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

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

by Bill Katovsky, Timothy Carlson, Martin Higgins
     
 

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"The interviews crackle with immediacy." -The New York Times

"It is my hope that this outstanding piece of work will reach the widest possible distribution and readership." -Dan Rather, CBS News, on the John Burns interview

EMBEDDED is a collection of deeply emotional and highly personal accounts of covering the Iraq War. Many of the world's top war

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Overview

"The interviews crackle with immediacy." -The New York Times

"It is my hope that this outstanding piece of work will reach the widest possible distribution and readership." -Dan Rather, CBS News, on the John Burns interview

EMBEDDED is a collection of deeply emotional and highly personal accounts of covering the Iraq War. Many of the world's top war correspondents and photographers speak candidly about life on the battlefield. Here are articulate and heartfelt descriptions of fear and firefights, of bullets and banalities, of risking death and meeting deadlines.

With over sixty interviews conducted in Kuwait and Iraq shortly after many returned home, Katovsky and Carlson allowed these journalists to step outside their professional role as journalists and examine the lethal allure of combat reporting.

Here is CBS Evening News correspondent Jim Axelrod discussing the perils of racing to Baghdad while despondent over the death of a television colleague and being unexpectedly comforted by ABC News Nightline's Ted Koppel; Newsweek reporter Scott Johnson unwittingly driving into an ambush and then kicking out the windshield of his bullet-riddled car to escape the Iraqi gunmen; New York Times Baghdad Bureau Chief John Burns's brave refusal to be intimidated by his Iraqi information ministry minders; and many, many more.
Each interview in EMBEDDED maps its own personal path and narrative arc, while presenting an emotional window to war and reporting. Taken individually, each offers a unique view of the most-covered war in history. Collectively, EMBEDDED is an eyewitness to history that will do for the war in Iraq what Michael Herr's Dispatches did for Vietnam.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While there is nothing new about journalists traveling with military units (Ernie Pyle died while covering action during World War II), the war in Iraq saw an unprecedented number of correspondents "embedded" with the troops (vs. the hundreds more who covered the war as "unilateral," or unembedded, reporters). In this oral history, Katovsky (formerly with the Brookings Institution) and Carlson (senior correspondent for Inside Triathlon) record the interviews they conducted in April, May, and June 2003 with dozens of reporters, photographers, military public affairs officers, Iraqi citizens, a peace activist, and the handler of a bomb-sniffing dog. What is most interesting from a journalistic standpoint is that these reporters are free here to describe and quote military personnel more accurately than they could for newspapers or television. This collection evokes comparison to Studs Terkel's The Good War, but unlike Terkel, the authors made no attempt to organize these diverse impressions coherently. While far from cohesive, the book does include some compelling accounts of life in a war zone and the concomitant obstacles to effective reporting. Recommended for journalism collections.-Susan M. Colowick, Timberland Regional Lib., Tumwater, WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592282654
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/2003
Edition description:
First edition
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.36(h) x 1.41(d)

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Read an Excerpt

The Moral Compass of Iraq—-New York Times Baghdad Bureau Chief John Burns
"Every lie tells you a truth."
*******
There were correspondents who thought it appropriate to seek the approbation of the people who governed their lives. This was the Ministry of Information, and particularly the director of the Ministry. By taking him out for long candlelit dinners, playing him with sweet cakes, plying him with mobile phones at $600 each for members of his family. And giving bribes of thousands of dollars. Senior members of the Information Ministry took hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes from these television correspondents who then behaved as if they were in Belgium. They never mentioned the function of minders. Never mentioned terror. And in one case a correspondent who actually went to the Internet Center at the Rashid Hotel and printed out copies of his and other people's stories —mine included—specifically in order to be able to show the difference between himself and the others. He wanted to show what a good boy he was compared to this enemy of the state. He was with a major American newspaper.

Meet the Author

BILL KATOVSKY lives in northern California.

TIMOTHY CARLSON lives in Colorado.

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