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Embedded Reporting in Iraq War

Embeds or In-beds? – An analysis of the role of embedded reporting in the coverage of the 2003 Iraq War

Award Holders: Justin Lewis and Terry Threadgold

Funder: BBC

Based at: JOMEC

Period: June 2003 to October 2003

The aim of the research was to explore the media coverage of the 2003 Iraq War, with a particular emphasis on the role of embedded reporters. It is informed by an analysis of the production, content and reception of the broadcast coverage of the war with Iraq. This involved:

  • Interviews with key actors in the broadcast coverage, such as reporters, editors and heads of news departments, as well as key personnel with the Ministry of Defence and the Pentagon.
  • An extensive analysis of the broadcast coverage during the war, with a particular focus on the role of embedded reporters.
  • A series of focus group interviews with members of the public about the coverage, presented in the context of a survey of attitudes also conducted by Cardiff University

The research team included Professor Justin Lewis, Professor Terry Threadgold, Dr Rod Brookes, Nick Mosdell, Kirsten Brander, Sadie Clifford, Ehab Bessaiso and Zahera Harb.


Too Close for Comfort?: The role of embedded reporting during the 2003 Iraq war: Summary report published by Cardiff University, 2004.

Lewis, J., Brookes, R., Mosdell, N. & Threadgold, T. (2006) Shoot First, Ask Questions Later: Media Coverage of the 2003 Iraq War. Peter Lang. ISBN 0-8204-7418-5