Embedding journalist in military combat units: Impact on newspaper story frames and tone

Michael Pfau, Michel Haigh, Mitchell Gettle, Michael Donnelly, Gregory Scott, Dana Warr, Elaine Wittenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


This investigation probed whether embedded journalist coverage of the first days of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq produced print news coverage that was either more decontextualized inform or more favorable in tone. Embedded news coverage of thefirst days of Operation "Iraqi Freedom" was compared to nonembedded, so-called " unilateral" coverage; and print coverage of "Iraqi Freedom" was compared with the first days of U.S. ground operations in Operations "Enduring Freedom" and "Desert Storm." The results indicated that embedded journalists in Operation "Iraqi Freedom" produced news stories that featured more episodic frames, compared to both nonembedded reporters in "Iraqi Freedom" and overall coverage of Operation "Enduring Freedom." The results also revealed that, compared to nonembedded reporting, embedded print coverage of "Iraqi Freedom" was more favorable in overall tone toward the military and in depiction of individual troops, but this bias did not produce more positive overall coverage compared to recent conflicts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-88
Number of pages15
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication


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