Are embedded journalists giving a complete and objective view of the war?
Hundreds of journalists, especially those embedded with US troops, are showing us this war up close as never before. But they also are in increased danger with some captured or killed.
Some say their closeness to soldiers and Marines is compromising their objectivity. Others point to the stories about the civilians killed by US soldiers after they failed to stop at a checkpoint as evidence that independent reporting is continuing.
What's your opinion of the news reports, video, and photos of the war so far? Are we getting a complete and objective view of the war? Are some journalists taking too many risks?
Tell us what you think.
Read the story: Journalists tell of captivity in infamous Iraqi prison
How could they? Any journalist who strays from the approved agenda will quickly find himself "unembedded" I suspect
Brian , Boston
I believe some of them are. Clearly men like Geraldo Rivera are more concerned with giving the American public juicy tidbits on troop locations and movements than he is with their safety. On a whole, I believe there has been entirely too much coverage of the war. It's not really a matter of whether or not the embedded journalist are doing a good, honest job, it's how the televion stations and/or newspapers convey the facts to the public. For example, the New York Post's headline was SLAUGHTER a couple of days ago when the truck with women and children in it refused to stop at a U.S. checkpoint. We now know that they were forced to drive through it by Iraqi troops. However, the Post would rather shock people by putting SLAUGHTER on the front page than give an accurate account of what really happened. It's extremely dissapointing that newspapers distort reality in order to comply with their own political ideologies. The Boston Globe, sister to the New York Times, is no exception.
No, they are not being objective, but under the circumstances I can understand why: imagine objectively reporting on your son or daughter's performance in a soccer game or school play, but add the factors of stress, hostile fire, and 24/7 interaction - how objective do you think you would be? With many of the embedded journalists, it is the same sort of issue: these are troops with whom they have worked, sweated, laughed, and likely come under fire with for weeks. The journalists have, in some important ways, become part of the unit/family. On a more cynical level, imagine having to report that you thought the 3rd of the 7th was performing poorly, or that they screwed up on checkpoint duty. How long do you think it would be before the troops learned of your "unflattering" description? And upon hearing this, most troops would be a bit more circumspect not only in what they say but in their efforts to help you or protect you from hostile fire, etc. Either way, I have no illusions as to the objectivity of the embedded reporters, any more than I presume the fine anchor teams of Iraqi state TV are maintaining the highest journalistic standards of integrity and objectivity. As for taking risks, let the journalists take whatever risks they wish with their own lives, but if their actions put the lives of others at risk or jeopardize the unit's mission, haul them out and let them cover the school board elections in Idaho.
Debate The War, Support Our Troops, Salem
They are doing the best they can. They are restricted on what they can say so the information really isn't all that accurate. They need to do a better job of having live updates and not something that's happened 6-8 hours ago. Our government for some reason doesn't want us to really know what's happening in the trenches. Most of what they tell us is half truthts. I was in the first gulf war and half the stuff they reported was bogus. You will never know the entire truth on what goes on and its sad because there are families out there with loved ones out in the sand putting there lives on the line. Once those guys come back you will really know what happened out there. What I don't like is those videophones. How rediculous are those things. The images are terrible. All the high tech gadgets we have and they use those horrible things. Get rid of them, period!!!!!!
No, we are not getting the whole story. All the news in this country is put through the same media formulia, be it a house fire or the U.S. invasion of Iraq. It's sensationalized and commercialized. Take the "shock and awe" for example. That could have been coverage of the 4th of July concert in Boston. The media expected people to sit infront of their TV and be facinated by the destruction. Sorry, there was something better on another channel. The embeded reporters are there for the network ratings. The best bet for more accurate coverage is the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. which can be seen on CSPAN. They have a more objective approach coverage of what's really going on in Iraq.
We only get told what the Goverment will let the media put out. Just as when we were in Nam we NEVER hear the whole truth, just dribs and drabs as they see fit to let us know.
Tom , Beverly
I do not think that embedded journalists are giving a complete and objective picture of the war with Iraq. They are reluctant to show the enormous harm that we are doing to the Iraqi people. I feel that objective journalism in this country has effectively been censored and silenced by the Bush government's command that any dissenting opinions on this war are unpatriotic. I see far more pictures every day of American soldiers with their big guns than I do of the terror and pain those big guns are causing. This war is being covered as if it were a reality TV show, when in fact it is reality. The American media has closed its eyes to the real import of this war--I can only hope they open them soon and don't sew them up for good.
Charlotte , Brighton
I think they are probably more of a pain than anything and get in the way. Look at what Arrnet and Geraldo did, in their overzealous attempt to report, they made grave mistakes. I appreciate the fact that they risk their lives in order to try to keep us more informed and hope they are safe, but I think the decision to have them embedded should have been looked at more closely by the decision makers.
No not at all- they all have different agenda's. some say the War isn't going well- thats funny- becuase it took us longer to take over the dividian compound in waco back in 94', the 91 war started off with 41 days of air bombardment., we have suffured 45 casualities out of 200+ thousand soldiers and are now 6 miles out of Baghdad- MOST news agencies want to see the mission and Administration fail- instead of succeed- but wait until its all done and the iraqi's are certian suddam is done for good- watch the iraqi people celebrate freedom- by the way- did everyone see Suddam's Torchure Chambers w/ meat hooks, ect???
The journalists can only see from where they are at that time. They can't see, or know, about the "Big Picture" For the most part I think they've been pretty objective but it must be very difficult as they spend some very trying times with the Troops. Geraldo certainly took a "risk" He's lucky that he didn't get his oversized ego chopped off! What did he think he was doing drawing their position in the sand. What an idiot!