Shooting Death: Kevin Sites and the Siege of Fallujah

In an age of instantaneous, 24/7, and live news coverage, in an age of SoJos (solo journalists, who travel with their own cameras, satellite phones, and blogs), how can news reporting from the battlefield still be controlled? With the rise of digital new media in 2002, this particular challenge has confronted many militaries. Our micro documentary offers a rare glimpse into the world of war reporting in today’s transformed media landscape.

Kevin Sites is an American author and freelance journalist, spending nearly a decade covering global wars and disasters for ABC, CNN, NBC, and Yahoo! News. He is considered the ‘granddaddy’ of solo (or backpack) journalism, helping blaze the trail for intrepid reporters who work alone, carrying only a backpack of portable digital technology to shoot, write, edit, and transmit multimedia reports from the world’s most dangerous places. His first book,<sup> </sup><i>In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars</i> (Harper Perennial-October 2007), shares his effort to put a human face on global conflict by reporting from every major war zone in one year. He is now a professor at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong teaching bachelor and masters programmes.

In 2004, Kevin Sites embedded with US Marines as a freelance war reporter for NBC in Iraq. During the siege of Fallujah, the biggest battle fought by the US military since Vietnam, he shot footage of a gruesome incident in which a US Marine shot and killed a wounded Iraqi captive lying on the floor of a Mosque. This film, drawing on the original footage (courtesy of Kevin Sites), retells the incident of the Mosque shooting and its aftermath, of what happened to the video footage, and how it was or was not reported in the media across the globe. The episode raises questions over the politics of war reporting, modern day (self-) censorship, the ethical responsibilities of those covering conflicts on the ground, and the importance of visual footage in our news streams.

This micro documentary was filmed and produced by Peter Mantello and Sebastian Kaempf, who tracked down Kevin Sites in Boston in 2010.  Edited by Ali Rae and Ben Walker.

6 thoughts on “Shooting Death: Kevin Sites and the Siege of Fallujah

  1. Critical Blog – