Reporters on the Battlefield

Reporters on the Battlefield: The Embedded Press System in Historical Context

Christopher Paul
James J. Kim
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 174
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  • Book Info
    Reporters on the Battlefield
    Book Description:

    Focusing on the embedded press system deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, this book attempts to answer the following questions: How effective was the embedded press system in meeting the needs of the three main constituencies-the press, the military, and the citizens of the United States? What policy history led to the innovation of an embedded press system? Where are press-military relations likely to go in the future?

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4057-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xxii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    The March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq coincided with the first broad implementation of an innovative means of wartime coverage: “embedded press.” Over 600 reporters from a diverse range of American and international news organizations were “embedded” in U.S. military units, i.e., they traveled with the troops in their units, ate with them, and were billeted with them; they saw what the soldiers saw, were under fire when the troops were, and endured the same hardships (combat, heat, sand storms, long days on the move). Perhaps most remarkable and consequential, they brought live coverage of all of these things through...

  9. CHAPTER TWO The Relationship Between the Press and the Military: A Starting Point
    (pp. 7-34)

    Numerous scholars begin their discussion of press-military relations from the premise that the two institutions are inherently different in both their nature and goals.² Although some of the more nuanced analyses recognize the contribution of specific historical antecedents to the oft-observed tension between the press and the military, all suggest that these “inherent” differences result in “inevitable” tension and conflict. Steger’s description is typical of this point of view:

    The military and the press are two institutions which, to a degree, are inherently opposed to each other. The military values an organized chain of command, loyalty, sacrifice and secrecy. The...

  10. CHAPTER THREE History of Relations Between the Press and the Military
    (pp. 35-62)

    As many scholars have noted, the history of the relationship between the U.S. media and the military has been “rocky” to say the least.² We have already suggested that the different missions, characteristics, and news-related goals of these two institutions may help to explain the potential for conflict. On the other hand, we have also seen that commonalities in the areas of professionalism and a commitment to public service allow for the possibility of cooperation.

    A closer examination of the history between the two institutions will show that there are critical junctures in the trajectory of their interactions over time....

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Systems for Press Access and Measures for Evaluating Outcomes
    (pp. 63-76)

    Having considered the relationship between the press and the military in the abstract and then examined the history of press-military relations, we now describe our approach for evaluating the embedded press system in relation to other ways of organizing press-military relations.

    There are two parts to this chapter. First, we describe the four idealized systems for organizing military-press relations that will be evaluated in this book. In this discussion, we emphasize the access strategies at the core of each system: denial of access, press pools, unilateral journalism, and embedded press. We emphasize access because of the criticality of this goal...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Preliminary Evaluations of the Embedded Press and Other Systems for Organizing Press-Military Relations
    (pp. 77-108)

    We move now to our evaluation of the embedded press system. This chapter presents a comparative/historical analysis of the embedded press system relative to other access strategies for press-military relations (denial of access, press pools, and unilateral journalism), with consideration given to the modifying presence of such security strategies as credentialing and security review. We consider these strategies both in the actual historical circumstances in which they have been employed and in abstract, generic contexts. Where data are available, we have supplemented this narrative-based analysis with quantitative findings based on the outcomes and measures listed in the previous chapter.


  13. CHAPTER SIX The Future of Embedded Press
    (pp. 109-116)

    Having presented our core findings in Chapter Five, we now raise several issues concerning the embedded press system that arose during the course of our research, but that were either not directly related to our main objective of evaluating the embedded press and other systems for military-press relations or are outside the scope of our evaluative framework. After briefly illuminating these issues, we conclude with suggestions for further research.

    The embedded press system has proven to be broadly popular. The embedded press system is

    one of the most remarkable win-win-win propositions. It’s clear that journalists, who want access more than...

  14. APPENDIX A The Public’s “Right to Know”
    (pp. 117-122)
  15. APPENDIX B Outcomes and Measures of the Embedded Press System
    (pp. 123-138)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 139-150)