Friday, October 14, 2005

The Embed

"I've returned to Iraq.

People ask how journalists get embedded. This seems a fair moment for synopsis of some firsthand experience.

The process begins with an application to the Combined Press Information Center (CPIC). This is simple to complete with emails. If a journalist works for a credible media organization, and can pass some kind of background check—quick and transparent—in all likelihood, CPIC will instruct the applicant to fly to Kuwait.

My second application for an embed was recently declined, a process from which I learned that simple is not always straightforward. For me, one of the sharp turns came just before the intersection of independence and affiliation. Although the guidelines for embedding with the military stipulated an affiliation with a media organization, I was previously embedded, for more than eight months, as a completely independent writer.

For some reason, this time my independent status caught up on a snag and seized the embed machinery. Some have speculated that dispatches like "Proximity Delays" might have brought deliberate, even disgruntled, scrutiny to my work, but whether or not there's merit to that claim does not alter that I did not have a formal affiliation with any media organization."
Michael Yon


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