Embed (n.)
Posted: 15 May 2012 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3135
Joined  2007-02-26

Embed, stress on the first syllable, meaning a journalist who has been embedded with a military unit.

“Embedded” and other forms of the verb “embed” in this sense, I associate with the early phases of the Iraq war in 2003, but I don’t recall hearing this as a noun until a couple of years ago. Is it very fresh?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 May 2012 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4789
Joined  2007-01-03

Although most people heard of the practice of embedding journalists with military units from the 2003 war, the OED has this sense of the verb from 1995. The noun dates to at least 2003, but may be older.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 May 2012 05:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  362
Joined  2007-02-13

I could swear I remember talk about embedded journalists during the first Gulf War in 1991.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 May 2012 06:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4789
Joined  2007-01-03

The big talk about journalism during the 1991 war was using restricted press pools and carefully stage-managing where journalists went and what they saw, the opposite of embedding. The practice of embedding journalists came about as a result of the 1991 war when both the Pentagon and the journalists acknowledged that the pool method was a dismal failure that didn’t serve anyone’s interest.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 May 2012 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  650
Joined  2011-04-10

From Media/Military Relations in the United States, Occasional Paper # 10, by Douglas Porch, July 2001:

Writing of the “Gulf War pool system”:

...Ultimately, in the view of media cognoscenti, the Gulf War pool system produced a mediocre product. It seemed to these veteran reporters an undifferentiated pap, distilled from the collective observations of the few journalists allowed into the field, rather than the creative perceptions of individual reporters free to fashion stories out of the raw drama they observed. They thought the journalistic quality of pool stories “depressing. . . . [A]bout one in ten has anything in it that’s useful. . . . It’s really pretty superficial stuff.”37

Pools, therefore, are not popular with the press, which sees them as attempts to limit access and thereby censor, even manipulate, information. The immediate postwar result was the issuance of new guidelines…

Concerning “embedding”:

... Journalists’ objections to the pool system, and the advent of humanitarian operations has seen the revival of “embedded” journalists. American intervention in Bosnia in December 1995 saw the expansion of “embedded media,” a concept that had been experimented with the year before in Haiti....

and:

...In many respects, “embedding” is hardly a novel concept, but revives World War II and Vietnam practices. In Haiti, the less historically-minded re-discovered that “embedded” reporters usually bonded with their units, better understood the difficulties of the military’s missions, and tended to file favorable reports....

.

From Naval War College Review, Winter 2002, Vol. LV, No. 1, “NO BAD STORIES”: The American Media-Military Relationship, by Douglas Porch:

...Wearing the uniforms of officers, journalists joined press camps attached to and moving with combat forces. Print journalists, more or less “embedded” in units, wrote, often poignantly, of the horrors of battle and the suffering of the GIs. Twenty-seven reporters accompanied the D-day assault in Normandy. The precursor of the modern “press pool” emerged among radio correspondents, serving as a “neutral voice” representative of all correspondents....

and:

...Both pools and “embedded reporters” foreshadowed recent practice;…

and:

...The advent of “operations other than war” and journalists’ objections to the pool system revived the concept of “embedded media,” an approach first used in World War II and Vietnam, applied in Haiti in 1994, and expanded for the Bosnia intervention the next year. In this arrangement, a reporter is assigned a unit, deploys with it, and lives with it throughout a lengthy period of operations....

.

I suspect that “embed (n.)” might be found in documents on military/media relations about Hati from 1994 or Bosnia from 1995.

.

I also found “embeddee” in Is Embedded Journalism Really New?, by Tom Engelhardt, Monday, April 7, 2003:

...Looked at in a slightly wider frame, what is the Washington press corps but a set of embeddees, practicing a collusive trade…

...It’s a perfect example of embedded journalism, Washington-style, from a pussycat of an embeddee....

...It evidently didn’t occur to embeddee Bumiller that two people close to the president…

...Sanger is a long-term Washington embeddee and his piece tells us…

...It works so much better when no one bothers to point out to you, no one even thinks that you’re an embeddee....

.

And “embedee” was seen in The War Show, Issue #63, April 2003, ”The War Show, it’s clear, is all about winning. “Truth on the battlefield” is overrated”, by Cynthia Fuchs:

...the Show’s newest and most astounding innovation, the embedded correspondent (also known as the embed or the embedee). Each is assigned to a unit, according to the Pentagon, “living, traveling and going into combat with it....

...At once horrifying and seductive, addictive like The Real World, the War Show invites you to identify with your favorite embedee....

Profile
 
 
   
 
 
‹‹ Just deserts      World music ››