Media casualties: Embedded with the military

The 24/7 news coverage of the Iraq war is often riveting television, but it is not necessarily good journalism. The journalists embedded with coalition forces can’t do what journalists usually do: make sure they get the story correct before they go with it, and set the facts in a larger context. When embedded reporters comment on the action unfolding before their eyes, their reporting seems highly realistic, but it is in fact highly distorted—it shows only a very narrow slice of the war, told from a very particular angle.