INTERPRETING THE EMBEDDED MEDI A EXPERIENCE: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF MILITARY-MEDIA RELA TIONS DURING THE WAR IN IRAQ By DAVID S. WESTOVER, JR. A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004
Copyright 2004 by David S. Westover, Jr.
iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I sincerely thank Dr. Peg Hall and Dr. Steve Everett for their guidance and encouragement throughout the en tire course of this study. And special thanks go to my committee chair, Dr. Meg Lamme, who kept me focused at all times, offered relentless support from start to finish, kept a sense of humor, and de dicated countless hours, time and effort in making this project the best it could possibly be.
iv TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iii ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... vi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 OVERVIEW OF MILITARY-MEDIA RELATIONS.................................................3 The Vietnam Effect.......................................................................................................4 The Sidle Commission..................................................................................................5 Gulf War Observations.................................................................................................6 Military Perspectives of the Press.................................................................................8 Public Discourse: A Casualty of the Gulf War?...........................................................9 The Role of Technology.............................................................................................11 After the Gulf War......................................................................................................12 Embedded Media and Modern Warfare.....................................................................14 A Critical Perspective.................................................................................................15 Need for Research.......................................................................................................16 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................18 Participant Selection...................................................................................................20 Pilot Study..................................................................................................................21 In-Depth Interview Procedures...................................................................................21 Research Participants..................................................................................................23 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................25 Authenticity and Trustworthiness...............................................................................25 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................27 Theme 1: Unprecedented Access................................................................................27 Being embedded meant unparalleled access.......................................................28 Seeing through a Â“soda-strawÂ”............................................................................29 Pieces of a mosaic...............................................................................................30 Theme 2: The Reporter Also Became the Link Back Home......................................31 Â“HereÂ…use my phoneÂ”........................................................................................32
v Theme 3: Understanding Wh at Their Life Was Like.................................................33 Â“We went through it togetherÂ”............................................................................33 Â“Becoming one of themÂ”.....................................................................................34 Theme 4: Trust Eased Some of the Tension...............................................................35 Theme 5: It Was a Trade Off Â– Â“A Give and TakeÂ”...................................................38 Theme 6: Â“ItÂ’s All About RelationshipsÂ”...................................................................40 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................44 Theoretical Correlations.............................................................................................46 Trust, Understanding, Involve ment, Access and Openness................................47 Measuring Relationships.....................................................................................48 Maintaining Relationships...................................................................................49 Professional, Personal and Community Relationships........................................51 Interpersonal Communica tion in Relationships..................................................53 Summary..............................................................................................................54 Limitations...........................................................................................................55 Conclusion..................................................................................................................56 Future Research..........................................................................................................57 APPENDIX A RELEASE, INDEMNIFICATION, AND HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT AND AGREEMENT NOT TO SUE....................................................................................59 B U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PUBLIC AFFAIRS GUIDANCE ON EMBEDDING MEDIA..............................................................................................64 C RESEARCHERÂ’S MILITARY BIOGRAPHY..........................................................77 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................79 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................83
vi Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Mast er of Arts in Mass Communication INTERPRETING THE EMBEDDED MEDI A EXPERIENCE: A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF MILITARY-MEDIA RELA TIONS DURING THE WAR IN IRAQ By David S. Westover, Jr. May 2004 Chair: Margot Opdycke Lamme, Ph.D., APR Major Department: Public Relations The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine how the U.S. Department of DefenseÂ’s embedded media policy affected re lations between the U.S. military and the American media during the War in Iraq. Ba sed on 13 in-depth inte rviews, four main themes of trust, understanding, access, and ex change emerged from the data, drawing several theoretical connections to the relatio nship theory of public relations. Additionally, the media representatives in this study colle ctively identified and labeled some of the same key elements that public relations scholar s have been using to define, measure, and maintain organization-public relations hips over the past several years.
1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The U.S. Department of DefenseÂ’s Â“embe dded media policyÂ” was one of the most intriguing issues regarding news coverage of the War in Iraq. The following quote may have best characterized the situation: Welcome to the second Gulf War, whic h oddly enough began with a truce between very old enemies . . . the military and the media. -Kim Hume, The Daily Standard, March 28, 2003 Prior research has shown that military-me dia relations during the 1991 Persian Gulf War were largely characterized by the nega tive residual effects of the Vietnam War (Smith, 1992; Taylor, 1992; DeFrank, 1996). Journalists claimed that the U.S. government restricted access to inform ation and censored and monopolized media coverage of the war through media pools, secu rity and review procedures and military press briefings (Zorthian, 1992; Gettler, 1992; Kellner, 1993). However, several months prior to the 2003 War in Iraq, the U.S. government reenacted a policy to Â“embedÂ” media repres entatives with its military combat units1. According to the Department of Defense, Â“embedded mediaÂ” was defined as a media representative remaining with a unit on an exte nded basis Â– lasting weeks or even months (see Appendix B). This included living, trav eling, eating, sleepi ng, and performing all everyday activities as a member of the military unit. 1 Although media embedding had been used to cover military training and other routine operations, it had not been adopted during a large-scale combat operation of this magnitude.
2 In return, military commanders provided billeting (lodging), rations (food), and medical attention, as well as access to military tran sportation and assistance with filing or transmitting media products, if required. As a re sult of this policy, ne arly 700 journalists, reporters, photographers, videographers and other media representatives Â“embeddedÂ” with U.S. military units during the War in Iraq. The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine how the U.S. Department of DefenseÂ’s embedded media policy affected re lations between the U.S military and the American media. The primary objective of the study is to closely examine and interpret the perspectives of a purposive sample of media representatives who were embedded with the U.S. military, as well as military pub lic affairs officers who worked closely with embedded media during the War in Iraq.
3 CHAPTER 2 OVERVIEW OF MILITARY-MEDIA RELATIONS In the wake of the War in Iraq, the relationship between the United States military and the American media continues to be a ripe topic of discussion and debate among communications scholars, professionals a nd students, and might have long-term implications for media relations practices am ong other industries in the United States as well as in other countries. And the relationshi p continues to evolve as the U.S. Armed Forces are called upon in crisis situa tions at home and around the globe. To better understand the existing relations hip between the military and the media today, it is helpful to review the academic re search that examined this relationship during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the last formal military engagement of the United States before the War in Iraq and one in which le ssons from Vietnam continued to resonateÂ— twenty years later. The U.S. Armed Forces and the American me dia have historically teetered between trust and mistrust of one other. In World Wa r II, journalists such as Ernie Pyle were Â“supportive of their comrades in arms when, indeed, treated like comradesÂ” (Davidson, 2003, p. 3). However, during the Vietnam War, wh en media coverage turned critical of the war effort, the White House and the Defe nse Department restricted reportersÂ’ access to commanders and the front lines Â“in an atte mpt to stem the tide of negative reportingÂ” (p. 3). This change in military-media relatio ns policy spawned suspicion and mistrust that eventually developed into a hi ghly contentious relationship.
4 DeFrank (1996) characterized the interplay between the military and the media, especially in times of conflict: Â‘War is an aberrationÂ’ (Taylor, 1992, p.8) in the normal state of civilized affairs that by its nature is both violent and horrific. This means that there is a fundamental need for the populace of a democracy, those who institutionally are the ultimate decision makers, to be kept informed on a sufficient level to make rational decisions. Providing the information necessary to do this is a function that is performed by an independent and often adversarial media. Herein is the heart of an institutional conundrum, for that very process of keeping the citi zenry informed unquestionably has the potential to increase the cost s in lives if it compromises military operations. Yet the very cloak of secrecy so crucial to military operations also had the potential to lend itself to poor decision making, and worse, abuse of official power and other institutional misconduct. (p.2) At the core of the contention between th ese two institutions is information, an Â“organic factor,Â” fundamental to the nature of both the military and the media (Dugan, 1992). On one hand, the American media rely upon the First Amen dment to keep the people informed of what their government is doing. On the other hand, the military dogmatically claims Â“in the in terest of national securityÂ” and the protection of its men, women, resources and strategic advantage, that sensitive and classified information should be carefully guarded. The Vietnam Effect In the aftermat h of the Gulf War, Zorthian alluded to Vietnam when he observed in 1992 that Â“the military has established th e current restrictions on the movement and coverage by [media] correspondents to preven t the undisciplined me dia excesses of the past and wants to project instead a picture of the war which will be controlled and based largely on official sourcesÂ” (p. 103).
5 Additionally, DeFrank (1996) found the tens ion between the media and the military reached a crescendo during and immediately fo llowing the Vietnam War, concluding that this had a lasting effect, up to and including the Gulf War. And although Venable (2002) found that the military and the media had made significant strides in reducing the tension between one another, he conceded that th e militaryÂ’s Â“Â‘post-Vietnam blame the media attitudeÂ’ . . . fostered mistrust, which unfor tunately many Army leaders still harborÂ” (p. 70). The Sidle Commission In August 1984, following an ill-fated Defe nse Department policy to exclude media from covering the initial phase s of Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada (Calloway, 1994), the Secretary of Defense appointed Major Gene ral Winant Sidle, U.S. Army (retired) and former military spokesperson during the Viet nam War, to head up a joint panel of military officers and retired journalists to examine the state of military-media relations and to provide workable solutions (Stebenne, 1991, p. 16). The Sidle Commission offered two key r ecommendations: 1) the Â“endorsement of media pooling in combat zones when that was the only feasible means of furnishing reporters with early access to an operation; and 2) that the basic tenet governing media access to military operations should be vol untary media compliance with security guidelines or ground rules established and issu ed by the military, and that the penalty for violating such restrictions w ould be exclusion from further coverage of the operationÂ” (p. 16). The first test of the Sidle panel reco mmendations came in 1989 during the U.S. military operation in Panama. While the media did gain some access to the war zone with the new pool system, the Defense DepartmentÂ’s efforts were largely disorganized and too
6 slow (Stebenne, 1991). Additiona lly, because the conflict was very brief, it did not provide a real test of th e panel recommendations, although the Department of Defense (DOD) Â“promised to handle any future milita ry operations properlyÂ” (p. 16). As the Gulf War neared, Sidle testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, explaining that the m ilitary and the media donÂ’ t realize the extent of their mutually beneficial relationshi p. Â“The military is funded by taxpayer dollars, [who] have a right to know what the military is doing . . . [and] the only way for the military to both inform the taxpayers and to get credit for doing a good job is through the news mediaÂ” (Sidle, 1992, p. 106). Additionally, Si dle concluded that this even applies to the handling of sensitive information. While the media must be prudent, the military should provide them Â“all possible information th at will not be of real value to the enemy and/or endanger troop safetyÂ” (p. 106). Gulf War Observations Still, as DeFrank observed in 1996, Vietna m was a Â“formative period for a crop of senior officers who conducted the Gulf War . . . their influence and attitudes to a large extent colored the opinions toward the media of their subordinatesÂ” ( p.11). Thus it is not surprising that in personal accounts of journalists and public affairs officers (PAOs) during the Gulf War, the relationship between the media and the military reflected the clash between the fundamental ideals of each institution (Smith, 1992; Taylor, 1992; Dugan, 1992). In fact, Zorthian (1992) found th at a struggle between the military and the media emerged over three princi pal points of contention: an escort requirement for all journalists, the media pool system, and the pre-transmission review of copy. Getler (1992), on the other hand, finding dur ing the Gulf War that Â“the Pentagon and the U.S. Army Central Command conducte d what is probably the most thorough and
7 sophisticated wartime control of American re porters in modern timesÂ” (p. 160), identified the most crucial restriction as Â“censorship by delay.Â” It is not uncommon for reporters to interpret the militaryÂ’s Â“securi ty reviewÂ” standards as censorship; however, Getler found that there were many cases of the military de leting Â“material that had nothing to do with real security Â– earthy language or embarrassing scenesÂ” (p. 161). Such an approach not only delayed the transmission of stories, re ndering many of them obsolete and no longer newsworthy, but it tarnished the militaryÂ’s cr edibility and further fueled the tension between the media and the military. Among GetlerÂ’s findings was a quote from reporter David Hackworth, a retired Army colonel and highly decorated Vietnam veteran, who said, Â“I was very unhappy with the militaryÂ’s paranoia and their thought police who control the press. We didnÂ’t have the freedom of movement to make an independe nt assessment of what the military is all about. Everything was spoon-fed. We were like animals in a zoo, and the press officers were the zookeepers who threw us a piece of meat occasionallyÂ” (p.166). Unlike Zorthian and Getler, Taylor (1992) developed a different set of conclusions concerning the relationship between the milita ry and the media during the Gulf War. Finding that dependence on the military co alition for information was Â“nothing particularly newÂ” and similar to the approach adopted by the British and U.S. governments during World War II, Taylor obser ved that there was relative uniformity of coverage, Â“despite the existe nce of well over a thousand jour nalists, from a wide variety of news-gathering organizations with differing editorial styl es and journalistic practicesÂ” (p. 268). Additionally, he suggested that th e militaryÂ’s Â“pre-censorship system, of
8 controlling what came out of the pool before it was dist ributed more widely, was functioning quite smoothly a nd effectivelyÂ” (p. 269). Taylor (1992) also concluded that the Gulf War presented a new challenge to journalists, in what seemed to be Â“the publicÂ’s apparent desire not to know beyond the sketchiest of details,Â” because they felt it wa s a just war and the be nefits of winning were well worth the costs (p. 274, italics in original). Additionally, Taylor argued that although television provided live footage of the Gulf War, the images were filmed at a dist ance, keeping the public Â’s perception of the war in check. Â“The absence of cameras in Ku wait or at the Iraqi front line meant that neither the main reason for war, nor the bat tlefields where it was mainly won and lost, were being seenÂ” (p. 278). This was in drama tic contrast to the close-up images broadcast during Vietnam, which not only ushered the wa r into AmericaÂ’s living rooms, but which, according to Taylor, prompted liberals and others not so like-minded to reject what they saw as Â“the futility of human beings killi ng their fellow men and thereby agitate for an end to all war, let alone specific conflictsÂ” (p. 277). Military Perspectives of the Press Thus, nearly 20 years after the end of the Vietnam War, the military still sought to control media coverage not only by keeping the media at armÂ’s length from the events of the war, but by providing images in which the subjects were far from the eye of the viewer. Such distance, literally and figurativ ely, enabled the military coalition to control the flow of information, whereas the pre ss had little to no ed itorial control. Small (1994) provides an example of this more figurative distancing between the military and the media in the comments of a senior Air Force officer who began a Gulf War press briefing by stating, Â“Let me say up front that I donÂ’t like the press. Your
9 presence here canÂ’t possibly do me any good, and it can hurt me and my people . . . thatÂ’s just so youÂ’ll know where we stand with each otherÂ” (p.5). Another example is provided by Pete Williams, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs during the Gulf War, who, in his remarks to the National Press Club defended the DOD media policie s during the conflict. Â“Wh ile the Saudi government studied whether to grant visas to journalists, they agreed to accept a pool of U.S. reporters if the U.S. military would get them in. A nd we did that: we activated the DOD national media pool because at the time there was no other way to get Western reporters into Saudi ArabiaÂ” (Williams, 1992, p. 171). The irony is that while the press bristled at the idea of pooling and perceived it as a tool fo r controlling them and keeping them from the story, the military in fact was only implementing a key recommendation of the 1984 Sidle Commission in an attempt to provide so me mutual benefit between the military and the media. Alluding to the fact that the very geog raphy of the war required a new kind of media relations strategy, Williams (1992) also observed that Â“this was not an operation in which reporters could ride ar ound in jeeps [sic] going from one part of the front to another or like Vietnam, where reporters coul d hop a helicopter to specific points of actionÂ” (p.174). Once again, then, the tradit ional tension between the military and the media arose in the form of access versus security and safety. Public Discourse: A Casualty of the Gulf War? In evaluating the implications of these policies after the Gulf War, Small (1994) concluded that while Â“the big loser was Saddam Hussein . . . the other loser was traditional American journalism, which . . . while not surrendering its First Amendment function, independent reporting, found that function seriously compromisedÂ” (p. 3).
