Embedded journalist
Embedded journalism refers to news
News is the communication of selected information on current events which is presented by print, broadcast, Internet, or word of mouth to a third party or mass audience.- Etymology :...

A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

 being attached to military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 units involved in armed conflicts. While the term could be applied to many historical interactions between journalists and military personnel, it first came to be used in the media coverage of the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq media coverage
The 2003 invasion of Iraq involved unprecedented media coverage. The coverage itself became a source of controversy, as media outlets were accused of bias, reporters were casualties of both Iraqi and American gunfire, and claims of censorship and propaganda became widespread.-U.S...

. The United States military responded to pressure from the country's news media who were disappointed by the level of access granted during the 1991 Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 and in the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...


At the start of the war in March 2003, as many as 775 reporters and photographers were traveling as embedded journalists. These reporters signed contracts with the military promising not to report information that could compromise unit position, future missions, classified weapons and information they might find. When asked why the military decided to embed journalists with the troops, Lt. Col. Rick Long of the U.S. Marine Corps replied, "Frankly, our job is to win the war. Part of that is information warfare
Information warfare
The term Information Warfare is primarily an American concept involving the use and management of information technology in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent...

. So we are going to attempt to dominate the information environment."

Gina Cavallaro
Gina Cavallaro
Gina Cavallaro is an American journalist who has covered the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.Cavallaro’s career in journalism began in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with WOSO, the island’s only English-language radio station. She then became a reporter and editor at the English-language daily...

, a reporter for the Army Times
Army Times
Army Times is a weekly newspaper serving active, reserve, guard and retired United States Army personnel and their families, providing news, information and analysis as well as community and lifestyle features, educational supplements, and resource guides.Army Times is published by the Gannett...

, said, "They’re [the journalists] relying more on the military to get them where they want to go, and as a result, the military is getting smarter about getting its own story told."

As an illustration of the control exerted over embedded reporters, the U.S. Coalition Forces Land Component Command in Kuwait pulled the credentials of two embedded journalists from the Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia, reportedly for publishing a picture of a bullet-ridden Humvee parked in a Kuwaiti camp.

The ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

 of embedded journalism are considered controversial, while "unembedded" journalism is associated with courage and independence.


The practice has been criticized as being part of a propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 campaign and an effort to keep reporters away from civilian populations and sympathetic to invading forces; for example by the documentary film
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

s War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death
War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death
War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death is an American documentary film that was produced and released in 2007...

and The War You Don't See
The War You Don't See
The War You Don't See is a 2010 British documentary film written, produced and directed by John Pilger with Alan Lowery, which challenges the media for the role they played in the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine conflicts...


Embed critics objected that the level of military oversight was too strict and that embedded journalists would make reports that were too sympathetic to the American side of the war, leading to use of the alternate term "inbedded journalist" or "inbeds". "Those correspondents who drive around in tanks and armored personnel carriers," said legendary journalist Gay Talese
Gay Talese
Gay Talese is an American author. He wrote for The New York Times in the early 1960s and helped to define literary journalism...

 in an interview, "who are spoon-fed what the military gives them and they become mascots for the military, these journalists. I wouldn't have journalists embedded if I had any power!... There are stories you can do that aren't done. I've said that many times."

Joint training for war correspondents started in November 2002 in advance of the March 2003 start of the war in Iraq.


Improvised explosive device
An improvised explosive device , also known as a roadside bomb, is a homemade bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action...

s are the main cause of death and injury to NATO soldiers in the War in Afghanistan; therefore journalists embedded with them are at the same risk. On December 30, 2009, Canadian
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 journalist Michelle Lang
Michelle Lang
Michelle Justine Lang was a Calgary Herald reporter and the first Canadian journalist to die in the War in Afghanistan.-Career:...

 was killed while travelling with Canadian soldiers in the southern province of Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...


In August 2009 Andi Jatmiko, a journalist working for the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 news agency, lost his foot after the military vehicle he was travelling in was hit by a roadside bomb, and his colleague, photographer Emilio Morenatti, was seriously injured. In another incident the same month, Cami McCormick
Cami McCormick
Cami McCormick is an award-winning radio journalist for CBS News who previously worked for CNN. She was injured in Afghanistan on August 28, 2009 when the vehicle in which she was traveling was hit by an improvised explosive device....

, an American journalist working for CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

, was injured when the armoured vehicle she was travelling in hit an explosive.

In 2009 there also were a number of kidnapping
In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority...

s in Afghanistan involving foreign journalists travelling independently, outside the protection of military forces. Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

 correspondent Ghaith Abdul-Ahad
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad is an Iraqi journalist who began working after the U.S. invasion and has written for The Guardian and Washington Post and published photographs in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Times , and other media outlets...

 was held for under a week before Christmas.

See also

  • Editorial independence
    Editorial independence
    Editorial independence is the freedom of editors to make decisions without interference from the owners of a publication. Editorial independence is tested, for instance, if a newspaper runs articles that may be unpopular with its advertising clientele....

  • Freedom of the press
    Freedom of the press
    Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials...

  • War correspondent
    War correspondent
    A war correspondent is a journalist who covers stories firsthand from a war zone. In the 19th century they were also called Special Correspondents.-Methods:...

  • Propagandakompanie, German article on military propaganda
    Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

     units during World War II
  • Enemy Image
    Enemy Image
    Enemy Image is a 2005 documentary film by Mark Daniels about the portrayal of warfare in television news. The film focuses initially on the Vietnam War as the first war ever televised "live". During this war the American government allowed reporters onto the battlefield with little supervision or...

    , a documentary about The Pentagon
    The Pentagon
    The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

    's approach to news coverage of war
  • Generation Kill, a book about the experiences of an embedded journalist

External links

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