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Past Event

Assessing Media Coverage of the War in Iraq: Press Reports, Pentagon Rules, and Lessons for the Future

The recent war in Iraq was the first war ever in which live TV reports were beamed from the front lines to viewers all over the world. The performance of the large corps of print and broadcast journalists, and the media rules imposed by the Pentagon, are still topics of considerable controversy.

Some of the issues to be discussed at this briefing include:

  • Were reports from journalists “embedded” with various units overly-sympathetic to their military companions?
  • Were non-embedded journalists who attempted to cover the war impeded by the Pentagon?
  • Did the Pentagon withhold bad news and exaggerate, or even create, good news?
  • Did the corps of retired military officers hired as commentators by TV networks and cable channels offer any real insights?
  • If media reports had shown more death and devastation, would public opinion have turned against the war?
  • How will the experience in Iraq affect press coverage and Pentagon press policies in future wars?





John Walcott

Washington Bureau Chief, Knight Ridder Newspapers


Terence Smith

Media Correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS

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