10 Small (1994) argued that informed public opinion was a casualty of these policies as well, when he cited a Princeton Survey Re search Associates poll for the Times-Mirror Company that reported that Â“more than thre e-fourths (76%) of Americans knew that Gulf [War] news was being censored by the American military and a larger number (79%) thought that was a good idea.Â” Similar to Taylo rÂ’s observation of the publicÂ’s desire to not know, Small concluded that Americans Â“seemed perfectly happy with the news it [sic] got, even if it felt that the media was being spoon-fed by the militaryÂ” (p. 4). Kellner (1993) also found th e demise of journalism to be a casualty of these policies. Even prior to the war, Â“mains tream media served as a mouthpiece and amplifierÂ” for the U.S. government, and th en during the war, the military punished critical reporters, refusing them Â“access to top military brass . . . while compliant reporters were rewarded with pool assi gnments and interviewsÂ” (p. 37, 43). On the other hand, Mortimer Zuckerman, the owner of U.S. News and World Report , was one of the few in the media who were satisfied with the military press relations during the Gulf War. According to Small (1994), Zuckerman told advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather that he was Â“astonished by the availability and the access that we have had both to the Pentagon and to the info rmation we feel we needed to cover and report the war. The press, in my judgment, seems petulant, self-c oncerned, self-centered and really downright silly, particularly when you compare the rather mature intelligence of some of the military briefers compared to the stupidity of some of the questioners.Â” He concluded that, Â“weÂ’re not just journalists; weÂ’re also AmericansÂ” (p.7). Like Zuckerman, Time MagazineÂ’s Jay Peterzell said (i n MacArthur, 1993) that while Â“the pool concept has received a lot of criticism, and [while] much of it is justified,
11 it misses an important point . . . the pools did give U.S. journalists a way of getting into Saudi Arabia and seeing at le ast part of what was going on at a time when there was no other way of doing either of those thingsÂ” (p. 153). The Role of Technology An equally important variable in the m ilitary and the mediaÂ’s dynamic relationship is the technological innovati on that drives the flow of this information Â– between governments and their citizens, their allies, as well as their enemies. The War in Iraq demonstrated how real-time information can be delivered in high-quality, live video feeds that can be transmitted instantaneously, anywhere in the world. Richard Tauber, the director of CNN Satellit es and Circuits and an interviewee in a study by Pavlik and Thalhimer (1991), said, Â“The widespread availability of CNN in 105 countries spawned tele-diplomacyÂ” during the Gulf War, which both President Bush and Saddam Hussein used in communicating with thei r citizens and with each other (p. 35). Furthermore, Calloway (1994) claimed that Â“a real-time war was made possible, mainly because President George Bush announced U.S. intentions in time to set up and configure those technologies. Following the presidentÂ’s lea d, it became possible to ship automated data processing equipment to the Desert Storm Theater within days. As a result, supplies arrived, networks were reconfiguredÂ” (p. 56). But new technologies also exposed the news gathering and news disseminating processes (Pavlik & Thalhimer, 1991). In fact , it led to an unantic ipated result of live coverage of the Gulf War: the demystification of the wartime press briefing. While Americans were familiar with presidential briefings, televised since the Kennedy Administration, satellite tec hnology provided the first front row seats into the news gathering process during war time (Small, 1994). He pointed out, for example, that Â“to a
12 non-journalist the reporters can seem rude and at times ignorant . . . watching an unedited news conference, an average American is sometimes surprised, if not shocked by the manners of the pressÂ” (p.11). MacArthur (1993) studied this phenomenon through an NBC Â“Saturday Night LiveÂ” parody of a Gulf War press briefing, in which reporters repeatedly asked idiotic questions to a military briefer who wouldnÂ’t answer to preserve battlefield security. MacArthur concluded that for the most part, the public side d with the military briefer against the press Â– Â“At least some of the progr amÂ’s viewers hoped the target would be the Pentagon censors and their disappointment si gnified a public relations triumph for the White HouseÂ” (p. 151). In a roundtable discussion about the Gulf War coverage titled Â“The first casualty revisited,Â” captured in LeMa y et al. (1991), former NBC Ne ws and PBS president Larry Grossman claimed that Â“this was televisi onÂ’s first live war, even though most of it occurred out of sight of camer as. We heard a lot about censors hip and restrictions, but to me the most interesting aspect of this war was the fact that the screen was filled up by material-briefings, press conferences, vide otapes-that were supp lied by the governmentÂ” (p. 65). Grossman further contended, Â“The issue wa s not so much keeping things away, but how much from one perspective dominated the screen . . . this was the ultimate in the cheerleading warÂ” (p. 65). After the Gulf War Thus, as in the post-Vietnam years, th e end of the Gulf War found the military defensive about its media relations strategies, and the media, for the most part, discontented. What was different, however, was the reaction of the American public to
13 the coverage. Whereas public opinion became inflamed against Vietnam, it ranged from complacent to pro-war during the Gulf War. In fact, Small (1994) concluded that Â“the success of the Pentagon, and the fact that the public at large has lost interest, mitigate against any change in policy. Indeed, an administration, having learned how it could contain the press, is not lik ely to overlook that lesson eith er in future international conflicts or domestic political ones. Th e battle for a free press never ends. The battleground, thanks to the events of early 1991, make [sic] it more difficult than ever for the press to prevailÂ” (p. 17). Thus, it appears that the U.S. military was successful, not only in containing Saddam Hussein, but also in employing a medi a relations policy that fulfilled its own objectives, while exhibiting lit tle regard for the needs and desires of the press. As a result of strong criticisms from news organization leaders about how the military handled the media during the Gulf War, the Department of Defense again made an effort to improve the current situati on, as it had done with the Sidle Commission in 1984. The Pentagon convened with news organizations to produce the DOD Principles for News Media Coverage of DOD Operati ons (Venable, 2002). Â“While this document highlighted concepts and proce dures that had been in other DOD documents for years, it emphasized to military commanders the importance of their personal involvement in planning for news coverage of combat operationsÂ” (p. 69). The DOD Principles established or reinfo rced three basic concepts: 1) open and independent reporting was the standard for co mbat coverage for the future; 2) media pools were to be an exception rather than the rule; and 3) volu ntary compliance with security guidelines was a condition of access to U.S. military forces.
14 These guidelines were immediately put to the test in September 1994 when Operation Uphold Democracy commenced in Ha iti, and proved that there could be a workable solution between the military and the media covering U.S. combat operations. In fact, this operation re-int roduced the Â“concept of embedding or merging the media into operational units before the inva sion beganÂ” (Venable, 2002, p. 70). Embedded Media and Modern Warfare After the Gulf War, the DOD continued its Â“embedded mediaÂ” policy, which provided the press an inside perspective on U.S. military operations. Not only did this reemerging policy from decades past provide renewed and broader access for the media, it also enhanced the militaryÂ’s ability to tell its story to the American public. Still in a 1998 qualitative study, Baroody conc luded that there exis ts an adversarial albeit healthy relationship betw een these two institutions. Â“T here is a historic tension between the media and the military in the United States, a natural outgrowth of what has evolved into a checks-and-balances system within the democratic state compelling the two actors to interact as antagonistsÂ” (p.3). She also characterized such adversarial re lationships as Â“part of the mechanism for maintaining liberty and are thus healthy a nd necessary, because these tensions prevent any one group from winning too much power and help maintain a broad distribution of authorityÂ” (p. 3). News coverage of the War in Iraq dem onstrated the continued evolution of military-media relations, as the American public was flooded with live images from embedded reporters from multiple cable TV news channels, instantaneous reports from front-line journalists and real-time commentar y as the war progressed. At first glance, it appears that the military adhered to the fundamentals set forth by the 1994 DOD
15 principles for media coverage of military operations, which resulted from the harsh criticisms following the Gulf War. And although the basic principle of embedding media was first employed during Operation Uphold De mocracy nearly a decade before, it was truly put to the test by the sheer ma gnitude of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Coupled with the vast and perpetual innovati ons of information technology that have become second nature to the citizens of most of the worldÂ’s advanced nations, media coverage of the War in Iraq provided unpr ecedented high-resolution, real-time video images transmitted via satellite from the ba ttlefields of Iraq to the living rooms in America and around the world. This phenomenon ushered in a new era of war coverage and further perpetuated the ever-evolving relationship between the military and the media. A Critical Perspective In a 2003 study, Louw claims that the Pe ntagon had been successful at crafting a new Â“genre of media-ized and PR-ized warf are.Â” He criticizes the U.S. government by stating that Â“each war since Vietnam has s een the [U.S.] military become increasingly sophisticated as agents of hegemonic coercion; agents skilled not onl y at killing people, but as using the media (especially television ) as a powerful tool of warfareÂ” (p. 216). More specifically, Louw argues that Â“if military PR personnel can supply appropriate images and information, they will te nd to be used, particularly if alternative sources are denied to them [the media] . . . this has become the basis for the PR-ization of war Â– the managing of information flows has be come central to the conduct of U.S.-led warsÂ” (p. 221). In the aftermath of the te rrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Louw asserts that Â“the Pentagon must have been well pleased that c onducting warfare in 2001
16 was once again deemed a respectable activity by the U.S. public, with the anti-war sentiments of the Vietnam-era an unpl easant, distant memoryÂ” (p. 226). Need for Research Although there has been little scholarly research published on military-media relations during the War in Iraq, an Associat ed Press story published just a few weeks into the war pointed to the Defense Depart mentÂ’s embedded media strategy as a public relations success. It included these quot es from the media and from the Pentagon:2 The PentagonÂ’s scheme of embedding journalists with military units brought the media closer to warfare a nd to U.S. soldiers than any other since World War II, when reporters were given the honorary rank of captain . . . the access was a big step forward--Andrew Gray, Reuters. It has been an extraordinary experi ence for all of us. This really has been, not just a quantitative change , but a qualitative change in war journalism--Andrew Heyward, President of CBS News. The side benefit is thereÂ’s now a new generation of journalists who have had a chance to see first-hand [sic] what kind of people volunteer to put their lives at risk . . . a nd thatÂ’s a good thing--Donald Rumsfeld, Defense Secretary. We had total freedom to cover virt ually everything we wanted to cover--Chip Reid, NBC News embedded journalist. It meant one thing for the Pentagon to deny an Iraqi spokesmanÂ’s claim that coalition forces werenÂ’ t in Baghdad; [and] quite another when Fox News Channel aired that spokesperson on a split screen with reporter Greg Kelly riding a tank on a city street--Bryan Whitman, Pentagon Media Operations It was like expecting to be taken to McDonaldÂ’s and going to the greatest smorgasbord in the world. You could have anything you could ask for--Walter Rodgers, CNN. 2 All of these quotes appeared in D. Bauder (2003, April 20). With embeds returning home, the PentagonÂ’s experiment drawing mostly favorable reviews. The Associated Press [Lexis-Nexis]
17 The question is whether these few accounts accurately represent the broad range of experiences and sentiments of the individual journalists and military officers that were on the front lines of the embedding process. Thus, keeping in mind the importance that media relations plays in military public affairs and in many public relations efforts, th e three research questi ons that guide this study are: RQ1: How did embedding affect the journa listsÂ’ ability to cover the war? RQ2: How did embedding affect the military units in combat operations? RQ3: What were the benefits and the draw backs of embedded media coverage of the war?
18 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY To thoroughly examine the perspectives of some of the journalists and military officials who adhered to and executed the embedded media policy, respectively, qualitative methods were used for this study. Specifically, in-depth interviews afforded the opportunity for research part icipants to provide a Â“thick descriptionÂ” (Geertz, 1973) of their personal experiences and im pressions during the War in Iraq. According to Lincoln and Guba (1994), the qualitative researcher is a Â“passionate participant actively engaged in facilitating the Â‘multi-voiceÂ’ r econstruction of his or her own construction as well as those of all ot her participants Â” (p.115). With this study, my goal was to listen with an open mind and reconstr uct the stories of the participants as they recounted their persona l experiences and interpretations of what it was like being an embedded journalist or a pub lic affairs officer who worked closely with them. Daymon & Holloway (2002) delineate the eff ectiveness of qualitative research as an approach that focuses on words rather th an statistics, allowing the researcher to become closely involved with the people being studied. Additionally, this approach allows for inductiv e rather than deductive reasoning , in which the categories, themes, and patterns emerge from the data, rather than deriving conclusions from assumptions made prior to collecting the data. One of the key criticisms of qualitative studies is that the data cannot be generalized to a larger population . Other criticisms address issues of replicability and subjectivity (Daymon & Holloway, 2002, p.7). On the other hand, the benefit of a
19 qualitative approach is that it provides an effective way to explore the Â“human sideÂ” of what it was like to be embedded during the wa r. Rather than providi ng survey responses, the participantsÂ’ in-dep th personal accounts, feelings a nd impressions better characterize their Â“lived experiencesÂ” encountered during an anomaly such as war (Creswell, 1998). Janesick (2000) argues that th e qualitative researcher shoul d early on identify his or her biases and articulate the id eology or conceptual frame fo r the study. Furthermore, other qualitative research scholars suggest that the research er bracket his or her own preconceived ideas about the topic under examination, to understand it through the voices of the informants (Creswell, 1998). Additionally, Janesick (2000) claims that Â“access and en try are sensitive components in qualitative resear ch, and the researcher must establish trust, rapport and authentic communication patterns with particip ants. By establishing trust and rapport at the beginning of the study, th e researcher is better able to capture the nuance and meaning of each participantÂ’s lif e from the participantÂ’s point of view. This also ensures that participants will be more willing to share everything, warts and all, with the researcherÂ” (pp. 39-40). As an active duty military public affairs o fficer, it is a challenging and delicate balance to keep personal interpretations free from bias. Ther efore, in an effort to maintain some objectivity and reduce unnatural feelings or stigmas, I made a conscious decision to avoid the overuse of military jargon and my m ilitary rank. In addition, I also chose not to wear a military uniform while conducting the face-to-face interviews. Notwithstanding the subjective nature of my perspective as a researcher, my profe ssional experience as a
20 military PAO should provide deeper insight and offer a fuller understanding of militarymedia relations. In addition, I feel that having worked as a military PAO for approximately eight years (including three years as a media relations officer at the Air Force Press Desk at the Pentagon) provided an added level of credibi lity with each of the research participants. On the other hand, another interesting dyna mic was that being an Air Force PAO provided a degree of insulation between my ro le as a researcher and the participants because they primarily were either embedded with the Marines, Navy or Army, or served as PAOs in the Army or Marines. I feel th is dynamic added to the participantsÂ’ ability and inclination to fully and candidly describe their experiences to a relative Â“outsider.Â” Participant Selection With the exception of two face-to-face inte rviews, the primary method of collecting data was through in-depth tele phone interviews. Fourteen re search participants were identified using snowball sampling, beginning with professional contacts I maintain in the Department of Defense Office of Public Affairs. There were no direct refusals to participate, however, of the 14 participants identified, one was unable to participate due to scheduling conflicts, l eaving a total of 13 participants for this study. The primary criteria for participation were that each research participant had been embedded or had worked directly with embe dded media for at least four weeks in the Persian Gulf region during the War in Iraq. A dditionally, at the end of each interview, I asked each participant to identify other indi viduals (specifically stating either media representatives or military o fficers) with diverse background s or situations that they thought would enhance the variety of the participants of this study.
21 This purposive sample of participants included a divers e group, 11 of whom represented broadcast, radio, and print media from several regions of the United States, while the other two represented military public affairs (see Table 3.1). The media representatives included national, mid-size and small-market print journalists; an international TV correspondent; a freelance TV producer who was hired by a major national network; two photographers, one from a major national newspaper and one from a relatively small newspaper, each of whom were embedded with military combat units. Both military public affairs officers were re sponsible for executing the embedded media policy, however, one of them worked in the Co alition Press Information Center in Kuwait City, while the other worked directly with combat units in the field in Kuwait and Iraq. Additionally, two of the media representatives and one of the military public affairs officers were female. Later in this section, I will briefly identify each of the participants, their job title, organization and unique bac kground or situation dur ing the war (Table 3.1). Pilot Study In October 2003, I conducted a pilot study that consiste d of in-depth telephone interviews with one embedded journalist and one military public affairs officer. This allowed me to get familiar with the phys ical mechanics of interviewing and, more importantly, test and revise the interview topi c guide. Additionally, I was able to test the room acoustics, sound recording equipment, as well as the method of transcribing and analyzing the data. The results of the pilot study are not incl uded as part of this study. In-Depth Interview Procedures Between November 26, 2003 and Janua ry 23, 2004, I conducted in-depth interviews with each of the 13 research pa rticipants. The first two interviews were
22 conducted face-to-face, one of which was in a neutral setting (food court of a large shopping mall), while the other took place in th e research participantÂ’s office. Based on a comparison with the two tele phone interviews I conducted during the pilot study, I found little to no difference in my ab ility to establish trust and rappo rt with the participants or with their willingness to elabor ate in any of the interview se ttings. Therefore, due to the logistical limitations inherent with snowball sampling, the re maining 11 interviews were conducted via the telephone. The interviews lasted an average of 40 minutes each, with 20 minutes being the shortest and 65 minutes being the longest. Prior to conducting the interviews, I sent a brief e-mail to each participant explaining th at the interview would be audio recorded, transcribed and analyzed for use in the resear ch report. I also informed them that their identification would remain confidential at all tim es. Lastly, in the inte rest of disclosure, I attached a copy of my military biography3 to provide background information on me as a graduate student and as a military public affairs officer, as well as an informed consent form that required the participantÂ’s signature. To provide consistency during each interv iew, I opened with a brief introduction and an overview of my resear ch interest and the topic of study. I then used a semistructured interview topic guide that consisted of th e following eight open-ended, exploratory questions: 1. Please describe yourself (name, current j ob title and affiliation). What was your job title during the War in Iraq? Describe your role and responsibilities during the war. Was this your first combat experience? 2. Describe how your assignment affected your relations with those key people whose needs and interests you sought to meet. 3 See Appendix C: Â“ResearcherÂ’s military biography.Â”
23 3. Traditionally, there has been tension betw een the military and the media regarding access to information vs. security and safety. Describe how your experiences might have supported or refuted this during the War in Iraq. 4. Describe how embedding affected the mutu al dependency between the military and the media. 5. How did embedding enhance your work? 6. How did embedding hinder your work? 7. What skills or characteristics did you fi nd you relied on most? How did these differ from your previous experiences with military-media relations? 8. Who else would you recommend I talk to regarding this topic? Throughout each interview, I offered related follow-up questions that provided the participants an opportunity to further clarify and describe their experiences as they pertained to the topic of study. Research Participants Table 3.1 identifies each of the 13 research participants using a pseudonym, their job title or description, the si ze and type of organization the participant represented, and a unique identifier that provides a snapshot of the research participantsÂ’ background and situation. Please refer to th is table throughout the result s and discussion/conclusion sections of this study. All pseudonyms are fictitious with the intent of preservi ng the confidentiality of the research participants. Any i ndividuals possessing these names have nothing to do with this study. The use of their names is stric tly unintentional and merely coincidental.
