26 June 2010

A Detailed Look at Embedded Reporters

The At War Blog on NYTimes.com has a very good bit on embedded reporters you should read.

“Embedding” is one of the words that emerged from the jargon of soldiers, diplomats, politicians and spin doctors involved with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and entered the public discourse alongside “shock and awe,” “weapons of mass destruction,” “insurgent,” “hajji,” “Green Zone,” “blast wall,” “tipping point,” “contractor,” “Blackwater,” “death blossom,” “Abu Ghraib,” “I.E.D.,” “M.R.A.P.,” “Awakening” and “surge.”

It was not in fact a term born in Iraq — the practice of chroniclers traveling with soldiers is as old as war, and even the word “embedding” itself was in use in the 1990s. But Iraq was certainly where it crossed over into the wider lexicon. Within the military there may now be some debate about whether embedding survives in its current form, after a journalist granted close access helped bring about the downfall of a four-star general within the very military system which spawned it.

Over the coming weeks At War will present different perspectives on the theory and practice of embedding from correspondents, photographers, Iraqi journalists — some who were working for The New York Times and some who were not — as well as soldiers and Iraqis. We welcome your comments, and invite you to share your own thoughts and experiences, especially if you have reported from either Iraq or Afghanistan, or have served there in the military and have first-hand experience of embedded or unembedded journalism.

By: Brant

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