....Class 05A Operation Iraqi Freedom: Embed / Non-Embed Media Portrays War in Iraq


This study examines broadcast news coverage of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) to assess differences between embedded television reporters and non-embedded reporters. A variety of communication theories are presented that posit that embedded journalists will produce more positive coverage of the military and its personnel, that these journalists will develop increased organizational commitment, that their coverage will be more episodic, and have increased levels of affect and positive relational messages.

Thirty days of OIF television news coverage from four major news networks were evaluated using content analysis. The results indicate embedded television reporters produce stories that are more positive and use more episodic framing in their coverage compared to non-embedded reporters. Insufficient data is present to determine if stories produced by embedded reporters produced more positive relational messages. The results only partially support the hypotheses that interviews of military personnel conducted by embedded reporters elicit more positive affect.

Finally, two additional research questions found that the tone of coverage differs between the invasion and occupation, and that there is a difference in several dependent variables across network newscasts.