24 Table 3-1. Brief description of each of the research participants Research Participant Job Title or Description Size & Type of Organization Unique Situation/Perspective Mr. Dave Evanston Military reporter Mid-size newspaper and news wire service Embedded with Army Infantry Division during the war, returned as unilateral after combat operations ceased, 20 yrs experience as reporter, first combat experience Mr. Kevin Harrison Staff photographer Small newspaper Invited by Army to embed with local unit, regularly covers the military; first combat experience; dis-embedded when father died Ms. Patricia Henley Special Projects coordinator/TV correspondent International Broadcasting service Embedded with the Navy aboard aircraft carrier and hospital ship; experienced reporter, regularly covers world events Mr. Bruce Kelly Entertainment/celebrity news reporter Major national newspaper Embedded with the U.S. Navy aboard aircraft carrier; former Army National Guard journalist; covered U.S. military in Afghanistan Mr. George Lamont Washington correspondent Small newspaper Embedded with an Army supply unit; dis-embedded after a week in Iraq due to prior commitments Mr. William McCoy Staff Photographer Major national newspaper; major news service Embedded photojournalist; experienced photographer, regularly covers world events; embedded with Army Infantry Capt. Edith Miller Public affairs officer U.S. Marines, Persian Gulf Region Unit PAO who directly worked in the field with 40+ embedded journalists; responded to media queries, requests; first combat experience Ms. Rachel North Higher education reporter Mid-size newspaper Embedded with Marine Support Battalion; no previous experience covering military Mr. Tommy Rafferty Special Projects reporter Small, newspaper Claimed it literally took an act of Congress to eventually embed with local Army Reserve Unit; first combat experience Lt. Col. Neil Thompson Public affairs officer, U.S. Army, Persian Gulf Region Public affairs officer at the Coalition Press Information Center; responsible for executing the DOD embedded media plan/policy; facilitated, trained, credentialed 100Â’s of journalists as they entered region
25 Table 3-1. Continued Research Participant Job Title or Description Size & Type of Organization Unique Situation/Perspective Mr. Jeff Wilson TV Correspondent Major network TV affiliate Worked as freelance TV producer/correspondent for major network; former Marine officer during Vietnam War; covered the Gulf War Mr. Chuck Winslow Columnist Mid-size newspaper Embedded with a Marine Infantry unit; Vietnam veteran, first combat experience Mr. Rich Worthington Washington correspondent Small newspaper Embedded with various Marine Reserve units for 4-5 weeks; was eventually kicked out of Iraq for allegedly reporting military capabilities and positions Data Analysis Each of the interviews was transcribed ve rbatim. Rather than hiring out for this tedious process, I consciously chose this opt ion to fully immerse myself in the data. Using an inductive approach, the transcri pts were first analyz ed using open coding to examine, compare and categorize the data . I then identified recurring themes and constructed categories that in cluded supporting evidence for e ach of these main themes. Direct quotations from the research particip ants were sorted under each category to later provide supporting examples of each of these main themes. Authenticity and Trustworthiness Daymon and Holloway (2002) argue there are two perspectives related to assessing the quality of qualita tive research. Â“Reliability a nd validity are the concern of the conventional [quantitative] positionÂ” . . . however, the Â“second and perhaps more fashionable positionÂ” (p. 92) relies on an Â“int erpretive paradigm,Â” a concept they attribute to Lincoln & Guba (1985), and Guba & Li ncoln (1989, 1998). With this perspective the Â“goodness of research is characterized by trustw orthiness and authenticityÂ” and is Â“shown
26 by [the] researchersÂ’ careful documentation of the process of research and the decisions made along the wayÂ” (p. 93). Daymon and Holloway (2002) argue that Â“a st udy is authentic wh en the strategies used are appropriate for the Â‘trueÂ’ reporti ng of participantsÂ’ ideas Â” (p. 93). Moreover, they identify credibility, transferability, depe ndability and confirmability as key criteria for evaluating the trustworthiness of qualitati ve research, claiming that, Â“If the findings of your study are to be dependable, they must be consistent and accurate ... this means that readers will be able to ev aluate the adequacy of your analysis through following your decision-making processÂ” (p. 94). In keeping with some of these strategi es Daymon and Holloway (2002) offer for ensuring the quality of qualitati ve research, I have provided a detailed description of each of the steps of the research process, including an audit trail of the decisions made before and during the collection of the data. Furthermore, I attempt to provide a thick description of the context and the people in the study because Daymon and Holloway (2002) suggest that Â“the reader of your study s hould be able to feel, hear and see exactly what it is like to be in the setting your ar e describingÂ” (p. 100). Lastly, the pilot study adds credibility and dependability to the study as it served as an effective means of honing my interv iew skills, familiarizing myself with the recording and transcribing equipment, and an alyzing the data, which closely mirrored the findings from the present study.
27 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The purpose of this chapter is to report the findings from the analysis of the transcribed interviews. The interpretation and implications of these findings will be discussed in Chapter 5. There were six themes that emerged upon an alysis of the transcribed data. These themes included: 1) unprecedented access; 2) reporter also became the link back home; 3) understanding what their life was like; 4) trus t eased some of the tension; 5) it was a trade-off, a Â“give and take,Â” and 6) Â“it was a ll about relationships.Â” The first three themes described the overall essence of being embe dded, while the last three specifically characterized the interaction between the me dia and the military, the two institutions under examination. Theme 1: Unprecedented Access Access was the first emerging theme that described the embedded experience. In fact, three participants drew a direct comparison to the j ournalistsÂ’ lack of access that resulted in the inability to adequate ly cover the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Network TV correspondent Jeff Wilson, who covered both wars, made the following observation: Having covered the Gulf War, the media wa s totally boxed out of the coverage of the Gulf War. With the pool situation and the Joint Information Bureau, we virtually didnÂ’t cover the war. We couldnÂ’ t even shoot a picture of the desert, let alone a military base or any military operations. Columnist Chuck Winslow made a supporting observation that:
28 In the Â’91 Gulf War, the media was pretty much kept back and kept out. The people back home wound up seeing a whole lot of great shots of jets taking off from runways or aircraft carrier s and a lot of footage of Schwartzkopf giving briefings. What they didnÂ’t have was coverage of the frontline stuff . . . you know, the ArmyÂ’s famous Â“left hookÂ” to trap the Republican Guard . . . the Marines pushing up the coast to capture Kuwait City, that sort of stuff. Special projects reporter Tomm y Rafferty directly compared the media coverage of the two wars: ThereÂ’s so much stuff that happened in the Gulf War that was just lost . . . there was no one there to record it or photograph it . In this one, all those pictures of the first missiles striking the bu ildings in Baghdad . . . and the pictures of the tanks going over breaching the border, thatÂ’s just amazing stuff. Being embedded meant unparalleled access Other participants contrasted their access as an embedde d reporter to their typical day-to-day means of covering events. William McCoy, a staff photographer with a national daily newspaper, described it as a Â“photoj ournalist party:Â” This was like being given a party . . . all you have to do is live and take pictures. You donÂ’t have to worry about transpor tation, food, and in many realities, you donÂ’t have to worry about safety. Access is just granted . . . food, everything . . . youÂ’re there. So this was a heaven for a photographer. Kevin Harrison, another photographer but from a small newspaper from the Southeast United States, made the following observations: Once we got embedded, you know . . . weÂ’re there. There was no public affairs person to filter . . . to obser ve the interviews or to couns el the soldiers on what not to say. We had access to really anybody in our area. So as far as being an embed vs. working back in the U.S. going through th e normal channels with the public affairs folks, I thought this was great because there were no hindrances. Tommy Rafferty spoke of this access when he recalled: I was sleeping in tents with the soldiers and riding ar ound in their vehicles with them. What would the alternative be? Walking up to them and asking them, Â“HowÂ’s it going?Â” or Â“What did you do ye sterday?Â” or Â“What are you thinking?Â” the kinds of things you see TV reporters do at a crime scene. There were times that I didnÂ’t have to do interviews for a st ory, because you were right there in the
29 middle of it and you got your quotes just fr om hearing people talk. It was an amazing level of access. Rafferty further explained this phenomenon upon his return from covering the war: The other thing thatÂ’s taking me time to get used to . . . now that IÂ’m back here . . . whenever I had a question about something like, Â‘HowÂ’s the facility running?Â’ IÂ’d just like to spend a week up there. You ju st get kind of used to that kind of thing. International broadcast correspondent Patr icia Henley, who was embedded aboard a Navy aircraft carrier and a hospital ship, made the following observation: The access was fabulous. We lived with the en listed, but we ate with the officers, which gave you the breadth of experience on the ship. So you could get some pretty good one-on-one experiences you couldnÂ’t get otherwise. This access gave people an understanding of who is in the military, what their life was like. Seeing through a Â“soda-strawÂ” While this unprecedented access was pos itively cited throughout many of the participant interviews, anothe r recurring perspective descri bed one of the limitations of being embedded. Lt. Col. Neil Thomas, an Ar my public affairs officer who was Â“tasked to come up with a plan to execute the Defe nse DepartmentÂ’s embedding policy,Â” spoke of this limitation: Obviously, it gives you the fish-eye view. If youÂ’re the Miami Herald or the Columbus Ledger or whatever, and youÂ’ve got one reporter with one unit, it really hinders your ability to tell the American public about whatÂ’s going on with the war. You get good human interest stories, but as far as news it was very difficult. Rachel North, a higher education reporter from a mid-size market newspaper in the Midwest, described this limite d perspective the following way: The hardest thing about being an embe d was you only saw one tiny, tiny piece of the war, just a tiny piece. The phrase that Â’s been used was that itÂ’s like looking through a soda straw and itÂ’s really true. People back home had a much better sense of whatÂ’s going on with the war than I did, and I was out there.
30 George Lamont, a Washington corresponde nt for a small newspaper in the Northeast U.S., recounts the following ev ent that exemplifie d this Â‘soda-strawÂ’ perspective: One of the most telling moments came when I went into the generalÂ’s briefing in the morning and heard all about where the water, the ammo and the fuel was . . . and then I go back to my tent and sign on the Internet and see th at the biggest battle of the war had just taken place about 10 mile s away that night. Not a word of it was mentioned in the briefing. Tommy Rafferty also desc ribed this perspective: WhatÂ’s the opposite of a bi rdÂ’s eye view? Your view was from the trenches. All you could really see, was what you could re ally see . . . what you could hear, smell and touch. Pieces of a mosaic Then again, some of the partic ipants attested that larger news organizations had the assets and thus the ability to see the big picture and tell th e entire story. Patricia Henley described it the following way: The editors back here [in the U.S.] had to keep putting together the mosaic of what was actually happening out there. There were just so many reporters with such a small picture of whatÂ’s going on. William McCoy claimed that: If youÂ’re a large company like the Associat ed Press, with many, many assets out there, you had the ability to tell the entire pi cture. Without the embedding process that wouldnÂ’t be possible, because you w ouldnÂ’t be able to have all these little pieces in the puzzle. Also recognizing this perspective, Army PAO Lt. Col. Thomas spoke highly of the cable news channels: The best story was the major news or ganizations like CNN and FOX that had numerous reporters on different leve ls of the battlefield, and somebody coordinating it back in Kuwait. They coul d see the big picture taken from a bunch of different snapshots to try to synthesize it.
31 Theme 2: The Reporter Also Became the Link Back Home The next common theme to emerge was that media representatives found themselves not only informing their readers or viewers, but they also became the connection or link between the military members in Iraq and the military families and friends back home. Rich Worthington, a Washington correspondent for a small newspaper in the Northeast U.S., describe d this unexpected role he adopted: Never did we expect this kind of reac tion. I heard from people, families and everything [saying], I knew my husband, my boyfriend, nephew or whatever, was safe for another day . . . because you woul d have written about it if something bad had happened. There was a sense of relief. There was a sense of connection. IÂ’d feel guilty if I didnÂ’t file [everyday], not for th e paperÂ’s perspective, just for the people back home. Rachel North also commented on this phenomenon: It was a very interesting e xperience as a journalist beca use a lot of people actually started looking for my byline. Because th ey found out that I was there with their spouse, their husband, or whatever, their unit. So people were tuning into our website from all over the country because I was the person with th at particular unit. I got so many e-mails when I got back. Capt. Edith Miller, a Marine Corps public affairs officer who worked in Kuwait and Iraq with more than 40 embedded journalists at the beginning of the war, made the following observation: We definitely had quite of bit of what I call American regional newspapers Â– not the highest-circulated like the New York or L.A. Times, but [those] that had a big impact in their regional communities. We made a pretty big impression . . . to be able to send news home about the units and to send it back sp ecifically to their family and friends . . . for th e local support in their area. Jeff Wilson also spoke of this role as a conduit of information: My family was responsible for keeping an open line of communication between the [MarinesÂ’] families and myself, as kind of the only information they were getting during the war. It was through my reports a nd some e-mails that my family relayed to them. Chuck Winslow spoke of a similar experience:
32 The Marines let it be known that I was with the Xth Battalion, Xst Marines, about a thousand guys. So there were a thousand fa mily and countless friends all across the country who knew that. They would log on to the Internet to see our stories. They were just so appreciative of that. I got countless e-mails when I got back who said, Â‘oh, it was so greatÂ’ even though I didnÂ’t men tion their kidÂ’s name. If I talked about his unit, they kind of knew where he was and what he was going through. That was really the most gratifying thing.r Kevin Harrison also recalled: The response we got back home was immens e, especially like military wives and the general public. They didnÂ’t care what we sent back, they read it. They loved it! It was great! Tommy Rafferty also shared this sense of connection: When I got back here and checked my e-ma il for the first time, I had just a flood of things from people around town and fr om people all over the country who knew someone in that unit. The response was overwhelmingly positive. ItÂ’s almost embarrassing . . . they think IÂ’m so great. One person actually gave me $50. I tried to give it back and the paper wouldnÂ’t let me keep it, so I donated it to charity. Â“HereÂ…use my phoneÂ” Some of the participants even talked about how they literally provided that connection with the use of telephones and lap-top computers. Dave Evanston, a military reporter for a mid-size newspaper from the Sout hwest U.S., who also filed stories for a national news service, shar ed the following anecdote: There were soldiers who knew the war was coming in a few hours and they saw me on the satellite phone talking to my boss. They came over with those dog-faces and they all had a sob story, and it was one bad story after another. They didnÂ’t even have to use those sad stories on me. If they needed it, IÂ’d say, Â‘get on the phone for 5 minutes, but donÂ’t stay on any longer.Â’ IÂ’d let them use my laptop at will ... probably let them use it too much. Rich Worthington recalled a similar experience: IÂ’d let them use my sat [s atellite] phone from time to time. IÂ’d relay dozens of messages and I would e-mail messages for di fferent Marines and bring information back, things like that. People would ask me sports scores or whatÂ’s going on in the world.
33 Theme 3: Understanding What Their Life Was Like The third theme that emerged was ho w the embedded journalists had an understanding of what the life of a Marine, a soldier, an airman or a sailor was like. Many of the participants talked of how they went through it all together. Some participants even acknowledged becoming Â“one of them.Â” George Lamont commented on how he succe ssfully described what life was like: My goals as I discussed them with my editors were to really just bring the story of the war home to the readers back home, to make it as descriptive as possible and to make it seem like the readers were there and to bring them as close to the scene as we could. So thatÂ’s kind of what we we nt into hoping to accomplish. A friend of mine who was reading my stories said sh e could taste the sand between her teeth, which I thought was a pretty good sign that I was accomplishing what I set out to do. Â“We went through it togetherÂ” Patricia Henley characterized her expe rience aboard an aircraft carrier the following ways: It gave people an understanding of what th eir life was like . . . and life as it was characterized, it was always Â“Ground Hog Day.Â” You didnÂ’t know what day it was, you didnÂ’t know if it was a.m. or p.m ., you didnÂ’t know how long you had been on the ship and you didnÂ’t know how long it w ould be until youÂ’d leave. It was just endless that way. So you lived the life that they lived, and if youÂ’ve never been in the military, this was very informing. Their life was your life. Their bathing facilities and shower facilities were yours. You really had to figure out where the female heads were because, believe me, th ere werenÂ’t that many. And after the first week or two nobody could stand making up all the time. They felt what they felt, they did what they did. They cursed when they cursed. So there was no Â‘be nice to the visitorsÂ’ after a while, it was just normal. There was just no hiding anything, because you were just too deep inside the skin. Chuck Winslow described his e xperience the following way: We decided that we were going to go over there and do what the Marines did. They dug a hole and slept in a hole . . . we dug a hole and slept in a hole. We just went along with the program and followed what they did without bitching about it and without asking any special favors. Eventual ly, they realized that these guys are going through the same stuff weÂ’re going through. Of course, you get close to these guys, especially in that kind of a situation.
