In the Zone: The Pentagon's Embedding Plan Was a Winner for Journalists and Their Audiences. (from the Editor)

By Rieder, Rem | American Journalism Review, May 2003 | Go to article overview

In the Zone: The Pentagon's Embedding Plan Was a Winner for Journalists and Their Audiences. (from the Editor)


Rieder, Rem, American Journalism Review


The skepticism was completely understandable.

When the Bush administration revealed its plan to "embed" journalists with military units, everyone wondered where the catch was.

After all, this is a regime that has hardly been known for its openness as far as journalists are concerned. That had been particularly true in wartime. In Afghanistan, the Pentagon warmly embraced the little-to-no access policy that characterized Grenada, Panama and Gulf War I. There was to be no hanging out with the GIs, World War II- or Vietnam-style.

But who knew? Now that the fighting has stopped, it's clear that the great embedding experiment was a home run as far as the news media--and the American people--are concerned.

Six hundred journalists had a firsthand view of the combat. That's a far cry from the first gulf war, when reporters were at the mercy of government briefings and that misbegotten press pool. It wasn't until after the war had ended that the truth emerged, when it became clear that those smart bombs weren't quite as smart as they had been cracked up to be.

The difference became crystal clear to me early in the war, when the fragging episode took place. Television was right there, all over the story from the get-go.

That set the tone. Journalists provided on-the-scene accounts of that remarkable dash through the desert. They also chronicled the surprising early rearguard Iraqi resistance and the heartbreaking civilian casualties. Their reporting was often far ahead of the official briefings.

It was an embedded reporter, the Washington Post's William Branigin, who gave the lie to the government account when troops shot at a car packed with Iraqi civilians at an intersection on Highway 9. Branigin heard a captain yell at a platoon leader that he had killed a family because he hadn't fired a warning shot quickly enough.

The embeds, of course, didn't just cover the warts. Their battlefield presence gave their audiences a much fuller picture of the bravery and generosity of the American fighting men and women.

Not that the system was perfect. During the war's early days, some over-the-top, rah-rah reporting on television seemed to bear out the critics' worst fears: that embedded journalists would bond too closely with the soldiers they depended on and would be unable to provide objective coverage. And there was the luck of the draw factor: If your unit didn't see much action, you didn't have much of a story. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

In the Zone: The Pentagon's Embedding Plan Was a Winner for Journalists and Their Audiences. (from the Editor)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.