War coverage has never seemed so accurate, with up to the minute coverage directly from a battlefield across the world.
Is this a credit of changing times or a danger waiting to be exposed?
This new “embedded” journalism tactic has been implemented by news stations throughout the country.
Journalists are heading out into Iraq with the troops, via the marines, navy or the army.
Through live feeds, they are transmitting up to date information back to their respective media outlets and offering the public a glimpse into life on Iraqi soil.
“This kind of journalism is a better way to get information right away, so it is immediately available to the people. It is especially important in informing the public when there is so much uncertainty about the war in the United States,” Andrew Comia a Temple University junior accounting major said.
A quick flip through the channels and one can tune into CNN or MSNBC for 24 hour coverage live from Baghdad, Kuwait, or anywhere else tied to the war in Iraq.
“In World War II, we would have had to wait for days to get any news. The media can now inform the viewers of what the troops are going through,” junior biology major Jennielyn Bumanlag said.
However, on the opposite front, some say that all this coverage is just too much.
“This is turning into a burden on the American people. They are making us watch this crap all day,” senior anthropology major Joyce Fanega said.
“They don’t need to interrupt 8 p.m. television shows to show us another live image with nothing going on.”
Others commented on how the same images of a bomb exploding are seen repeatedly on every news station during the 6 o’clock or 11 o’clock news hour.
If this is true, one may wonder if there is a need for so many journalists on the frontline?
Candice Carlile, a senior biochemistry major said: “Incessant emphasis on 24 hours of news coverage is too much and not really needed. Dozens of news reporters reporting on the same thing is unnecessary.”
With the coverage that is transmitted to the houses of many, it is hard to differentiate between objective news coverage and pre-packaged images to draw in support from home.
It is hard for anyone to say that a journalist reporting from inside the trenches with soldiers working in the background does not appeal to the emotions.
In addition, some are concerned that the short training period that the embedded journalists endured was simply not adequate.
“That is not enough training. The soldiers who are out on the frontline have to go through extensive and rigorous training,” said Veronica Paone, a Temple senior.
Nicole Garafano, a junior political science major, expressed a different viewpoint.
“As long as the journalists know how to fire a M-16 or whatever, they’re using it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. It’s probably just one journalist to a platoon, not a whole bunch, which would become burdensome,” Garafano said.
As technology continues to develop, it is nearly impossible to restrict journalists from pushing the limits in any situation.
From within the warring city boundaries to within the soldier camps, journalists continue to be in the heart of unfolding stories.
Yet, the question remains whether the ends justify the means.
“Well, there is no other way then to get that close. If they’re biased then that is a ‘con,’ but I think the benefits outweigh the cons,” Garafano said.
“There are journalists who are not embedded and more objective. Looking at both for the whole story is the most accurate depiction.”
Pooja Shah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org