Commentary and links relating to media coverage of war; both before, during, and after.

William A. Dorman is Professor of Government at California State University, Sacramento, and has taught a course in War, Peace and the Mass Media since 1970.

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War, Peace, and the Mass Media
Friday, March 19, 2004  
Postmortem: Iraq war media coverage dazzled but it also obscured

By Jeffery Kahn,
UCNewsCenter |
18 March 2004

Amr Al-Mounaiery, Abu Dhabi TV correspondent: "After this war, I realized that we in the media are the soldiers of politics. Not the military soldiers. I am proud that Abu Dhabi TV showed all sides, everything. You can see CNN showed only part of the war – their favorite part. They didn't show any of the anti-American rallies or the civilian casualties. They just showed crowds welcoming American soldiers and clapping hands. It is selective journalism – like Saddam did ... This was the Arabic way. Now we are switching roads and we wonder: Where is America? Where is the American dream? Freedom of expression, where is that?"
– Excerpt from "Embedded: The Media at War in Iraq – an oral history" by Bill Katovsky and Timothy Carlson

BERKELEY – Patriotism is never stronger or more vital than in times of war. As seekers of truth and guardians of open debate, how do reporters deal with the compromising force of wartime patriotism? How did the U.S media do in covering the Iraq war?

Based on a two-hour panel discussion – one small part of this week's Media at War Conference at UC Berkeley – truth does not inevitably have to be a casualty of war. But the pressure on journalists to abandon the everyday practice of showing all sides and many perspectives is immense.

To read the rest of this report, see UCBerkeley News

10:07 AM

Journalists Spar Over Media Coverage of War With Iraq

BY Joey Coburn and Betty Yu
Contributing Writers
Friday, March 19, 2004

In a heated hour-long debate at Zellerbach Hall last night, six leading international journalists found media coverage of the war in Iraq lacking a sufficiently critical eye.

The discussion capped a three-day conference that brought together dozens of international journalists to take a second look at the media’s approach to the Iraq war.

“This has been the most shameful era of American media. The media has been sucker-punched completely by this administration,” said Robert Scheer, syndicated columnist of the Los Angeles Times and a visiting professor at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

To read the rest of the story, see Daily Cal

10:00 AM

Thursday, March 18, 2004  
Noted embeds and where they are now

March 18, 2004

No media superstars, with the possible exception of the late David Bloom of NBC, emerged from the pool of TV embeds who covered Operation Iraqi Freedom. That may be a reflection of the sheer tonnage of material that came from the lines. But plenty of extraordinary work was produced. Here are just a few of the standouts, and their careers since: (To find out "whatever happened to...", see

1:08 PM

Back from the front
A year later, TV's embedded reporters ponder the merits of how they covered the 'drive-by war'


March 18, 2004

Blog editor's note: Reporters who covered last year's war with Iraq are gathered this week at U.C. Berkeley for a conference on the war and the press

A year ago today, ABC News "embed" Mike Cerre was poised on the Iraqi border with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Division - or "Fox 2/5" in military shorthand - and about to become one of the few and the proud to change television history.

But 34 years ago, when Cerre (pronounced sir-RAY) was a member of a Marine reconnaissance unit that flew out of Da Nang, Vietnam, the 23-year-old lieutenant would occasionally run into a brash young CBS News recruit "with a big 'fro and military fatigue shirt" who would become famous someday but was then merely a nuisance. Ed Bradley had a tiresome habit of hanging around the base perimeter in hopes of getting some Marine to tell him about the next mission, recalls Cerre, now in San Francisco for ABC. But he was "not to be spoken to or dealt with and avoided as much as possible."

Certainly, nothing personal with enterprising Bradley, whom the GIs respected. But orders were still orders: Stay away from the hated press.

To read the rest of the story, see Newsday

1:01 PM

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