Pros and Cons of Embedded Journalism - Essay Example

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Pros and Cons of Embedded Journalism Introduction Before 2003, media reporters had little access to information on different battles fields and they were particularly unhappy about the 1991 gulf war and 2001 US Afghanistan invasion. The term “embedded journalism” came into use first in the year 2003 when US military responded to the great pressure from the media and decided to incorporate about 700 reporters in invasion of Iraq…
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Pros and Cons of Embedded Journalism
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Download file to see previous pages Before acceptance to join the military, reporters sign contracts that give a standard or guidelines of when and what they can report on. This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of embedded journalism. Pros First, embedded journalism improves the relationship between the government and the armed forces media. After journalists embedment they become part of the military troop that travels around with them recording their activity in accordance to the agreement. Reporters depend on the military for food, shelter, and protection from the enemy. The regular contacts between the two build trust and reduce the common suspicion that normally exists between the two parties. Both informal and formal settings that develop during the embedment period can result in great transparency because the government and the armed forces will find it easy to pass information freely. Secondly, embedment of journalists allows them to travel with the military watching their every move. They are like watchdogs that make the military responsible of their every activity. According to Komarow as quoted in college of journalism and mass communication, US media helped in making sure that the US armed forces were held accountable for bombing an Afghan wedding party. This is after the initial investigators went to the scene together with the journalists for investigations and they unearthed a hidden agenda that in bombing, US armed forces wanted to erase evidence. Pressure from the media caused them to take responsibility (Berens, 2004, p.1). Thirdly, since the embedded journalists can access the battle scenes, they get more information and faster than those removed from the battle zones. Hannah and Baylor concur with this and argue, “Reporters travelled by aircrafts to and from the battle zones and were free to observe the combat operations” (Hannah, 2007, p.8). With the modern technology then this accessible information can be passed on instantly to other destinations. Fourthly, embedded journalists receive information from different perspectives. Their physical presence allows them to talk to the soldiers, commanders, and talk to the people around the battle filed. Multiple sources of information make interesting stories. Cons Embedding of journalists has so many disadvantages. First, the contract that journalist’s sign with the military hinder them in their reporting. According to Lehrer, “Before joining their battalions, the embedded journalists had to sign a contract restricting when and what they can report” (Lehrer, 2012, P.1). Embedding is the driving force behind coverage and embedded journalists can only describe military actions in general terms and they are restricted from reporting on future missions. Those who opt to stay outside the embedment are not left free since the government to comply at times harasses them. According to Rajan, “the distinction between patriotism and fair reporting becomes fuzzy in such circumstances” (Rajan, 2005, p.13). Secondly, embedded journalists work hand in hand with the soldiers and depend on them for protection, food and other social amenities. This closeness may hinder proper scrutiny and reporting of foul actions. Fortner and Fackler argues that, “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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