.27.03 Read | Discuss
The CNN Factor
Jim Hogland @ Washington Post
" ...war 'time' has become something entirely different in an era when television audiences around the world watch battlefield action as it occurs and are tempted to make instant judgments about the meaning of what they think they are seeing..." 3.27.03 Read | Discuss
‘Unilateral’ Coverage Why Would a Reporter Choose to Go It Alone in War?
John Donvan @ abc news
"Going into war as an 'embed' with the U.S. and British troops is dangerous enough, but it can be even more risky for journalists who try to go it alone..." 3.27.03 Read | Discuss
When Are Facts Facts? Not In A War
Chris Tryhorn @ The Guardian
"'Fog' is beginning to be the watchword of this war, with the lines between fact and propoganda being blurred on a daily basis..." 3.26.03 Read | Discuss
Study in Contrast: CNN Vs. Al-Jazeera
Raid Qusti @ Arab News
"Since the start of the US-led war in Iraq, two media giants have scattered correspondents in ... Iraq to cover unfolding events as immediately as possible ... CNN is continuing to disappoint its viewers in Saudi Arabia and the region..." 3.26.03 Read | Discuss
Selling the War
Gideon Samet @ Haaretz
"Alongside its huge military effort, the nation that invented public relations is now investing much thought in the media shaping of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' ... it has reason to believe victory will come not only on the battlefield..." 3.26.03 Read | Discuss
Al-Jazeera Websites 'Hit By Hackers'
Dominic Timms @ The Guardian
"The English-language and Arabic websites of Qatar-based broadcaster al-Jazeera were forced down this morning after a spate of suspected hacker attacks last night..." 3.26.03 Read | Discuss
Great Expectations
Howard Kurtz @ Washington Post
"You'd have to say the media played a key role ... There were so many 'shock and awe' stories that Americans could be forgiven for thinking they were in for another video-game conflict..." 3.25.03 Read | Discuss
Using the News as a Weapon
Lucian K. Truscott IV @ New York Times
"Neither Clausewitz nor Sun Tzu had any advice for military commanders on how to manage the news media during time of war. But both agreed that strategic information..." 3.25.03 Read | Discuss
Shock, Awe and Razzmatazz in the Sequel
Michiko Kakutani @ New York Times
"A decade or so after the Vietnam War ended, in the wake of a legion of Vietnam movies, some veterans put bumper stickers on their cars that read, 'Vietnam was a war, not a movie.'..." 3.25.03 Read | Discuss
White House Prepares to Feed 24-Hour News Cycle
Douglas Quenqua @ PRWeek
"The eruption of war in Iraq last week set in motion a massive global PR network, cultivated by the Bush administration during the months-long buildup of forces ... is intended ... to dominate news of the conflict around the world..." 3.24.03 Read | Discuss
TV Anchors Fighting Own Hard Battles
Scott Feschuk @ National Post
"'It's A-Day!' declared Wolf Blitzer, the human verb of television news, his mouth always in action. He said it several times: 'CNN can report that it's A-Day!'..." 3.22.03 Read | Discuss
Power Tool
Oliver Burkeman @ The Guardian
"Perhaps the least surprising thing about the second Gulf war is that it began with a volley of Tomahawk missiles. Since they were first used in the 1991 conflict, they have become the ultimate symbol of US military power..." 3.21.03 Read | Discuss
Pentagon Threatens to Kill Independent Reporters in Iraq
Fintan Dunne @
"The Pentagon has threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of independent journalists in Iraq, according to veteran BBC war correspondent, Kate Adie..." See also Adie's lecture on the ethics of war reporting. 3.10.03 Read | Discuss
In Bed With the Pentagon
Carol Brightman @ The Nation
"It's a fascinating scheme, 'this very ambitious and aggressive embed plan,' as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Bryan Whitman calls it. But 'embedding' journalists in selected military units is only part.." 2.27.03 Read | Discuss
Media Boot Camp
Spencer Platt @ The Digital Journalist
"For one week [we] have been exposed to hair raising helicopter rides, arbitrary simulated combat attacks, 5 am pounds on the door and up to six hours of classroom lectures daily..." 12.1.02 Read | Discuss
Reporting War: Dispatches from the Front
Kate Adie @ Cardiff University
"I wanted to talk to you today about the ethics of war reporting ... the kind of dilemmas and questions which face a reporter are often not the sort of thing which involves reaching for a handy set of notes. Life is more practical..." 3.1.98 Read | Discuss

Artifacts  3.28.03

General: A Longer War Likely
Rick Atkinson @ Washington Post
"'The enemy we're fighting is different from the one we'd war-gamed against,' Wallace, commander of V Corps, said during a visit to the 101st Airborne Division headquarters here in central Iraq..." 3.28.03 Read | Discuss
Media Embed Ground Rules
U.S. Secretary of Defense @ Military City
"About 800 members of the press ... will remain “embedded” with those units as long as they wish and are supposed to have what these Pentagon ground rules describe as 'minimally restrictive' access to U.S. forces throughout their stay..." 3.3.03 Read | Discuss


BBC World Service
Committee to Protect Journalists - War in the Gulf: Resources, links and information
Independent Media Center
Institute for War &Peace Reporting
Middle East Wire
New York Times
US Department of Defense
US National Security Agency
US State Department
US White House