Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 2007

Abstract

American war reporting today, specifically in the Iraq War, differs in many ways from past American military conflicts - not only in technology available to reporters, but in today's reporting philosophies. This thesis maintains that, for war reporters, "objective coverage" is essentially impossible. To support this claim, the thesis examines war reporting historically in the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, and the Iraq War. The thesis also studies the oft-tumultuous relationship between the troops and the press and analyzes the struggles of war correspondents in maintaining objectivity as they dealt with internal conflict and external censorship.

Finally, the thesis presents interviews of five reporters from differing media backgrounds - all of whom were embedded with the troops in Iraq. The interviewees' overarching opinions were that coverage was unrestricted by the military but that true openness about the coverage was unattainable. They all agreed that their objectivity was unaffected.

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