34 Â“Becoming one of themÂ” Some of the research participants even went so far as to claim that they became part of the military unit, using Â“weÂ” and possessive pronouns such as Â“my,Â” Â“ourÂ” and Â“us.Â” Dave Evanston described this phenomenon: When my bosses were concerned about me getting too close, they would remind me that, Â‘itÂ’s not weÂ’ when IÂ’d say we took a bridge today. And I know what they were saying, but when youÂ’re with a group of people like that you become . . . if youÂ’re any kind of human being, you become closer to the people. I came over there to do my job, but in the process, I found a whole new Â“band of brothersÂ” for the rest of my life. Those people are my friends and I donÂ’t mind saying that and I donÂ’t care what other reporter s think about it. What matters is that we went through something as scary as hell and we survived it. Jeff Wilson, a former Marine officer in Vietnam, characterized similar feelings about his experience the following way: ItÂ’s really refreshing being back in the military, having the camaraderie and selflessness that really donÂ’t exist in th e media business, which is very competitive and individualistic. It wa s really kind of refreshing to get back into that team spirit, that kind of caring for each other, and th e selflessness that was required living out in the field under such miserable conditi ons as long as we did and not really complaining about it . . . so it was really infectious. Tommy Rafferty described his pers pective as an embedded reporter: I was just there to cover it through their eyes and ears. I was more interested in being in the tent where the soldiers were and seeing what their emotions were, what they were feeling and what they were going through as the war developed. There were people who ended up not liking me a nd others who I ended up getting really close to. It almost became lik e I was one of the soldiers. So living and being in that same situation of fear, and having to eat MREÂ’s [meals ready to eat] and having to sleep outdoors with all the people; thereÂ’s just no substitute for that. Army public affairs officer Lt. Col. Neil Thomas recalled the following instance of journalists identifying with their units: The embedded people were very jealous of their status with their units. Their organizations had done a lot to get them ther e . . . they paid a lot of money and that was their story. They realized that it was a small universe, but that was their turf. So if youÂ’d have a unilateral roll in [an independent reporter who was not embedded who would try to cover the unit], it wasnÂ’t necessarily the military
35 kicking them out, the embedded guys were kicking them out. They basically had kind of the Stockholm Syndrome, where the reporters felt like their unit was the best unit in the military. William McCoy described how he was included from the start, when he recalled one of the commanderÂ’s initial briefings: The top commanders said, Â“Let the repor ters and photographers in on your topsecret meetings, in your briefings, anythi ng. They have free will here. They can go anywhere they want, but theyÂ’re under the premise that theyÂ’re not going to release any vital information. And until they break thos e rules, theyÂ’re part of this team.Â” Bruce Kelly, an entertainment writer for a large national newspaper who embedded with the Navy, made the following observations: Basically, youÂ’re living with these peopl e, youÂ’re sleeping with them, and youÂ’re eating with them. You sort of had to stri ke a balance of not ticking people off, who were obviously your keepers and basically in charge of protecting you and making sure theyÂ’d save your life if they had t o. And at the same time, you had to still get the news and remember, this is a job and you werenÂ’t in the military. On the other hand, Rachel North made it cl ear that she personally abstained from Â“becoming one of them.Â” There may have been some [reporters] in terms of becoming too dependent on the military or too cozy. You know if youÂ’re a reporter and you suddenly start thinking you are a Marine, I hope there wasnÂ’t any instances of that. Theme 4: Trust Eased Some of the Tension The theme of trust further described th e interaction between the media and the military. Some of the research participants spoke of their pre-conceptions regarding the tension between the two institutions. Rach el North claimed that, Â“I didnÂ’t have a relationship with the military beforehand, but there was pretty much the belief that the military and the media just donÂ’t get along.Â” Chuck Winslow offered the following an ecdote that described how trust was crucial to ease this tension:
36 When we first got into Kuwait, the Marine s had been briefed that we were coming. They were told, Â‘youÂ’re going to have so me journalists with youÂ’ and they were advised they were to consider this what they call an adverse condition. In other words, having a journalist along was like ba d weather or deep mud, or a bad thing. Something that sucked, but there was nothing you could do about it. He went on to say: When we first showed up, there was that tension and there was that suspicion. They looked at us and thought, Â‘t hese guys are going to be looking for anything we do wrong, or anything negative, or theyÂ’re going to put us in a bad light. And it took a while for them to realize, Â‘hey, that wasnÂ’t my intention and for them to trust that wasnÂ’t my intention. You donÂ’t get to know these guys in a couple of days, especially grunts. These guys . . . well itÂ’s an insular kind of existence. You know they look at everyone who isnÂ’t a grunt as an outsider. So it takes a while for them to warm up to you. Sure you can jump off a helicopter and run up to some young corporal and ask him a question. Well, whatÂ’s he going to say? HeÂ’ll say Â‘yes, sir or no, sir.Â’ He doesnÂ’t know you . . . heÂ’s not going to tell you how he really feels. Winslow concluded that: Eventually, we got to the point where we were allowed total access to everything. They really started to trust us because th ey knew we were not there to give away secrets or put their men in danger, or paint them in a bad light. Jeff Wilson also described how trust was one of the key factors in this war: I went to a seminar that was hosted by th e War College in Pennsylvania. They had the commanding officers and the embedde d reporters sitti ng together, going through these various scenario s and situations. It was quite amazing to see how consistent everyoneÂ’s point of view was that it was all based on trust and understanding. When it came to a difficult decision, the two worked it out, coming at it from a level of trust and understanding of each otherÂ’s needs and responsibilities. And they usually came up with the ri ght solution. We were all quite amazed, the media and the military, that the coming of the mind was as complete as it was. William McCoy spoke at length of how his previous experience, such as covering military conflicts in Afghanistan and the West Bank, gained the confidence of the soldiers he was with: I think that many of the photographers there probably had seen at the start more in the way of devastation and death than a lot of the soldiers they were covering . . . the young guys. That was rea lly interesting the dynami c when you talk to the young soldiers and some of the commanders. Wh en you describe where you have been, I
37 think that opened up a lot of doors. Th ey understood why you were there and what you were doing, once those barriers were dow n. In many respects, it just took time. People just watched how you worked and re alized what you were doing, as with every assignment, to gain peopleÂ’s Â‘a t ease-nessÂ’ to allow you to do your job. Dave Evanston described the initial pre-con ceptions of one of the soldiers he was embedded with: Before the war, one guy said on the radio to me, Â“Why should we allow you to be in with the soldiers, youÂ’re just going to screw things up, youÂ’re just going to give away secrets.Â” At first when we came ther e he thought that we were just going to write all the bad crud and he didnÂ’t want us around. By th e end of the war, I think all of us were glad to have known each other . . . itÂ’s a learning process for everyone. Evanston concluded with the following obs ervation regarding trust between the media and the military: The tensions arenÂ’t over, I wish they we re, but I donÂ’t think theyÂ’re going to be over as long as youÂ’ve got a camera in your hand and youÂ’re unknown to a soldier. The soldier is going to treat you more lik e an enemy combatan t than a potential friendly. They almost have to do that . . . theyÂ’re trying to stay alive and theyÂ’re all nervous. On the other hand, Rich Worthington saw both perspectives and made the following observations: Most of the officers were good. I had so me problems. I donÂ’t know if you knew about the problems [but] I got kicked out. He went on to elaborate: My problems for the most part, came down from the battalion commander. All across the battalion staff, they were excel lent to me. It was just the battalion commander who didnÂ’t want pre ss there to begin with. The 3 or 4 weeks before we went, we were fighting to go, because he didnÂ’t want us. But there was a lot of pressure put on him from th e Marine headquarters. The sense I got from him was Â“no coverage is good coverage.Â” Although Worthington was eventually kicked out after 4 or 5 weeks for allegedly disclosing military capabilities and positions , he concluded that, Â“The Marines I was
38 with, by and large, were very cooperative and helpful. It surprised me to some degree because the military and the media havenÂ’t always had that good of a relationship.Â” Theme 5: It Was a Trade Off Â– Â“A Give and TakeÂ” Another common theme that emerged was how being embedded was a trade-off or Â“a give and take.Â” Tommy Ra fferty described this phenomenon when he said, Â“If you were an embedded reporter you signed ground ru les agreements. That was an exchange, it was a deal. You agree to t hose things in exchange for 100% access to the troops.Â” Jeff Wilson also spoke of this trade-off: As a result of the Gulf War, the media ha d a very bad feeling from that war. And I think had they not come up with a soluti on this time the media was not willing to play by the militaryÂ’s rules this time. By the same token, I could see where the military realized they had to do a better j ob than they did in 1991. So out of those two interests, they came up with the em bed plan, which was kind of Â“keep your enemies close to you.Â” Wilson continued: I think that by keeping the media close, gi ving them this ultimate access by keeping them close, theyÂ’d probably have more cont rol. Not editorial control, but logistical control over their activities, which is what th ey really wanted. I think that they were willing to experiment with the benefit of the doubt, that if the media really got to know the military, theyÂ’d have a much bett er context for what was happening. And I think that had proven to be the case. Chuck Winslow also made a similar obs ervation addressing the Gulf War and spoke of the give and take between the two institutions: I got the impression [after the Gulf Wa r] a lot of ground commanders felt like, Â“Damn it, my men did a lot of really good stuff and there was nobody out there to report it. So nobody knows about it.Â” I think th at the military at that point, really kind of realized, or at least they started t o, that they needed the news media. Yes, it can be dangerous to have them around, but th ey need the media to get that message back as to what these boys and girls ar e doing. So I think that was the motivating thing for the embedding program in this war. Kevin Harrison further described th is give and take situation:
39 It took a lot of faith to embed all these fo lks . . . a lot of faith because there are journalists who would, in an effort to one -up the other guy, try to reveal more than they should. I guess that was the risk that the U.S. [military] took. But in the same right, they also had these guys who were kind of part of the unit. So theyÂ’re kind of trapped . . . not really tra pped, but theyÂ’re kind of a cap tive audience. It was kind of a risk for the military to embed all these folks. They had to have an element of trust, but in the same right, they got mo re accurate and realistic reporting, I think. Dave Evanston talked about other trade-o ffs between him and the soldiers he was embedded with: They needed us to keep in touch with the folks back home. I needed them to make sure that my blood pressure wasnÂ’t goi ng down so low that my heart was going to stop because my blood pressure plummeted on ce I got out to the desert. Also, while they got us into battle, they couldÂ’ve gotte n us killed, [but then ] they also protected us. So there is a mutual dependency without question and thatÂ’s pa rt of what helped everybody get to know each other. That was one of the key things that helped bring down the walls. George Lamont observed the following trad e-offs during his embedded experience: I think it did very good things for both the military and the media. I know myself, I learned an incredible amount and got a new kind of respect for people in the military and what they do. I really think that you have to see it . . . you have to know these people to understand what a fine machine this is Â– th e U.S. military. I also get the sense that it he lped the morale of the troops when they could actually see that they had been written about. Lt. Col. Neil Thomas talked of the ve ry specific trade-offs that had grave consequences: I told the media flat out, Â“Our intent is to show you the good, the bad and the ugly of war. WeÂ’re not going to have a pu blic affairs officer standing over your shoulder. WeÂ’re not going to be censori ng you. We trust that you are going to be ethical. And frankly, you have a vested inte rest in making sure that you do not give away operational security ... because if you do and the artillery starts falling, it may be falling on your head.Â” Bruce Kelly described this give and take the following way: I think the military wanted reporters to live just like the soldiers did and give them a firsthand taste of what it was like so th ey have a better und erstanding. Especially nowadays there are so few reporters out here that have military backgrounds. On the flipside, reporters got to experience it and provide much better, much clearer stories. So each needed the other, obvi ously the Pentagon want ed reporters not to
40 just cover the glory and the battles, so to speak, but also as witnesses making sure that if Saddam or his cronies had come out and said, Â“U.S. soldiers are slaughtering women and children in the village,Â” the m ilitary had witnesses right there. They had reporters who could independently ve rify that, Â“no thatÂ’s not the case.Â” Theme 6: Â“ItÂ’s All About RelationshipsÂ” Several of the participants spoke specifically about the importance of relationships, either in their ability to su ccessfully do their job, or in te rms of building relationships with people with whom they withstood certain situations. Many of th e participants even described how they became personally involved in the lives of the military members they were embedded with. Jeff Wilson spoke at length about all of these aspects of relationships: I was asked to do an embed project base d on some previous work IÂ’d done in Afghanistan. They [the TV news netw ork] knew I had good military contacts and they wanted me to try to use those cont acts to get even closer than the normal embed would get, and because of my military experience as well. With that, I was able to approach General X [omitting name for confidentiality] of the Xst Marine Division, who I was with in Afghanistan, about doing an embed even though the slots had not been officially given out. He told me that he was very interested in having someone document them all the way from start to finish, through the training and the deployment. We had de veloped a good level of trust during the Afghanistan conflict, so he knew that I knew how to get around the battlefield, knew the terminology and the protocol and that I could take care of myself while I was out there. So I was embedded into his unit. That was my relationship with them and it went very, very well. ItÂ’s a relations hip that continues today. We just finished exchanging Christmas gifts and cards. We feel pretty much part of the Xst Marine Division family. And not only was I persona lly involved with them, but my family also got very involved with their families in my absence during the war. William McCoy also described how relations hips were a key factor that allowed him to accomplish his daily duties as an embedded photographer: You can tell thereÂ’s always a fence [b etween] the media and the military. You develop relationships with people in th e public affairs departments and they understand what youÂ’re trying to do. They respect you, because they know you. But if youÂ’re just walking in there off of the street, thereÂ’s going to be an armÂ’s length discretion. And itÂ’s all in ba sically developing sources and developing reputations and . . . I donÂ’t want to say friendshi ps, but itÂ’s business relationships.
41 Mc Coy went on to describe his sp ecific situation during this war: After a week or two, after pe ople realized who you were as a person or a journalist, the respect factor went up tremendously. And once the war started and people saw how you worked and how you were there to cover their story, and you werenÂ’t there for personal or political reasons, the respect value a nd the respect factor went up tremendously. And to this day, because of so many of those instances, thereÂ’s a working relationship that has been develope d thatÂ’s more valuable that what was there during the war. ItÂ’s no different than covering any other assignments, where you have one-on-one contacts with people. It Â’s the friendships, itÂ’s the professional relationships you build. Chuck Winslow made the following observation: Of course you get close to these guys. I mean IÂ’m still friends with a lot of the Marines I was over there with. I see them every now and then . . . we have beers and that sort of stuff. So yeah, I got cl ose to them, especially in that kind of situation. Dave Evanston also discussed the value of relationships: The thing I can say about Lt. Col. X [the unit commander; omitting name for confidentiality] is that I thought we worked pretty well [together]. He never really interfered with what I was doing. The working relationships that we established . . . it was more collegial than it was adversaria l. I think to some degree, the reason for that is because of the closeness of the qua rters for all of us and the danger that we all faced. Evanston also described how he has become personally involved with a few of the soldiers: ItÂ’s hard to explain to people who havenÂ’t be en there, but thatÂ’s what happens . . . those people who at first were merely so ldiers and airmen that I was supposed to report on, some of those folks became my friends. And a few of them are like brothers. In fact, Craig StevensonÂ’s grandf ather died a couple of days ago and IÂ’m going to meet him tomorrow at the funeral. When he gets married, IÂ’ll go to his wedding next summer. Rich Worthington discussed the importance of relationships as an embedded reporter: It was a completely different perspective. ItÂ’s hard on any assignment to sort of parachute in some place and cover it w ith people you donÂ’t know. If youÂ’ve got a relationship with someone, itÂ’s much eas ier to find out whatÂ’s going on and get the accurate information. And for a story like th is, where from my perspective it was
42 human interest type stories, to see what these guys are going through. You canÂ’t build that relationship just parachuting in for a day. One of the platoons sent a postcard to my bosses saying I should get a raise, and stuff like that. And that was built over time you know . . . you scrub their back, they scrub your back. Bruce Kelly talked of about relationshi ps aboard a Navy aircraft carrier: Obviously, it needs some fine tuning here and there, but I hope that the military keeps this [embedding] as it is. We had a very good rapport with our officers who were on the ship. We were almost like fam ily when we left. In fact, I recently attended a reunion with the reporters and all the top commanders on the ship. However, that was not the case on other sh ips. I heard about how restrictive they were . . . some even had to be escorted to the latrines. Tommy Rafferty described what may ha ve been more of a give and take relationship: I think what they [the military] were trying to do this time was to have a better relationship, kind of get back to the way it was in World War II. Of course in WW II, you had guys who were team players, plus they were censored. This time around they had the ground rules agreement4 and I didnÂ’t see any censorship going on, except at the back end. If you violated the ground rules agreement in a report, you were put under field arrest and driven dow n to Kuwait and dropped off. I think that was what they were trying to do, and I think it worked very well. Evanston concluded with the following anec dote that described the importance of the relationships he formed while embedded: There was a day during the war, after the in tense battle at a bridge near Karbala. We were on a road which was about 3 miles long and it ended in a T. There were bunkers across from us about 200 yards that ha d been held by the Iraqis. That night, the Iraqis came down to counterattack a nd it was an extraordinary battle. I kept feeding reports back on it to my editors, right as it was going on. I just picked up the phone and called and dictated. [At one point] I looked over at the guys and said, Â“If we make it home, IÂ’m putting a flag pol e up in the front yard.Â” And IÂ’m not a big flag-waving guy, but thatÂ’s what I did . . . When I look at that flag pole, it reminds me of that morning. It reminds me of all the shit that we all went through, and we all went through it together. I mean I was still doing my job and they were doing their job, but thereÂ’s another dime nsion to that relationship and that dimension became important. Some people in the journalism community might say that I had crossed the line, in terms of my emotions, but I donÂ’t give a ratÂ’s ass of 4 See Appendix A: Release, Indemnification and Ho ld Harmless Agreement and Agreement Not to Sue, and Appendix B: Public Affairs Gu idance (PAG) on Embedded Media
43 what they say. What matters to me was the feeling of union at that moment. And itÂ’s one of the very few times in my life I felt it. I was very relieved to be alive, because we went into that battle on the br idge the day before and we were pretty certain that we werenÂ’t going to make it ac ross. We were one of the first vehicles going over the bridge and it was just utter fucking chaos everywhere. We were in the vortex of the damn thing, and mortar blowing up near us and firing going on everywhere. You never knew when you we re going to get killed and you never knew how it was going to come. If I sit and really think about it a lot, IÂ’ll get all emotional, so IÂ’ll leave it at that. But th at was what the fla gpole thing was about.
44 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The findings of this study address the three research questions that guided it. RQ1: How did embedding affect the journali stsÂ’ ability to cover the war? The study showed that embedding enhanced the medi aÂ’s ability to cover the war by providing unprecedented access, which in turn resulted in a heightened understanding of what military life was like during wartime. RQ2: How did embedding affect the military units in combat operations? These findings indicate that it provided far-reachi ng benefits, including a sense of connection with their loved ones back home, which led to stronger overall troop morale. RQ3: What are the benefits and the drawbacks of embedded media coverage of the war? The 13 research participants seemed to indicate that embedding strengthened the relationship between the military and th e media. However, many thought a major drawback was the mediaÂ’s loss of the Â“big pi ctureÂ” due to the Â“soda strawÂ” effect, in which reporters gained a deeper but narrower vi ew of the war. This chapter will explore these ideas in greater detail and discuss a co rrelation that emerged between these findings and some basic tenets of public relationsÂ’ relationship theory. The emergent themes of access, underst anding, communication (link back home), trust, give & take (exchange) and the importa nce of relationships exemplify how both the media and the military benefited from the embedded media policy during the war. Even in the single case where reporter Rich Wo rthington could not earn the trust of the battalion commander and was eventually Â“kic ked outÂ” of Iraq, he still claimed that,
45 Â“overall I had a good experience with these guys and IÂ’m still in touch with a lot of them.Â” In comparison to the strained military-media relations during and after the Gulf War in 1991, the research participants emphasized the unprecedented access and how it provided an up-close, first hand view of the ev ents as they happened, as well as how this dynamic provided a means for the media to liv e with, understand, offer assistance to and eventually become personally involved with th eir military counterparts; all of which led to the building and strengthening of relationships, a striking change from military-media relations during the Gulf War as identified in the literature review. Additionally, a majority of the research participants also identified how the key variables of trust and a Â“give & takeÂ” [excha nge] seemed to, as Reporter Dave Evanston said, Â“bring down the wallsÂ” between the media and the military. Reporter Bruce Kelly summed up the importance of these two key variables: I think it was a very successf ul system. Everyone pretty much got what they wanted under the embedding process. And I think we [the reporters] proved that some of the past campaigns, [and specifically the De partment of DefenseÂ’s media relations policies during] Desert Storm, Grenada, Pa nama, were just silly because obviously reporters can be trusted to withhold info rmation until the time comes when it can be released. As pointed out in the findings section, an unexpected phenomenon that resulted from the media embedding was identified as Â“the reporter became the link back home.Â” Here again the elements of a Â“give & takeÂ” exchange and trust provi ded a mutual benefit to both parties. The trade-off was while m ilitary members could communicate with their loved ones back home, the media continued to earn the trust of the military units, which eventually led to more access and built stronger relationships. To illustrate this point, reporter Chuck Winslow recalled,
46 You got to know these kids in a way that you couldnÂ’t have before. Eventually, we got to the point where we were allowed total access to everything. We stood there while platoon commanders gathered, when they were planning an operation, and [they] would draw lines on the map and that sort of stuff. Theoretical Correlations The findings of this study add credence to the scholarly interest in relationship management theory as a separate public re lations paradigm (Ferguson, 1984; Ledingham, 2003; Ledingham & Bruning, 1998; Bruning & Ledingham, 1999; Ehling, 1992; Hon & Grunig, 1999; L. Grunig et al., 1992; Huang, 1998). This substantial body of public relations scholarship is rooted in FergusonÂ’s (1984) call fo r placing the research focus on the relationship itself, rather than on the organization or the public. She concluded that Â“a relationship-centric model has the assumption th at the relationship is the prime issue of concern, not the partiesÂ” (p. 20). Apart from this studyÂ’s overarching them e of Â“itÂ’s all about relationships,Â” the fundamental themes of access, understandi ng, communication, trust and exchange that emerged in this study draw several direct correlations to the body of knowledge in relationship theory. Ehling (1992) posited that the relationsh ip management perspective shifts the practice of public rela tions away from the manipulation of public opinion and towards a focus on building, nurturing, and maintaining organization-public relationships. When comparing the two wars, the participants in the present study observed that the military shifted its media relationsÂ’ strategy of tigh tly-controlled press br iefings, media pools and manipulative Â“security review sÂ” during the Gulf War, to media embedding which, they seem to have concluded, clearly resulted in a mutually beneficial relationship built on trust, exchange and understand ing during the War in Iraq.
47 Army PAO Lt. Col. Neil Thomas described it as Â“a sea-change from the Vietnam, Gulf War days of Â‘we donÂ’t wa nt to tell the media anything, because weÂ’re afraid theyÂ’ll give away operational security.Â’Â” Trust, Understanding, Involvement, Access and Openness L. Grunig, J. Grunig and Ehling (1992) sugge sted that the most important measures in determining the quality of organization-publ ic relationships are Â“reciprocity, trust, credibility, mutual legitimacy, openness, mutu al satisfaction and mutual understandingÂ” (p. 83). Again, the findings of this study show this relationship-based theory in action as the research participants repeatedly high lighted the parallel elements of exchange (reciprocity), trust, access (openness) and unde rstanding when describing their individual successes with media embedding. The findings of this study also support the research of Ledingham and Bruning (1998b) who examined the link between the five operational dimensions of openness, trust, involvement, commitment and investment and the attitudes of consumers toward an organization. While their quantitative study focused more on the relationship between organizations and its consumers, they de fined openness as Â“sharing the organizationÂ’s plans for the future with public members,Â” tr ust as Â“doing what it says it will doÂ” and involvement as Â“the organization being invol ved in the welfare of the communityÂ” (p. 62). TV correspondent Jeff Wilson recounts that element of openness at a micro-level when he said, Â“The military guys were just terrif ic as far as helping us out, getting us in a better position whenever they could. Or al erting us to when something was going to happen, before it happened, so we could get it [c apture footage of it] in its more natural state.Â”
48 Wilson also highlighted the points of tr ust and, to a lesser degree, involvement when he recalled an Army War College seminar discussion: Both the commanders and the media repres entatives said, Â“We just sat down and looked at the situati on and said, what is the right thing to do here? And we came up with the right solution most of the time.Â” So I think thatÂ’s the best indication of how the basic understanding of each otherÂ’ s respective needs and responsibilities helped both parties come up with a very workable protocol. Other scholars also identifi ed trust and exchange as key elements of their relationship-based research. For example, Huang (1998) define d organization-public relationships as Â“the degree that the organiza tion and its publics trus t one another, agree that one has rightful power to influence, experience satisfaction with each other, and commit oneself to one anotherÂ” (p. 12), wh ile Broom, Casey, and Richey (2000) also advocate that Â“relationships c onsist of the transactions th at involve the exchange of resources between organizationsÂ” (p. 91). Measuring Relationships Hon and Grunig (1999), combining informa tion from previous professional and academic literature and findings from surveys and in-depth interviews, argued that organization-public relationshi ps can be best measured by the elements of control mutuality, trust, satisfaction, commitme nt, exchange relationship and communal relationship. They defined control mutuality as Â“the degree to which parties agree on who has the rightful power to influence one another,Â” satisfaction as Â“the ex tent to which each party feels favorably toward each other because positive expectations about the relationship are reinforced,Â” and commitment as Â“the extent to which each party believes and feels that the relationship is worth spe nding energy to maintain and promoteÂ” (p. 3). Additionally, they argued that communal relationships exist when Â“both parties provide
49 benefits to the other because they are concer ned for the welfare of the other Â– even when they get nothing in returnÂ” (p. 3). However, to specifically key in on the th emes that overlapped in this study, Hon and Grunig (1999) defined trust as Â“one partyÂ’ s level of confidence in and willingness to open oneself to the other party;Â” and that ex change relationships exist when, Â“one party gives benefits to the other only because the ot her has provided benefits in the past or is expected to do so in the futureÂ” (p. 3). It is evident from the literature review that control mutuality, trust, satisfaction, commitment, and elements of exchange a nd communal relationships were practically non-existent between the military and the medi a during the Gulf War. As a result, there was essentially no relationship to measure. However in this study, the research participants repeatedly describe how em bedding imparted the elements of trust, understanding and exchange, all of which eased their perceptions of the tension between these two institutions. Photographer William McCoy specifically described how embedding afforded the opportunity for an exchange relationship: Sure you gave up some rights as a journa list. You couldnÂ’t report certain things such as troop strength, location and adva nce details. But the reason that we signed those DOD documents saying youÂ’re embedde d and you will abide by these rules Â– it was a give and take. And the give was you wonÂ’t report this information. But the take was youÂ’re going to be given the oppor tunity to witness and see whatÂ’s going on first hand. Maintaining Relationships Hon and Grunig (1999) also suggested that Â“all the concepts from research on interpersonal relationships can be applied to maintaining symmetrical public relationships or those that benefit both the organization a nd publicsÂ” (p. 15). Thus, they recommended
50 the following strategies for maintaining relationships: access, positivity, openness, assurances, networking, and sharing of task s. Specifically, they recognized access as when Â“senior managers provide representa tives of publics access to organizational decision-making processes.Â” They described po sitivity as Â“anything the organization or public does to make the relationship more en joyable for the partie s involved,Â” openness as Â“thoughts and feelings among parties involve dÂ” (p. 14) and assurances as Â“attempts by parties in the relationship to assure the othe r parties that they and their concerns are legitimate.Â” The last two stra tegies for maintaining relati onships include networking, in which Â“organizationsÂ’ building networks or co alitions with the sa me groups that their publics do,Â” and sharing of tasks where the Â“organizations and the publics share in solving joint or separate problemsÂ” (p. 15). McCoy further described the Â“give a nd takeÂ” of being embedded when he addressed access and openne ss in this context: YouÂ’re going to live there. YouÂ’re going to be with the people [the military]. YouÂ’re going to understand whatÂ’s happeni ng on a 24-hour basis. Instead of just being ferried in on a helicopter for a one -hour Â‘look-seeÂ’ to see people all smiley and happy, this was an opportunity for us to be there, to witness history. Jeff Wilson offered the following observat ion that hints at Hon and GruinigÂ’s notion of positivity: My cameraman, who was very much against the military, said the only thing that kept him going was the basic principles of selflessness, cam araderie, and the good humor that were so prevailing with the military. However, of the five strategies sugge sted by Hon and Grunig (1999), this study also illustrates how assurances are not only essential to maintaining relationships, but also to establishing them. Again as indicated in the literature review, during the Gulf War, the military sought to fulfill its own obj ectives, with little regard to accommodating
51 the needs and desires of the press. As a result, a large majority of the media felt hampered by the militaryÂ’s highly-restrictive media relationsÂ’ policies. Conversely, during the War in Ira q, several of the re search participants in this study alluded to how media embedding legitimized a primary concern of having unobscured access to the battlefield. Furthermore, Ledingham and Bruning (1998b) suggested that, Â“to be effective and sustaining, relationships need to be seen as mutually beneficialÂ” (p. 27). In this study, most of the participants contend that embedding benefited both the military and the media. For example, reporter Bruce Kelly cl aimed, Â“It was good process for the military to give reporters a taste of what military life was like so they have a better understanding, a better first hand knowledge a nd experience. On the flipside , reporters got to experience it and [as a result] handed out much better, cl earer stories.Â” Reporter Rachel North made a similar observation that demonstrated th e mutual benefits of the relationship: I would say that it [embedding] worked in that it provided a decent framework for the two sides to work together and fulf ill separate objectives. I think I did a good job of informing people . . . I donÂ’t think I slowed my unit down in any way. They offered a level of protection that I wouldnÂ’ t have had if I had just gone out there on my own. Professional, Personal and Community Relationships In a quantitative study based on survey re sults from customersÂ’ views of an organization, Bruning and Ledingham (1999) determined that organization-public relationships fall into three categories: pr ofessional, personal and community. They observed that in a professional relationship, Â“it is important that servic es be delivered in a businesslike manner, that those services meet the business needs of the customer, and that the organization demonstrate a willingness to in vest financially in the relationshipÂ” (p.
52 71). Marine Corps PAO Capt. Edith Miller spoke of her experi ence that aligned with this description of a prof essional relationship: Because I consider both the media and my command to be my clients, my job is to further the mediaÂ’s ability to cover my co mmand. So the more I was able to meet and talk with them [the media] once they were assigned with me, the better I was able to meet their specific needs. Also as William McCoy described it earlier in the Â“relationshipsÂ” theme, Â“ItÂ’s all in basically developing sources a nd developing reputations and . . . I donÂ’t want to say the word friendships, but itÂ’s business relations hips. They know you, they respect you. ItÂ’s a respect factor.Â” Turning now to the level of personal re lationships, Bruning and Ledingham (1999) suggested the importance of taking a personal in terest and engaging Â“i n actions that build a sense of trustÂ” and a willingness to Â“dem onstrate commitmentÂ” to the needs of each other (p. 71). For example, Dave Evanst onÂ’s claim, Â“I found a whole new Â‘band of brothersÂ’ for the rest of my life,Â” verified th at he and some of the soldiers had obviously developed personal relationships. Bruning and Ledingham (1999) defined the th ird type of relationship, community, as an organizationÂ’s Â“commitment to and interaction with the communities it serves,Â” (p. 70). Several participants in th e current study described what co uld be categorized as this community-level relationship, which was id entified by the theme becoming the Â“link back home.Â” It was even described by one of the participants as one of the Â“most gratifying thingsÂ” a bout being embedded. Reporter George Lamont recalled, Â“Several weeks after I came backÂ…while I was waiting to cross the street, a ca rÂ’s pulling by and this guy looks at me, stops dead in his
53 tracks and says, Â‘Are you the reporter who c overed the war? I just want to shake your hand.Â’Â” Reporter Tommy Raffert y made a similar claim: I think my relationship with the people he re at home, the people reading the paper Â– it got a whole lot bette r. People are just amazed that I would go into a war area like that . . . with no training or no weapon, and just volunteer to be with the soldiers. Since IÂ’ve been back, IÂ’ve probably done more than a dozen talks at Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs and other civi c clubs, and things like th at. It really improved the newspaperÂ’s relationship with the comm unity. Because we hadnÂ’t done anything like that [embedding] ever, that I know of. The findings of this study demonstrat e that embedding not only provided an opportunity for the research participants to es tablish and strengthen relationships, but the diversity of their personal acc ounts and anecdotes indicate that these relationships spanned the complete range from professiona l to personal to community in nature, as described by Bruning and Ledingham (1999). Interpersonal Communication in Relationships Toth (2000) argued that Â“the goal of interpersonal comm unication is to establish and maintain successful relationshipsÂ” ( p. 217) and Â“rather than interpersonal communication as merely a context, such as between people, typically face to face in a private setting, the focus is on interpersonal communication that develops a relationship between individualsÂ” (p. 215). As indicated by the participants in this study, embedding brought individual reporters up-close and personal into military units, where the relationships that formed were based on interpersonal communication between individuals. And as most of the participants attested, there was Â“no filterÂ” or Â“interferenceÂ” from public affairs officers attempting to monitor or contro l coverage of the events. Toth (2000) identified the elements of mu tuality of understanding, trust, credibility, emotion, intimacy and similarity, immediacy and dominance-submission as Â“some
54 conceptual elements to examine along an indi vidual continuumÂ” (p. 218). Just as Dave EvanstonÂ’s anecdote of surviving the fierce fire -fight at the bridge near Karbala touched upon the elements of emotion and intim acy, the common overlapping elements of understanding and trust that em erged from this study support relationship theory even at an interpersonal level. Interestingly, Toth (2000) suggested using qualitative methods in future studies to determine Â“how much individuals in negotiation situations at tribute their success to their own choices and motivations and how much th eir agency is influenced and distinctly built in the negotiation relati onshipÂ” (p. 217). This study clearly demonstrates how the success of embedding for the research part icipants was founded upon the individual, interpersonal relationships that were formed on the Â“frontlines.Â” This contrasts with the Gulf War, in which the militaryÂ’s media relations policies were not founded on trust or understanding and failed to provide a framew ork for relationships to form at any subsequent level. Summary As Ferguson (1984) posited nearly two decades ago, the focus of public relations should be on the relationshi p, rather than the organizati on or the public. To further develop this relationship-base d theory, L. Grunig, et al. ( 1992) suggested that the most important measures in determining the quality of relationships ar e reciprocity, trust, credibility, mutual legitimacy, openness, mutu al satisfaction and mutual understanding. Ledingham and Bruning (1998) found that trust, commitment and openness are strongly related to a consume rÂ’s decision to stay with or leave a service provider. Hon and Grunig, (1999) later identified that relationships can be best measured by the elements of control mutu ality, trust, satisfaction, commitment, exchange relationship
55 and communal relationship. They also reco mmended the following strategies for maintaining relationships: access, positivit y, openness, assurances, networking, and sharing of tasks. Bruning and Ledingham (1999) then dete rmined that organization-public relationships fall into three relationship t ypes: professional, pe rsonal and community. Toth (2000) stressed the importance of inte rpersonal communication in establishing and maintaining successful relationships. While the study did not produce all the el ements associated with measuring, maintaining and describing various types of relationships, the findi ngs are particularly meaningful because the themes that emerged not only are consistent with much of the scholarly research that has examined dimens ions of organizationpublic relationships Â– trust, access, exchange and understanding Â– but they arose in the context of a media relations program, a key or ganization-public relationship. Limitations Since qualitative methods were used here, th e results may be representative only of the 13 individuals who participated in this st udy. They are not generali zable to the larger population of embedded media representatives and military public affairs officers who directly experienced the War in Iraq. Additionally, the use of snowball sampling also has limitations associated with pa rticipant selection. While this method allows for easier recruitment, it may have also resulted in identifying like-minded individuals regarding the topic under examination. Thus other persp ectives not identified by the participants of this study may certainly exist.
