Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Reporters on the Firing Line as Troops Advance

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Reporters on the Firing Line as Troops Advance

Article excerpt

Editors are confident (for now) that 'embedded' journalists are getting the real story -- and getting it out quickly

When war came to Iraq, U.S. newspapers were nearly as ready as the U.S. military. As we went to press, no journalists had been killed or wounded. Reporters were filing a remarkable number of stories from the front, while a handful of writers and photographers who elected to stay behind in Baghdad prepared for a long siege or, preferably, a quick victory, as bombs fell on the city.

The early returns on the controversial "embedding" process seemed positive, although reporters in some units complained about having military "buddies" at their elbow at all times. Numerous editors and reporters told E&P that they were surprised at how quickly the stories were flowing, with military restrictions, so far, within reason. John Walcott, Washington bureau chief for Knight Ridder, said nearly all of his 32 embedded reporters had been able to file virtually in "real time" and morale of his reporters is "sky-high." Some reporters were filing via FTP (file transfer protocol), but many dictated stories over the telephone when on the move -- which was often. …

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