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Embedded: The Media At War in Iraq: An Oral History

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2004

    I Helped Write the Book!

    I had the honor of helping to transcribe the original tapes the authors had me and a Marin County word-processor (LaserGirl WP) put together. The accounts from the war zone were compelling and I found the published work to be accurate. The editors did a great job in putting this all together into a coherent form. Highly recommended. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2004

    Embedded ist gut.

    In the book entitled 'Embedded', Bill Katovsky and Timothy Carlson have put together some of the most interesting and intriguing stories of the embedded reporters who saw war first-hand. There are over twenty different accounts told by many promising reports either of the United States or Europe or the Middle East. Though all of the stories were well written a few of the selections were a bit on the wordy side. But all-in-all the book is very easy to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2003


    This was the worst book that I have read in a long time. The book was not well thought out and it was just thrown together.It did not give me a discription of what went on at all, this book is a rip-off DONT BUY IT.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2003

    A Behind the Scenes Story on Modern War

    Embedded: The Media at War in Iraq is one of the first oral histories of the second Gulf War from the viewpoint of the reporters who saw it with the combat troops. Bill Katovsky and Timothy Carlson conducted 60 interviews with many of the top reporters who covered the war. They included reporters from other countries including Arab representatives from Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV. What emerges is a heart-felt, gut wrenching first-hand perspective on the war in Iraq. As much about the experience of modern warfare as reporting on the war, Embedded accomplishes what Michael Herr¿s classic Dispatches achieved during the Vietnam era. The U.S. military reversed it policies controlling the media during the first Gulf war. Selected reporters were allowed to cover the war ¿embedded¿ with American forces. This allowed those reporting the news unparalleled access to the action, often becoming caught up in events or even crossing the line as active participants. Several reporters were killed in action and others in accidents. Some chose to carry weapons while others hired bodyguards. Sanjay Gupta, a medical correspondent and doctor, put down his pen and paper to help operate on terribly wounded Iraqi casualties. Gupta commented, ¿Yes there was criticism. Yes, there was a question of journalistic integrity. Yes, there was a question that I crossed the line. My opinion was that crossing the line would have been not doing anything.¿ The book uncovers ethical questions in the ever faster moving digital world where news and imagery reach audiences almost instantly. In some cases, photos of wounded Americans were released before relatives were notified by the military. A few reporters were escorted out of Iraq for leaking sensitive information. There is increasing difficulty, as technology improves, to keep ethical standards in reporting news as reporters and editors are faced with covering the real story vs. protecting classified or sensitive information. U.S. Army Col. Guy Shields commented, ¿ With the media being instantaneous ¿ live coverage from the front ¿ you would see the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was real time¿. You could not put any spin on what the embeds were putting out.¿ What strikes the reader is the sanitization of editing that occurred between the battlefield and the six o¿clock news. As in the first Gulf war, the military wished to protect public opinion by concealing the more brutal aspects of killing. In the same token, reporters often refused to write about or photograph Iraqi casualties simply because they knew their editors would refuse to publish such ¿negative¿ material. The book gave the reporters a chance to express their reactions to witnessing U.S. firepower unleashed. John Bebow of the Detroit News wrote, ¿I don¿t think there is any way that any American, civilian journalist or military person in Iraq felt anywhere near what the Iraqis felt¿ The capacity that we have to kill is chillingly efficient.¿ This book provides an evocative, hands on view of modern war. It is a must-read for anyone in journalism or interested in America¿s involvement in the Middle East. The authors were given the chance to express their candid opinions on the war and their experiences in Iraq. Most of the news we receive has to be 'news worthy' to keep ratings high. I learned much more reading how these writers interacted with average Iraqis - stories that would never have made the six o'clock news. I think in years to come people will regard this book as an important contribution on the history of American involvement in the Middle East, on journalism, and how technology is changing our lives.

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