56 Conclusion This exploratory, qualitative approach to examining the ubiquitous spectacle of media embedding during the U.S. militaryÂ’s largest combat operation since the Gulf War afforded an opportunity to establish grounded th eory. Instead, what emerged were four of the elements identified in the scholarly literature as central to organization-public relationships. More importantly, these themes emerge d from the field by way of open-ended interviews with research part icipants who were, in all lik elihood, not familiar with the academic theory of relationship management. Furthermore, these findings add even more stability to relationship theory because 11 of the 13 participants were representatives of the media who identified some of the same key elements and terminology that public relations scholars have been using to define, measure a nd maintain organization-public relationships over the past several years. Further reflecting on the methodology of th is study, a comparison to quantitative approaches comes to mind: The research interview is an interpers onal situation, a conversation between two partners about a theme of mutu al interest. It is a specifi c form of human interaction in which knowledge evolves through di alogue. The interaction is neither as anonymous and [sic] neutral as when a subj ect responds to a survey questionnaire, nor as personal and emotional as a ther apeutic interview. (Kvale, 1996, p. 125) The inductive methodology of this study in which words, experiences, expressions and feelings were candidly re vealed by the research partic ipants and which developed into subsequent emergent themes, offers a measure of triangula tion to the relational theory and perspective of public relations. Moreover, this study is unique in that it qualitatively examined media relations from the relational perspective. Apart from Esposito and Koch (2000), who conducted a
57 content analysis of network news storie s to determine community involvement and commitment, and LeeÂ’s (2003) study of media relations in Korea that examined human relationships from a cultural perspective, this study unique ly contributes to the public relations body of knowledge, by examining media relations from the relational perspective and finding relati onship theory at work. Future Research Given that four key elements of relations hip theory were evident in this study, the military and the media could collaboratively revisit those elements that did not emergeÂ— control mutuality, satisfacti on and commitment (Hon & Gr unig, 1999)Â—and test for their presence by either directly eliciting pa rticipantsÂ’ views on these elements, or by conducting a quantitative study using Hon a nd GrunigÂ’s (1999) questionnaire to more fully explore the effectiveness of the rela tionship. Better yet, through triangulation, which would combine these research approaches with more focused attention on these specific dimensions, we could further build upon th e positive strides already made by the embedded media policy, as indicated by the participants of this study. Other research could examine the differe nce between male and female research participants, the differences in the lengt h of time as an embed, or the different experiences associated with being embedde d depending on the various branches of the military. Another possibility would be to use the fi ndings of this study to help develop and distribute a questionnaire to each of the more than 700 media representatives that were embedded during the War in Iraq. This type of study would aim to quantitatively examine the organization-public relations hips that were established, strengthened or weakened as a result of media embedding.
58 However, as Ferguson (1984) argued two decades ago, the biggest research challenge that remains in this relational pers pective of public relati ons is to design a study in which the relationship is the unit of analysis, rather than the perceptions of relationships as identified by research participants.
59 APPENDIX A RELEASE, INDEMNIFICATION, AND HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT AND AGREEMENT NOT TO SUE 1. The United States of America (the Â“GovernmentÂ”), acting by and through the Department of Defense, believes it to be mu tually beneficial to both the Government and news media organizations (Â“media organi zationsÂ”) to place selected news media organization employees (Â“media employeesÂ”) with selected military units (Â“military unitsÂ”) for the purpose of providing news me dia coverage before, during, and after military operations. The placement of media empl oyees with military units is referred to in this Agreement as Â“embeddingÂ” or the Â“e mbedding processÂ” and will require media employees to live, travel, eat, sleep, and c onduct all professional and personal activities with the military unit to which the media employees are Â“embedded.Â” 2. Definitions. a. The term Â“GovernmentÂ” means the United States Government, including its departments, subdivisions, agencies, instru mentalities, officers, employees (including military and civilian personnel), servants, contractors, volunteers, and agents. b. The term Â“media organizationÂ” mean s the Â“media employeeÂ’sÂ” employer, a registered U.S. or foreign profit or not-for-p rofit organization, its successors, and assigns. c. The term Â“media employeeÂ” means an employee or agent of a Â“media organizationÂ”, his or her guardians, executo rs, administrators, heirs, and assigns. 3. Media organizations and media empl oyees understand and agree that the embedding process will expose media employees to the same risks and hazards as those
60 to which the military member s of military units are exposed, including the extreme and unpredictable risks of war, combat operations , and combat support operations, as well as common and uncommon hazards of military living. Media organizations and media employees fully understand and appreciate the following: a. The embedding process will expose media employees to all hazards of a military environment, including but not limited to th e extreme and unpredictable hazards of war, combat operations, and combat support operations. The military environment is inherently dangerous and may result in deat h or personal injury of media employees or damage to personal property. b. The embedding process may include strenuous and inherently dangerous activities, including transportation in, and clos e proximity to, military tactical vehicles, aircraft, watercraft, and othe r Government (and Government contracted) vehicles and may involve substantial risk of serious in jury or death as the result of the media employeeÂ’s own actions or inaction, the actions or inactions of others including agents, contractors, officers, service members, and employees of the Government, the conditions of the Government facility and the natura l environment, the known or unknown condition of any government-furnished equipment, a nd the inherent dangers of war, combat operations, and combat support operations. c. The embedding process requires media em ployees to be in overall good physical health and condition. Persons who are not in overall good physical health and condition should not participate in the embedding pro cess. Media employees should consult their physicians prior to embedding to be certain they are qualified to do so. Persons with a history of heart or lung disease or conditions, or coronary disease, or other chronic or
61 pervasive diseases or conditions may not pa rticipate. Likewise, those women currently pregnant may not participate. Anyone suffering from any injuries, conditions, ailments or pre-existing conditions that could be affected by the embedding process may not participate. d. As part of the embedding process, the Government will make available anthrax and smallpox vaccinations to media employees , provided it is done at no cost to the Government (full reimbursement of all Gove rnment costs) and provided that the media employees sign an additional agreement regard ing the risks involved. These vaccinations are voluntary and are not a prerequisite for participating in the em bedding process. Media organizations and media employees agree, for those media employees choosing to receive the anthrax and smallpox vaccinations, that this Release, Indemnification, and Hold Harmless Agreement and Agreement Not to Sue specifically incl udes all risks and hazards associated with the smallpox and anthrax vaccinations, including any negative reactions, adverse effects, including the me dia employeeÂ’s illness, infirmity, or death. 4. The media employee agrees to: a. Participate in the embedding process and to follow the direction and orders of the Government related to such participation. Th e media employee further agrees to follow Government regulations. The media employ ee acknowledges that failure to follow any direction, order, regulation, or ground rule may result in the termination of the media employeeÂ’s participation in the embedding process. b. Voluntarily, willingly, and knowi ngly ASSUME ANY AND ALL RISKS, known and unknown, in any way associated with the embedding process, war, combat operations, and combat support operations.
62 c. RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD HA RMLESS the Government from and against any claims, demands, actions, liens, ri ghts, subrogated or contribution interests, debts, liabilities, judgments, costs, and atto rneyÂ’s fees, arising out of, claimed on account of, or in any manner predicated upon th e media employeeÂ’s participation in the embedding process, including any loss or damage to property or the personal injury or death of any person which may occur as a resu lt of the media employeeÂ’s participation in the embedding process, even where that loss, damage, personal injury, or death is caused or contributed to, in any manner, by the Government. 5. The media organization agrees to permit its media employees to participate in the embedding process. As a condi tion of being permitted to pa rticipate in the embedding process, the media organization agrees to RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD HARMLESS the Government from and agains t any claims, demands, actions, liens, rights, subrogated or contribu tion interests, debts, liabili ties, judgments, costs, and attorneyÂ’s fess arising out of, claimed on acc ount of, or in any manner predicated upon the media employeeÂ’s participation in the embedding process, including any loss or damage to property or the personal injury or death of any person, ev en where that loss, damage, personal injury, or death is caused or contributed to, in any manner, by the Government. 6. The media organization and media empl oyee hereby covenant and agree they will never institute, prosecute or in any way aid in the institution or prosecution of any demand, claim or suit against the Government fo r any destruction, loss, or damage to the media organizationÂ’s property or the media employeeÂ’s propert y, or the personal injury or
63 death of media employees which may occu r as a result of the media employeeÂ’s participation in the embedding process. 7. The media organization and media employee grant express, voluntary, and knowing consent to the rendering of all emerge ncy medical or dental treatment that may, in the professional judgment of a Govern ment medical or dental officer, become necessary while participating in the embedding process. Tran sportation to a definitive Government or commercial care facility ma y be required as an adjunct to authorized emergency medical or dental care. Persons r eceiving Government medical or dental care who are not otherwise eligible to receive such care shall be obligated to reimburse the Government. 8. The media organization and the media employee understand and agree that the Government may terminate the embedding process at any time and for any reason , as the Government determines appropria te in its sole discretion. 9. This Release, Indemnification, Hold Harmless Agreement and Agreement Not to Sue shall be interpreted according to federal law. It is to be construed as broadly and inclusively as is permitted by relevant federal law. If any portion of this document is held invalid, the balance shall conti nue in full force and effect. _______________________________________________ Media EmployeeÂ’s Signature Date _______________________________________________ Media Organization Date By: ________________________
64 APPENDIX B U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PUBLIC AFFAIRS GUIDANCE ON EMBEDDING MEDIA 101900Z FEB 03 FM SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//OASD-PA// TO SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//CHAIRS// AIG 8777 HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//PA// USCINCEUR VAIHINGEN GE//ECPA// JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//PA// SECSTATE WASH INGTON DC//PA// CJCS WASHINGTON DC//PA// NSC WASHINGTON DC WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM INFO SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//OASD-PA/DPO// UNCLAS SUBJECT: PUBLIC AFFAIRS GUI DANCE (PAG) ON EMBEDDING MEDIA DURING POSSIBLE FUTURE OPERATIO NS/DEPLOYMENTS IN THE U.S. CENTRAL COMMANDS (CENTCOM) AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (AOR). REFERENCES: REF. A. SECDEF MSG, DTG 172200Z JAN 03, SUBJ: PUBLIC AFFAIRS GUIDANCE (PAG) FO R MOVEMENT OF FORCES INTO THE CENTCOM AOR FOR POSSIBLE FUTURE OPERATIONS. 1. PURPOSE. THIS MESSAGE PR OVIDES GUIDANCE, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ON EMBEDDING NEWS MEDIA DURING POSSIBLE FUTURE OPERATIONS/DEPLOYMENTS IN THE CE NTCOM AOR. IT CAN BE ADAPTED FOR USE IN OTHER UNIFIED COMMAND AORS AS NECESSARY. 2. POLICY. 2.A. THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) POLICY ON MEDIA COVERAGE OF FUTURE MILITARY OPERATIONS IS THAT MEDIA WILL HAVE LONGTERM, MINIMALLY RESTRICTIVE ACCE SS TO U.S. AIR, GROUND AND NAVAL FORCES THROUGH EMBEDDING . MEDIA COVERAGE OF ANY FUTURE OPERATION WILL, TO A LARGE EXTENT, SHAPE PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF THE NATIONAL SECU RITY ENVIRONMENT NOW AND IN THE YEARS AHEAD. THIS HOLDS TRUE FOR THE U.S. PUBLIC; THE PUBLIC IN ALLIED COUNTRIES WHOSE OPINI ON CAN AFFECT THE DURABILITY OF
65 OUR COALITION; AND PUBLICS IN COUNTRIES WHERE WE CONDUCT OPERATIONS, WHOSE PERCEPTIONS OF US CAN AFFECT THE COST AND DURATION OF OUR INVOLVEMENT. OU R ULTIMATE STRATEGIC SUCCESS IN BRINGING PEACE AND SECURITY TO THIS REGION WILL COME IN OUR LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO SUPPORTING OUR DEMOCRATIC IDEALS. WE NEED TO TELL THE FACTUAL STOR Y GOOD OR BAD BEFORE OTHERS SEED THE MEDIA WITH DISINFORMATI ON AND DISTORTIONS, AS THEY MOST CERTAINLY WILL CONTINUE TO DO. OUR PEOPLE IN THE FIELD NEED TO TELL OUR STORY Â– ONLY COMMANDERS CAN ENSURE THE MEDIA GET TO THE STORY ALONGSIDE THE TROOPS. WE MUST ORGANIZE FOR AND FACILITATE ACCESS OF NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL MEDIA TO OUR FORCES, INCLUDING T HOSE FORCES ENGAGED IN GROUND OPERATIONS, WITH THE GOAL OF DOIN G SO RIGHT FROM THE START. TO ACCOMPLISH THIS, WE WILL EMBED MEDIA WITH OUR UNITS. THESE EMBEDDED MEDIA WILL LIVE, WORK A ND TRAVEL AS PART OF THE UNITS WITH WHICH THEY ARE EMBEDDED TO FACILITATE MAXIMUM, IN-DEPTH COVERAGE OF U.S. FORCES IN COMBAT AND RELATED OPERATIONS. COMMANDERS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS OF FICERS MUST WORK TOGETHER TO BALANCE THE NEED FOR MEDI A ACCESS WITH THE NEED FOR OPERATIONAL SECURITY. 2.B. MEDIA WILL BE EMBEDDED WITH UNIT PERSONNEL AT AIR AND GROUND FORCES BASES AND AF LOAT TO ENSURE A FULL UNDERSTANDING OF ALL OPERATIONS. MEDIA WILL BE GIVEN ACCESS TO OPERATIONAL COMBAT MISSIONS, INCLUDING MISSION PREPARATION AND DEBRIEFING, WHENEVER POSSIBLE. 2.C. A MEDIA EMBED IS DEFINED AS A MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE REMAINING WITH A UNIT ON AN EXTEND ED BASIS PERHAPS A PERIOD OF WEEKS OR EVEN MONTHS. COMM ANDERS WILL PROVIDE BILLETING, RATIONS AND MEDICAL ATTENTION, IF NEEDED, TO THE EMBEDDED MEDIA COMMENSURATE WITH THAT PROVIDED TO MEMBERS OF THE UNIT, AS WELL AS ACCESS TO MILITARY TRANS PORTATION AND ASSISTANCE WITH COMMUNICATIONS FILING/TRANSMITTING MEDIA PRODUCTS, IF REQUIRED. 2.C.1. EMBEDDED MEDIA ARE NOT AU THORIZED USE OF THEIR OWN VEHICLES WHILE TRAVELING IN AN EMBEDDED STATUS. 2.C.2. TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE, SPA CE ON MILITARY TRANSPORTATION WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA EQUIPMENT NECESSARY TO COVER A PARTICULAR OPERATION. THE MEDIA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR LOADING AND CARRYING THEIR OWN EQUI PMENT AT ALL TIMES. USE OF PRIORITY INTER-THEATER AIRLIFT FOR EMBEDDED MEDIA TO COVER STORIES, AS WELL AS TO FILE STOR IES, IS HIGHLY ENCOURAGED. SEATS ABOARD VEHICLES, AIRCRAFT AND NAVAL SHIPS WILL BE MADE
66 AVAILABLE TO ALLOW MAXIMUM COVE RAGE OF U.S. TROOPS IN THE FIELD. 2.C.3. UNITS SHOULD PLAN LIFT AND L OGISTICAL SUPPORT TO ASSIST IN MOVING MEDIA PRODUCTS TO AN D FROM THE BATTLEFIELD SO AS TO TELL OUR STORY IN A TIMELY MANNER. IN THE EVENT OF COMMERCIAL COMMUNICATIONS DIFFICULTIES, ME DIA ARE AUTHORIZED TO FILE STORIES VIA EXPEDITIOUS MILI TARY SIGNAL/COMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITIES. 2.C.4. NO COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMEN T FOR USE BY MEDIA IN THE CONDUCT OF THEIR DUTIES WILL BE SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED. HOWEVER, UNIT COMMANDERS MAY IMPOSE TEMPORARY RESTRICTIONS ON ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSIONS FOR OP ERATIONAL SECURITY REASONS. MEDIA WILL SEEK APPROVAL TO USE ELECTRONIC DEVICES IN A COMBAT/HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT, UNLE SS OTHERWISE DIRECTED BY THE UNIT COMMANDER OR HIS/HER DESIGNA TED REPRESENTATIVE. THE USE OF COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT WILL BE DISCUSSED IN FULL WHEN THE MEDIA ARRIVE AT THEIR ASSIGNED UNIT. 3. PROCEDURES. 3.A. THE OFFICE OF THE ASSIST ANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS (OASD(PA) IS TH E CENTRAL AGENCY FOR MANAGING AND VETTING MEDIA EMBEDS TO INCLUDE ALLOCATING EMBED SLOTS TO MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS. EMBED AUTHORITY MAY BE DELEGATED TO SUBORDINATE ELEMENTS AFTER THE COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES AND AT THE DISCRETION OF OASD(PA). EMBED OPPORTUNITIES WILL BE ASSIGNED TO MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS, NOT TO INDIVIDUAL REPORTERS. THE DECISION AS TO WHICH ME DIA REPRESENTATIVE WILL FILL ASSIGNED EMBED SLOTS WILL BE MA DE BY THE DESIGNATED POC FOR EACH NEWS ORGANIZATION. 3.A.1. IAW REF. A, COMMANDERS OF UNITS IN RECEIPT OF A DEPLOYMENT ORDER MAY EMBED REGIONAL/LOCAL MEDIA DURING PREPARATIONS FOR DEPLOYMENT, DEPLOYMENT AND ARRIVAL IN THEATER UPON RECEIPT OF THEATER CLEARANCE FROM CENTCOM AND APPROVAL OF THE COMPONENT COMMAND. COMMANDERS WILL INFORM THESE MEDIA, PRIOR TO THE DEPLOY ING EMBED, THAT OASD(PA) IS THE APPROVAL AUTHORITY FOR ALL COMBAT EMBEDS AND THAT THEIR PARTICULAR EMBED MAY END AFTER THE UNIT'S ARRIVAL IN THEATER. THE MEDIA ORGANIZATION MAY APPL Y TO OASD(PA) FOR CONTINUED EMBEDDING, BUT THERE IS NO GUARANTEE AND THE MEDIA ORGANIZATION WILL HAVE TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR AND PAY FOR THE JOURNALISTS' RETURN TRIP.
