This study sought to determine whether embedding
journalists with military units during combat produces different newspaper
news reports and, if so, the nature of such differences. In addition,
this study investigated whether there are any differences in news stories
reported during the initial invasion versus those reported more than a
year later during the occupation/resistance, and whether there are differences
in the tone or nature of newspaper news reports across major newspapers.
Hypotheses 1 through 4 addressed differences between embedded and non-embedded
news reports. To assess these predictions, a 2x2 MANCOVA was computed
for journalist status (embed/non-embed) and timeline (invasion/occupation)
on the dependent variables of: overall tone toward military, trust toward
individual troops, episodic framing, authoritativeness of news reports,
and on the emotions: anger, surprise, puzzlement, sadness, and fear. A
covariate, day of coverage, was employed to determine whether these differences
were greater over time. The omnibus results indicated significant differences
for the covariate of day of coverage, Wilks’ ? F(9,412) = 4.32,
p < .01. Subsequent univariate tests revealed significant differences
on the dependent variables of overall tone of coverage, F(1,420) = 3.69,
p < .05, eta2 = .01; and authoritativeness, F(1,420) = 11.35, p <.001,
eta2 = .03.
The omnibus MANCOVA also revealed significant results for the independent
variable of journalist status, Wilks’ ? F(9,412) = 10.67, p <
.001. Univariate results for dependent variables will be examined below
in the context of specific hypotheses.
Hypothesis 1 predicted that embedded newspaper news reports of combat
operations are more positive about the military and convey greater trust
toward military personnel. Subsequent univariate tests supported Hypothesis
1. The results revealed that, compared to non-embedded reports, embedded
newspaper news reports were more positive toward the military, F(1,420)
= 16.37, p<.001, eta2 =.04, and conveyed greater trust toward military
personnel, F(1,420) = 30.81, p<.001, eta2 = .07. These means are displayed
in Table 1.
Hypothesis 2 posited that embedded newspaper news reports of combat operations
would contain more episodic framing. The univariate test revealed a significant
main effect for reporter status on episodic framing, F(1,366) = 15.51,
p<.001, eta2 .04. As Table 1 illustrates, embedded news stories depict
more episodic frames, thus supporting Hypothesis 2.
Hypothesis 3 predicted that embedded newspaper stories would contain more
emotion compared to non-embedded. No significant differences were found
for any of the five emotions: anger, F(1,420) = .01, p= .92; surprise,
F(1,420) = .00, p=.95; puzzlement, F(1,420) = .015, p=.70; sadness, F(1,420)
= .27, p=.60; fear, F(1,420) = .03, p=.86. Differences in emotion were
not significant; therefore Hypothesis 3 was not supported.
Hypothesis 4 predicted that, compared to non-embedded coverage, embedded
newspaper news reports manifest greater use of authoritativeness. The
univariate test revealed a significant effect for authoritativeness, F(1,420)
= 13.72, p<.03, eta2 = .02. As Table 1 shows, embedded newspaper news
reports were judged more authoritative than non-embedded reports, thus
supporting Hypothesis 4.
There was no significant main effect comparing invasion and occupation
phases, nor were there any significant interactions of reporter status
and phase of the conflict.