Reporting from the front : a textual analysis of embedded reporting in the New York Times
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Embedded reporting during the Iraq War grew out of a new approach to the relationship between the news media and the military. Embedded reporters were given unprecedented access to the front lines of the war, as they accompanied American troops on the march to Baghdad and beyond. The access afforded by embedding, possible only when journalists share the lives of frontline troops, allowed Americans to see war closer than they had in decades. However, research on embedded reporting during the invasion of Iraq indicates a persistent trend of framing that is supportive of the military and episodic and limited in scope. By examining embedded newspaper coverage of the Iraq War beyond the initial weeks of the invasion, this study seeks to determine if the framing of embedded war reports is inherently limited in scope and positive in tone toward the military, or if frames depend on the nature of the conflict being covered. This researcher analyzed 90 articles in the New York Times written by staff reporters embedded with American military units in Iraq between May 1, 2003, and December 31, 2008. The results show that the framing of the reports shifted significantly after the invasion, becoming more negative in overall tone and broader in scope. Ultimately, this study challenges previous scholarship on embedded reporting and suggests embedded reporting can continue to make a useful contribution to the reporting of America's wars.
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