67 3.B. WITHOUT MAKING COMMITMENTS TO MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS, DEPLOYING UNITS WILL IDENTIFY LO CAL MEDIA FOR POTENTIAL EMBEDS AND NOMINATE THEM THROUGH PA CHANNELS TO OASD(PA) (POC: MAJ TIM BLAIR, DSN 227-1253; COMM. 703-697-1253; EMAIL TIMOTHY.BLAIR@OSD.MIL). INFORMATION REQUIRED TO BE FORWARDED INCLUDES MEDIA ORGANIZATION, TYPE OF MEDIA AND CONTACT INFORMATION INCLUDING BUREAU CHIEF/MANAGING EDITOR/NEWS DIRECTOR'S NAME; OFFICE, HOME AND CELL PHONE NUMBERS; PAGER NUMBERS AND EMAIL ADDRESSES. SU BMISSIONS FOR EMBEDS WITH SPECIFIC UNITS SHOULD INCLUDE AN UNIT'S RECOMMENDATION AS TO WHETHER THE REQUEST SHOULD BE HONORED. 3.C. UNIT COMMANDERS SHOULD ALSO EXPRESS, THROUGH THEIR CHAIN OF COMMAND AND PA CHANNELS TO OASD(PA), THEIR DESIRE AND CAPABILITY TO SUPPORT ADDITI ONAL MEDIA EMBEDS BEYOND THOSE ASSIGNED. 3.D. FREELANCE MEDIA WILL BE AUTH ORIZED TO EMBED IF THEY ARE SELECTED BY A NEWS ORGAN IZATION AS THEIR EMBED REPRESENTATIVE. 3.E. UNITS WILL BE AUTHORIZED DI RECT COORDINATION WITH MEDIA AFTER ASSIGNMENT AND APPR OVAL BY OASD(PA). 3.E.1.UNITS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING THAT ALL EMBEDDED MEDIA AND THEIR NEWS ORGANIZATIONS HAVE SIGNED THE "RELEASE, INDEMNIFICATION, AND HOLD HARM LESS AGREEMENT AND AGREEMENT NOT TO SUE", FOUND AT HTTP://WWW.DEFENSELINK.MIL/ NEWS/FEB2003/D20030210EMBED.PDF. UNITS MUST MAINTAIN A COPY OF THIS AGREEMENT FOR ALL MEDIA EMBEDDED WITH THEIR UNIT. 3.F. EMBEDDED MEDIA OPERATE AS PA RT OF THEIR ASSIGNED UNIT. AN ESCORT MAY BE ASSIGNED AT THE DISCRETION OF THE UNIT COMMANDER. THE ABSENCE OF A PA ESCORT IS NOT A REASON TO PRECLUDE MEDIA ACCESS TO OPERATIONS. 3.G. COMMANDERS WILL ENSURE THE ME DIA ARE PROVIDED WITH EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO OBSERVE ACTU AL COMBAT OPERATIONS. THE PERSONAL SAFETY OF CORRESPONDENTS IS NOT A REASON TO EXCLUDE THEM FROM COMBAT AREAS. 3.H. IF, IN THE OPINION OF THE UNIT COMMANDER, A MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE IS UNABLE TO WI THSTAND THE RIGOROUS CONDITIONS REQUIRED TO OPERATE WITH THE FORWARD DEPLOYED FORCES, THE COMMANDER OR HIS/HER REPRESENTATIVE MAY LIMIT THE
68 REPRESENTATIVES PARTICIPATION WITH OPERATIONAL FORCES TO ENSURE UNIT SAFETY AND INFORM OA SD(PA) THROUGH PA CHANNELS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. GENDER WILL NO T BE AN EXCLUDING FACTOR UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. 3.I. IF FOR ANY REASON A MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE CANNOT PARTICIPATE IN AN OPERATION, TH EY WILL BE TRANSPORTED TO THE NEXT HIGHER HEADQUARTERS FOR TH E DURATION OF THE OPERATION. 3.J. COMMANDERS WILL OBTAIN THEATER CLEARANCE FROM CENTCOM/PA FOR MEDIA EMBARKING ON MILITARY CONVEYANCE FOR PURPOSES OF EMBEDDING. 3.K. UNITS HOSTING EMBEDDED MEDIA WILL ISSUE INVITATIONAL TRAVEL ORDERS, AND NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL (NBC) GEAR. SEE PARA. 5. FOR DETAILS ON WHICH ITEMS AR E ISSUED AND WHICH ITEMS THE MEDIA ARE RE SPONSIBLE TO PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES. 3.L. MEDIA ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OBTAINING THEIR OWN PASSPORTS AND VISAS. 3.M. MEDIA WILL AGREE TO ABIDE BY THE CENTCOM/OASD(PA) GROUND RULES STATED IN PARA. 4 OF TH IS MESSAGE IN EXCHANGE FOR COMMAND/UNIT-PROVIDED SU PPORT AND ACCESS TO SERVICE MEMBERS, INFORMATION AND OTHER PREVI OUSLY-STATED PRIVILEGES. ANY VIOLATION OF THE GROUND RULES COULD RESULT IN TERMINATION OF THAT MEDIA'S EMBED OPPORTUNITY. 3.N. DISPUTES/DIFFICULTIES. ISSUES , QUESTIONS, DIFFICULTIES OR DISPUTES ASSOCIATED WITH GROUND RULES OR OTHER ASPECTS OF EMBEDDING MEDIA THAT CANNOT BE RE SOLVED AT THE UNIT LEVEL, OR THROUGH THE CHAIN OF COMMAND, WILL BE FORWARDED THROUGH PA CHANNELS FOR RESOLUTION. COMMA NDERS WHO WISH TO TERMINATE AN EMBED FOR CAUSE MUST NOTIFY CENTCOM/PA PRIOR TO TERMINATION. IF A DISPU TE CANNOT BE RESOLVED AT A LOWER LEVEL, OASD(PA) WILL BE THE FINAL RESOLUTION AUTHORITY. IN ALL CASES, THIS SHOULD BE DONE AS EXPEDI TIOUSLY AS POSSIBLE TO PRESERVE THE NEWS VALUE OF THE SITUATION. 3.O. MEDIA WILL PAY THEIR OWN BI LLETING EXPENSES IF BILLETED IN A COMMERCIAL FACILITY. 3.P. MEDIA WILL DEPLOY WITH THE NE CESSARY EQUIPMEN T TO COLLECT AND TRANSMIT THEIR STORIES. 3.Q. THE STANDARD FOR RELEASE OF INFORMATION SHOULD BE TO ASK
69 "WHY NOT RELEASE" VICE "WHY RELE ASE." DECISIONS SHOULD BE MADE ASAP, PREFERABLY IN MINUTES, NOT HOURS. 3.R. THERE IS NO GENERAL REVIEW PROCESS FOR MEDIA PRODUCTS. SEE PARA 6.A. FOR FURTHER DETAIL CONCERNING SECURITY AT THE SOURCE. 3.S. MEDIA WILL ONLY BE GRANTED ACCESS TO DETAINEES OR EPWS WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS OF 1949. SEE PARA. 4.G.17. FOR THE GROUND RULE. 3.T. HAVING EMBEDDED MEDIA DOES NOT PRECLUDE CONTACT WITH OTHER MEDIA. EMBEDDED MEDIA, AS A RESULT OF TIME INVESTED WITH THE UNIT AND GROUND RULES AGREEM ENT, MAY HAVE A DIFFERENT LEVEL OF ACCESS. 3.U. CENTCOM/PA WILL ACCOUNT FOR EMBEDDED MEDIA DURING THE TIME THE MEDIA IS EMBEDDED IN THEATER. CENTCOM/ PA WILL REPORT CHANGES IN EMBED STATUS TO OASD(PA) AS THEY OCCUR. 3.V. IF A MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE IS KILLED OR INJURED IN THE COURSE OF MILITARY OPERATI ONS, THE UNIT WILL IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY OASD(PA), THROUGH PA CH ANNELS. OASD(PA) WILL CONTACT THE RESPECTIVE MEDIA ORGANIZATION(S), WHICH WILL MAKE NEXT OF KIN NOTIFICATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE INDIVIDUAL'S WISHES. 3.W. MEDIA MAY TERMINATE THEIR EMBED OPPORTUNITY AT ANY TIME. UNIT COMMANDERS WILL PROVIDE, AS THE TACTICAL SITUATION PERMITS AND BASED ON THE AVAILABI LITY OF TRANSPORTATION, MOVEMENT BACK TO THE NEARES T LOCATION WITH COMMERCIAL TRANSPORTATION. 3.W.1. DEPARTING MEDIA WILL BE DEBRIEFED ON OPERATIONAL SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS AS APPLICABLE TO ONGOING AND FUTURE OPERATIONS WHICH THEY MAY NO W HAVE INFORMATION CONCERNING. 4. GROUND RULES. FOR THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF U.S. FORCES AND EMBEDDED MEDIA, MEDIA WILL A DHERE TO ESTABLISHED GROUND RULES. GROUND RULES WILL BE AGREED TO IN ADVANC E AND SIGNED BY MEDIA PRIOR TO EMBEDDING. VIOLAT ION OF THE GROUND RULES MAY RESULT IN THE IMMEDIATE TERMI NATION OF THE EMBED AND REMOVAL FROM THE AOR. THESE GROUND RULES RECOGNIZE THE RIGHT OF THE MEDIA TO COVER MILITARY OPERATI ONS AND ARE IN NO WAY INTENDED TO PREVENT RELEASE OF DEROGATORY, EMBARRASSING, NEGATIVE OR UNCOMPLIMENTARY INFORMATION. ANY MODIFICATION TO THE STANDARD GROUND RULES WILL BE FORWARDED THROUGH THE PA
70 CHANNELS TO CENTCOM/PA FOR AP PROVAL. STANDARD GROUND RULES ARE: 4.A. ALL INTERVIEWS WITH SERVICE MEMBERS WILL BE ON THE RECORD. SECURITY AT THE SOUR CE IS THE POLICY. IN TERVIEWS WITH PILOTS AND AIRCREW MEMBERS ARE AUT HORIZED UPON COMPLETION OF MISSIONS; HOWEVER, RELEASE OF INFORMATION MUST CONFORM TO THESE MEDIA GROUND RULES. 4.B. PRINT OR BROADCAST STORIES WI LL BE DATELINED ACCORDING TO LOCAL GROUND RULES. LOCAL GROUND RULES WILL BE COORDINATED THROUGH COMMAND CHANNELS WITH CENTCOM. 4.C. MEDIA EMBEDDED WITH U.S. FO RCES ARE NOT PERM ITTED TO CARRY PERSONAL FIREARMS. 4.D. LIGHT DISCIPLINE RESTRICTI ONS WILL BE FOLLOWED. VISIBLE LIGHT SOURCES, INCLUDING FLAS H OR TELEVISION LIGHTS, FLASH CAMERAS WILL NOT BE USED WHEN OP ERATING WITH FORCES AT NIGHT UNLESS SPECIFICALLY APPROVED IN ADVANCE BY THE ON-SCENE COMMANDER. 4.E. EMBARGOES MAY BE IMPOSED TO PROTECT OPERATIONAL SECURITY. EMBARGOES WILL ONLY BE USED FOR OPERATIONAL SECURITY AND WILL BE LIFTED AS SOON AS THE OPERATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE HAS PASSED. 4.F. THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES OF INFORMATION ARE RELEASABLE. 4.F.1. APPROXIMATE FRIENDLY FO RCE STRENGTH FIGURES. 4.F.2. APPROXIMATE FRIENDLY CASUAL TY FIGURES BY SERVICE. EMBEDDED MEDIA MAY, WITHIN OPSEC LIMITS, CONFIRM UNIT CASUALTIES THEY HAVE WITNESSED. 4.F.3. CONFIRMED FIGURES OF EN EMY PERSONNEL DETAINED OR CAPTURED. 4.F.4. SIZE OF FRIENDLY FORCE PARTICIPATING IN AN ACTION OR OPERATION CAN BE DISCLOSED US ING APPROXIMATE TERMS. SPECIFIC FORCE OR UNIT IDENTIFICATION M AY BE RELEASED WHEN IT NO LONGER WARRANTS SECURITY PROTECTION. 4.F.5. INFORMATION AND LOCATION OF MILITARY TARGETS AND OBJECTIVES PREVIOUSLY UNDER ATTACK. 4.F.6. GENERIC DESCRIPTION OF ORIGIN OF AIR OPERAT IONS, SUCH AS "LAND-BASED."
71 4.F.7. DATE, TIME OR LOCATION OF PREVIOUS CONVENTIONAL MILITARY MISSIONS AND ACTIONS, AS WELL AS MISSION RESULTS ARE RELEASABLE ONLY IF DESCRIBED IN GENERAL TERMS. 4.F.8. TYPES OF ORDNANCE EX PENDED IN GENERAL TERMS. 4.F.9. NUMBER OF AERIAL COMBAT OR RECONNAISSANCE MISSIONS OR SORTIES FLOWN IN CENTCOM'S AREA OF OPERATION. 4.F.10. TYPE OF FORCES INVOLVED (E.G., AIR DEFENSE, INFANTRY, ARMOR, MARINES). 4.F.11. ALLIED PARTICIPATION BY TYPE OF OPERATION (SHIPS, AIRCRAFT, GROUND UNITS, ETC.) AFTER APPROVAL OF THE ALLIED UNIT COMMANDER. 4.F.12. OPERATION CODE NAMES. 4.F.13. NAMES AND HOMETOWNS OF U.S. MILITARY UNITS. 4.F.14. SERVICE MEMBERS' NAME S AND HOME TOWNS WITH THE INDIVIDUALS' CONSENT. 4.G. THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES OF INFORMATION ARE NOT RELEASABLE SINCE THEIR PUBL ICATION OR BROADCAST COULD JEOPARDIZE OPERATIONS AND ENDANGER LIVES. 4.G.1. SPECIFIC NUMBER OF TROOPS IN UNITS BELOW CORPS/MEF LEVEL. 4.G.2. SPECIFIC NUMBER OF AIRCRAFT IN UNITS AT OR BELOW THE AIR EXPEDITIONARY WING LEVEL. 4.G.3. SPECIFIC NUMBERS REGARDING OTHER EQUIPMENT OR CRITICAL SUPPLIES (E.G. ARTILLERY, TANKS, LA NDING CRAFT, RADARS, TRUCKS, WATER, ETC.). 4.G.4. SPECIFIC NUMBERS OF SHIPS IN UNITS BELOW THE CARRIER BATTLE GROUP LEVEL. 4.G.5. NAMES OF MILITARY INSTALLA TIONS OR SPECIFIC GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS OF MILITARY UNITS IN THE CENTCOM AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY, UNLESS SPECIFICALLY RELEASED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OR AUTHORIZED BY THE CENTCOM COMMANDER. NEWS AND IMAGERY PRODUCTS THAT IDENTI FY OR INCLUDE IDENTIFIABLE FEATURES OF THESE LOCATIONS AR E NOT AUTHORIZED FOR RELEASE.
