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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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Pussycat Catnap

My problem with this is the same one I had with embedded war correspondents: bias.

When they're paying your check or ensuring you even get to have access and thus have a check - you can try to be independent all you want and give full honest coverage, but you won't be.

Look at any footage of the gulf war, parts 1 and 2, and the afghan war - NOT - shot by embedded journalists... and it looks radically different. Much more violent, much less glossed over.

I happened upon a book somewhere of photos of the first gulf war, when browsing in a shop I think in Asia in the late 90s - and what had been a mad dash across Iraq with 'no sign of notable resistance' suddenly looked like a horror show of thousands of charred or decaying bodies of people - military and civilian, by the roadsides; making me think of Sherman's race through the South in the Civil War. We sacked and burned that place, but the reporters just turned their cameras forward to the road ahead and never looked sideways.

- Was there a conflict, was it local resistance, was it something else, what was it at all?

No idea... because the embeddeds were too focused on 'being with the troops'.

Compare that to Vietnam or WWII or the Civil War - photographers showed both the victories of their side, and the carnage and horror; leaving us with a much better historical picture.

Granted... social media is not usually of the nature that needs a war correspondent (excepting Iran and the Arab Spring)...

But... issues like TOS changes, privacy concerns, CEO-psychotic behavior, criticism, and so on... will get different treatment from a neutral party than one who is dependent for access.

All an embedded reporter does is smokescreen people away from feeling a need to look for a real source.
- Its a PR device, hiding as journalism.

Hamlet Au

"Much more violent, much less glossed over."

That's not always the case -- check out *Generation Kill*, by a Rolling Stone embed. It's probably the most read Iraq reportage by an embedded journalist, and conveys all the horror and brutality of the experience.

DMC Jurassic

There's no denying the benefits of media coverage for a business, however, how do embedded journalists remain impartial?

Hamlet Au

By writing about what the users do with social media, versus writing about the social media company itself. Obviously it's impossible to be completely impartial, but if it's done that way, the company's involvement is kept at a minimum (unless the users' story becomes indirectly *about* them, like the Tea Party revolt I wrote.)

Ziki Questi

Check your headline. Apparently all blogs should have proofreaders. :)

Hamlet Au

HAMLET HULK NOT ALWAYS CLEAR ON PLURAL AND SINGULAR CORRESPONDENCE! HULK THANK ZIKI FOR POINTING OUT!

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Wagner James Au
Wagner James "Hamlet" Au
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