Todd M. Schaefer
Embedded reporters refer to journalists being officially placed within active-duty military units—especially American and British forces—in the Iraq war starting in 2003. Such a reporting tactic has also been used in some other conflicts, including continuing operations in Afghanistan. Embedded reporters operate as nonfighting members of the unit, traveling, living, and even going into battle with them. Embedding represented a new phase in military-media relations, one characterized by closer contact and a mutual understanding of the roles and needs of fighting personnel and journalists in wartime. The process is subject to considerable controversy. Embedding arose out of an atmosphere of mistrust on the part of both the media and the military following the Vietnam War. As the United States was officially there “by invitation” of the South Vietnamese, journalists had relatively free reign to do their jobs. The conventional wisdom amongst government and military leaders was that uncontrolled access and ...