72 4.G.6. INFORMATION REGARDING FUTURE OPERATIONS. 4.G.7. INFORMATION REGARDING FO RCE PROTECTION MEASURES AT MILITARY INSTALLATIONS OR EN CAMPMENTS (EXCEPT THOSE WHICH ARE VISIBLE OR READILY APPARENT). 4.G.8. PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWING LEVEL OF SECURITY AT MILITARY INSTALLATIONS OR ENCAMPMENTS. 4.G.9. RULES OF ENGAGEMENT. 4.G.10. INFORMATION ON INTELLIGE NCE COLLECTION ACTIVITIES COMPROMISING TACTICS, TECHNIQUES OR PROCEDURES. 4.G.11. EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IN REPO RTING WILL BE REQUIRED AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF HOSTILITIES TO MAXIMIZE OPERATIONAL SURPRISE. LIVE BROADCASTS FROM AIRFIELDS, ON THE GROUND OR AFLOAT, BY EMBEDDED MEDIA ARE PROHIBITED UNTIL THE SAFE RETURN OF THE INITIAL STRIKE PACKAGE OR UNTIL AUTHORIZED BY THE UNIT COMMANDER. 4.G.12. DURING AN OPERATION, SPE CIFIC INFORMATION ON FRIENDLY FORCE TROOP MOVEMENTS, TA CTICAL DEPLOYMENTS, AND DISPOSITIONS THAT WOULD JEOPARDI ZE OPERATIONAL SECURITY OR LIVES. INFORMATION ON ON-GOI NG ENGAGEMENTS WILL NOT BE RELEASED UNLESS AUTHORIZED FOR RELEASE BY ON-SCENE COMMANDER. 4.G.13. INFORMATION ON SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNITS, UNIQUE OPERATIONS METHODOLOGY OR TACTICS, FOR EXAMPLE, AIR OPERATIONS, ANGLES OF ATTACK, AND SPEEDS; NAVAL TACTICAL OR EVASIVE MANEUVERS, ETC. GENERAL TE RMS SUCH AS "LOW" OR "FAST" MAY BE USED. 4.G.14. INFORMATION ON EFFECTIV ENESS OF ENEMY ELECTRONIC WARFARE. 4.G.15. INFORMATION IDENTIFYI NG POSTPONED OR CANCELED OPERATIONS. 4.G.16. INFORMATION ON MISSING OR DOWNED AIRCRAFT OR MISSING VESSELS WHILE SEARCH AND RESCUE AND RECOVERY OPERATIONS ARE BEING PLANNED OR UNDERWAY. 4.G.17. INFORMATION ON EFFECTIVEN ESS OF ENEMY CAMOUFLAGE,
73 COVER, DECEPTION, TARGETING, DIRECT AND INDIRECT FIRE, INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION, OR SECURITY MEASURES. 4.G.18. NO PHOTOGRAPHS OR OTHER VI SUAL MEDIA SHOWING AN ENEMY PRISONER OF WAR OR DETAINEE'S RECOGNIZABLE FACE, NAMETAG OR OTHER IDENTIFYING FEATURE OR ITEM MAY BE TAKEN. 4.G.19. STILL OR VIDEO IMAGERY OF CUSTODY OPERATIONS OR INTERVIEWS WITH PERSONS UNDER CUSTODY. 4.H. THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES AND POLICIES APPLY TO COVERAGE OF WOUNDED, INJURED, AND ILL PERSONNEL: 4.H.1. MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES WILL BE REMINDED OF THE SENSITIVITY OF USING NAMES OF INDIVIDUAL CASUALTIES OR PHOTOGRAPHS THEY MAY HAVE TAKEN WHICH CLEARLY IDENTIFY CASUALTIES UNTIL AFTER NOTIFICA TION OF THE NOK AND RELEASE BY OASD(PA). 4.H.2. BATTLEFIELD CASUALTIES MAY BE COVERED BY EMBEDDED MEDIA AS LONG AS THE SERVIC E MEMBER'S IDENTITY IS PROTECTED FROM DISCLOSURE FOR 72 HOURS OR UPON VERIFICATION OF NOK NOTIFICATION, WHICHEVER IS FIRST. 4.H.3. MEDIA VISITS TO MEDICAL FA CILITIES WILL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE REGULATIONS, STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES, OPERATIONS ORDERS AND INSTRUCTIO NS BY ATTENDING PHYSICIANS. IF APPROVED, SERVICE OR MEDICAL FACILITY PERSONNEL MUST ESCORT MEDIA AT ALL TIMES. 4.H.4. PATIENT WELFARE, PATIENT PRIV ACY, AND NEXT OF KIN/FAMILY CONSIDERATIONS ARE THE GOVERNIN G CONCERNS ABOUT NEWS MEDIA COVERAGE OF WOUNDED, INJURED, AND ILL PERSONNEL IN MEDICAL TREATMENT FACILITIES OR OTHER CASUALTY COLLECTION AND TREATMENT LOCATIONS. 4.H.5. MEDIA VISITS ARE AUTHORIZED TO MEDICAL CARE FACILITIES, BUT MUST BE APPROVED BY THE MEDICAL FACILITY COMMANDER AND ATTENDING PHYSICIAN AND MUST NOT INTERFERE WITH MEDICAL TREATMENT. REQUESTS TO VISIT ME DICAL CARE FACILITIES OUTSIDE THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES WILL BE COORDINATED BY THE UNIFIED COMMAND PA. 4.H.6. REPORTERS MAY VISIT THOS E AREAS DESIGNATED BY THE FACILITY COMMANDER, BUT WILL NO T BE ALLOWED IN OPERATING ROOMS DURING OPERATING PROCEDURES.
74 4.H.7. PERMISSION TO INTERVIEW OR PHOTOGRAPH A PATIENT WILL BE GRANTED ONLY WITH THE CONSENT OF THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN OR FACILITY COMMANDER AND WITH TH E PATIENT'S INFORMED CONSENT, WITNESSED BY THE ESCORT. 4.H.8. "INFORMED CONSENT" MEANS THE PATIENT UNDERSTANDS HIS OR HER PICTURE AND COMMENTS ARE BE ING COLLECTED FOR NEWS MEDIA PURPOSES AND THEY MAY APPEAR NATIONWIDE IN NEWS MEDIA REPORTS. 4.H.9. THE ATTENDING PHYSICIAN OR ESCORT SHOULD ADVISE THE SERVICE MEMBER IF NOK HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED. 5. IMMUNIZATIONS AND PERS ONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR. 5.A. MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS SHOUL D ENSURE THAT MEDIA ARE PROPERLY IMMUNIZED BEFORE EM BEDDING WITH UNITS. THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC)-RECOMMENDED IMMUNIZATIONS FOR DEPLOYMENT TO THE MIDDLE EAST IN CLUDE HEPATITIS A; HEPATITIS B; RABIES; TETANUSDIPHTHERIA; AND TYPHOID. THE CDC RECOMMENDS MENINGOCOCCAL IMMUNIZATIONS FO R VISITORS TO MECCA. IF TRAVELING TO CERTAIN AREAS IN THE CENTCOM AOR, THE CDC RECOMMENDS TAKING PRESCRIPTION ANTIMALARIAL DRUGS. ANTHRAX AND SMALLPOX VACCINES WILL BE PROV IDED TO THE MEDIA AT NO EXPENSE TO THE GOVERNMENT (T HE MEDIA OUTLET WILL BEAR THE EXPENSE). FOR MORE HEALTH INFO RMATION FOR TRAVELERS TO THE MIDDLE EAST, GO TO THE CDC WEB SITE AT HTTP://WWW.CDC.GOV/TRAVEL/MIDEAST.HTM. 5.B. BECAUSE THE USE OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR, SUCH AS HELMETS OR FLAK VESTS, IS BOTH A PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL CHOICE, MEDIA WILL BE RESPONS IBLE FOR PROCURING/USING SUCH EQUIPMENT. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR, AS WELL AS CLOTHING, WILL BE SUBDUED IN COLO R AND APPEARANCE. 5.C. EMBEDDED MEDIA ARE AUTHORIZED AND REQUIRED TO BE PROVIDED WITH, ON A TEMPORARY LOAN BASIS, NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL, CHEMICAL (NBC) PROTECTIVE EQUI PMENT BY THE UNIT WITH WHICH THEY ARE EMBEDDED. UNIT PE RSONNEL WILL PROVIDE BASIC INSTRUCTION IN THE PROPER WEAR, USE, AND MAINTENANCE OF THE EQUIPMENT. UPON TERMINATION OF TH E EMBED, INITIATED BY EITHER PARTY, THE NBC EQUIPM ENT SHALL BE RETURNED TO THE EMBEDDING UNIT. IF SUFFICIENT NBC PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR EMBEDDED MEDIA, COMMANDER S MAY PURCHASE ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT, WITH FUNDS NORMALLY AVAILABLE FOR THAT PURPOSE,
75 AND LOAN IT TO EMBEDDED MEDIA IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS PARAGRAPH. 6. SECURITY 6.A. MEDIA PRODUCTS WILL NOT BE SU BJECT TO SECURITY REVIEW OR CENSORSHIP EXCEPT AS INDICATED IN PARA. 6.A.1. SECURITY AT THE SOURCE WILL BE THE RULE. U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL SHALL PROTECT CLASSIFIED INFORMATION FROM UNAUTHORIZED OR INADVERTENT DISCLOSURE. MEDIA PROVIDED ACCESS TO SENSITIVE INFORMATION, INFORMATION WHICH IS NOT CLA SSIFIED BUT WHICH MAY BE OF OPERATIONAL VALUE TO AN ADVERS ARY OR WHEN COMBINED WITH OTHER UNCLASSIFIED INFORMAT ION MAY REVEAL CLASSIFIED INFORMATION, WILL BE INFORM ED IN ADVANCE BY THE UNIT COMMANDER OR HIS/HER DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OR DISC LOSURE OF SUCH INFORMATION. WHEN IN DOUBT, MEDIA WILL CONS ULT WITH THE UNIT COMMANDER OR HIS/HER DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE. 6.A.1. THE NATURE OF THE EMBE DDING PROCESS MAY INVOLVE OBSERVATION OF SENSITIVE INFORMATION, INCLUDING TROOP MOVEMENTS, BATTLE PREPARATIONS, MATERIEL CAPABILITIES AND VULNERABILITIES AND OTHER INFORMATION AS LISTED IN PARA. 4.G. WHEN A COMMANDER OR HIS/HER DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE HAS REASON TO BELIEVE THAT A MEDIA ME MBER WILL HAVE ACCESS TO THIS TYPE OF SENSITIVE INFORMATION, PRIOR TO ALLOWING SUCH ACCESS, HE/SHE WILL TAKE PRUDENT PRECAUTI ONS TO ENSURE THE SECURITY OF THAT INFORMATION. THE PRIMARY SA FEGUARD WILL BE TO BRIEF MEDIA IN ADVANCE ABOUT WHAT INFORMAT ION IS SENSITIVE AND WHAT THE PARAMETERS ARE FOR COVERING THIS TYPE OF INFORMATION. IF MEDIA ARE INADVERTENTLY EXPOSED TO SENSITIVE INFORMATION THEY SHOULD BE BRIEFED AFTER EXPOSU RE ON WHAT INFORMATION THEY SHOULD AVOID COVERING. IN IN STANCES WHERE A UNIT COMMANDER OR THE DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE DETERMINES THAT COVERAGE OF A STORY WILL INVOLVE EXPOSURE TO SENSITIVE INFORMATION BEYOND THE SCOPE OF WHAT MAY BE PROTECTED BY PREBRIEFING OR DEBRIEFING, BUT COVERAGE OF WHICH IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE DOD, THE COMMANDER MAY OFFER ACCE SS IF THE REPORTER AGREES TO A SECURITY REVIEW OF THEIR CO VERAGE. AGREEMENT TO SECURITY REVIEW IN EXCHANGE FOR THIS TYPE OF ACCESS MUST BE STRICTLY VOLUNTARY AND IF THE REPORTER DOES NOT AGREE, THEN ACCESS MAY NOT BE GRANTED. IF A SECURITY RE VIEW IS AGREED TO, IT WILL NOT INVOLVE ANY EDITORIAL CHANGES; IT WILL BE CONDUCTED SOLELY TO ENSURE THAT NO SENSITIVE OR CLA SSIFIED INFORMATION IS INCLUDED IN THE PRODUCT. IF SUCH INFORMAT ION IS FOUND, THE MEDIA WILL BE ASKED TO REMOVE THAT INFORMAT ION FROM THE PRODUCT AND/OR
76 EMBARGO THE PRODUCT UNTIL SUCH INFORMATION IS NO LONGER CLASSIFIED OR SENSITIVE. REVIEWS ARE TO BE DONE AS SOON AS PRACTICAL SO AS NOT TO INTERRUPT COMBAT OPERATIONS NOR DELAY REPORTING. IF THERE ARE DISPUTES RESULTING FROM THE SECURITY REVIEW PROCESS THEY MAY BE APPEALED THROUGH THE CHAIN OF COMMAND, OR THROUGH PA CHANNELS TO OASD/PA. THIS PARAGRAPH DOES NOT AUTHORIZE COMMANDERS TO ALLOW MEDIA ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED INFORMATION. 6.A.2. MEDIA PRODUCTS WILL NOT BE CONFISCATED OR OTHERWISE IMPOUNDED. IF IT IS BELIEVED TH AT CLASSIFIED INFORMATION HAS BEEN COMPROMISED AND THE MEDI A REPRESENTATIVE REFUSES TO REMOVE THAT INFORMATION NOTIFY THE CPIC AND/OR OASD/PA AS SOON AS POSSIBLE SO THE ISSUE M AY BE ADDRESSED WITH THE MEDIA ORGANIZATION'S MANAGEMENT. 7. MISCELLANEOUS/COORDINATING INSTRUCTIONS: 7.A. OASD(PA) IS THE INITIAL EMBED AUTHORITY. EMBEDDING PROCEDURES AND ASSIGNMENT AUTHORITY MAY BE TRANSFERRED TO CENTCOM PA AT A LATER DATE. THIS AUTHORITY MAY BE FURTHER DELEGATED AT CENT COM'S DISCRETION. 7.B. THIS GUIDANCE AUTHORIZES BLANKET APPROVAL FOR NON-LOCAL AND LOCAL MEDIA TRAVEL ABOARD D OD AIRLIFT FOR ALL EMBEDDED MEDIA ON A NO-COST, SPACE AVAILABL E BASIS. NO ADDITIONAL COSTS SHALL BE INCURRED BY THE GOVERN MENT TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE IAW DODI 5410.15, PARA 3.4. 7.C. USE OF LIPSTICK AND HELMET-MOUNTED CAMERAS ON COMBAT SORTIES IS APPROVED AND ENCO URAGED TO THE GREATEST EXTENT POSSIBLE. 8. OASD(PA) POC FOR EMBEDDING MEDI A IS MAJ TIM BLAIR, DSN 227-1253, CMCL 703-697-1253, EMAIL TIMOTHY.BLAIR@OSD.MIL.
77 APPENDIX C RESEARCHERÂ’S MILITARY BIOGRAPHY Captain David Westover Capt. Westover is an active duty U.S. Ai r Force public affairs officer, currently assigned to the University of Florida. He is in his second-year of the masterÂ’s degree program in public relations and will be co mpleting his thesis in the Spring of 2004. Prior to his current assignme nt, Capt. Westover served as a media relations officer at the Air Force Press Desk, Pentagon, Washington, DC fr om July 1999 to July 2002. He was responsible for coordinating all media rela tions activities for seni or Air Force leaders including the Under Secretary of the Air Fo rce, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Installati ons and Logistics. His daily responsibilities included responding to national media queries , providing guidance to senior Air Force leaders on media issues, facilitating medi a interview requests, and designing and executing communication strategies to reach both internal and external audiences. Prior to his assignment in Washington, Ca pt. Westover served as the Deputy Chief of Public Affairs at Dover Air Force Ba se, Delaware from March 1997-July 1999. During this assignment, he managed Dover AFBÂ’s weekly, 28-page newspaper, established DoverÂ’s first electronic news website and operated Dover Team TV, the commanderÂ’s access channel. While assigned at Dover AFB, he deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, in support of Operation Northern Watch. He se rved as a media relations officer working with national and international media in cluding CBS Evening News, Reuters and
78 Aviation Week, to help shape the news coverage of the U.S. Air ForceÂ’s patrol of the nofly zone in Northern Iraq. Capt WestoverÂ’s first enlisted in the Ai r Force in October 1984 and served 3 Â½ years active duty as a graphic arts specialist at Blytheville AFB, Arkansas. During this assignment, he earned as Associates of Arts degree in audio-visual production from the Community College of the Air Force. After an honorable discharge, he worked in the graphic arts and printing industry, while performing part-time as a musician. In May of 1996, Capt. Westover earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in radio/television at Penn State University a nd was commissioned a second lieutenant upon completion of the Air Force Reserve O fficer Training Corps program. His first assignment upon re-entering active duty was is the recruiting capacity as the AFROTC Regional Director of Admissions at the Roch ester Institute of T echnology, Rochester, NY. In May 1997, Capt. Westover graduated from the Defense Information SchoolÂ’s Public Affairs Officer Course at Fort M eade, Maryland. He also completed Squadron Officer School at Maxwell AFB, Alabama in December 2001. Capt Westover is married to the former Laura Ann Yale of McVeytown, Pennsylvania. They have twin 7-year old da ughters, Alexandra and Jessica, and currently reside in Gainesville, Florid a. Capt Westover will report to his next duty assignment as the Chief of Public Affairs, 374th Air lift Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan in May 2004.
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83 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH David S. Westover, Jr. earned a Master of Arts in Mass Communication degree specializing in public relations at the University of Flor ida in 2004. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast/cable-telecommunica tions at Pennsylvania State University in 1996. He is an active duty Air Force public affairs offi cer currently serving at the rank of Captain.