This afternoon Democracy for America hosted a great live blog discussion with Unembedded authors Thorne Anderson, Rita Leistner, and Kael Alford. After posting four photos from the book with captions describing each scene, the hosts at Blog for America sat back and watched as their readers grilled the photojournalists on everything from ethics to f stops.
IndySteve*in*WA wrote on December 5, 2005 12:08 PM:
Welcome. Thanks for your work.
Why is the mainstream press so willing to be embedded and unwilling to show the truth on the ground in the Iraq war? Is it laziness, fear, bias or something else?
Rita Leistner wrote:
One theory as to why the main stream press, especially in the beginning of the war, were unwilling to say much against the war in general was fear of losing their embed access. Unlike during the Vietnam war, when “embeds” were informal, during this war they are tightly controled by the US military. The coverage a news organization gets from the military is a necessary part of the overall story, so they really need a good embed. A good embed would be on the front lines, for instance, a bad one might be guarding a building. I think that these organizations had reason to be afraid of losing the access of a good embed. The military was and is in a position to remove this access alltogether. They may have reasoned that the choice was between reporting a partial truth or no truth at all. That’s where we come in as independents. We don’t have all these major contacts with the military and so we have less to lose on a professional level when it comes to reporting the truth.