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
Monday, August 29, 2005  
Anxious Embed Reporting for Duty


The New York Times
August 30, 2005

Imagine George Costanza from "Seinfeld" or one of Woody Allen's hypochondriacal heroes being sent off to cover the Iraq war, and you have a pretty good idea of what Chris Ayres's hilarious new memoir is like.

In "War Reporting for Cowards," Mr. Ayres, a reporter for The Times of London, recounts how he went from being the paper's Hollywood correspondent, used to interviewing stars and starlets, to being embedded with a group of marines who called themselves "the Long Distance Death Dealers" as they helped spearhead the American invasion of Iraq. The book he has written reads as though Larry David had rewritten "MASH" and Evelyn Waugh's "Scoop" as a comic television episode, even as it provides the reader with a visceral picture of the horrors of combat and the peculiar experience of being an embedded reporter.

By his own account, Mr. Ayres is a thoroughly unlikely war correspondent. At 27, he's a full-blown hypochondriac, constantly imagining that he's suffering from diabetes or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or premature Alzheimer's. He suffers from panic attacks, a queasy stomach and lingering bouts of anxiety and dread.

To read the full text, see The New York Times

3:49 PM

U.S. Studies Report Its Soldiers Killed Journalist

August 29, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 28 (Reuters) - A soundman working for Reuters Television was shot dead Sunday in Baghdad, and a cameraman with him was wounded and then detained by United States soldiers. An Iraqi police report, read to Reuters by an Interior Ministry official, said the two had been shot by American forces.

A United States military spokesman, Lt. Col. Steven A. Boylan, said the incident was being investigated, and an official statement indicated that the Americans were responding to an attack on an Iraqi police convoy when the journalists were shot.

The death brings to 66 the number of journalists and their aides killed in Iraq since the start of the invasion in 2003, said Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based news media rights group. That surpasses the 63 journalists killed over 20 years of conflict in Vietnam, the group said.

To read the full text, see New York Times

3:44 PM

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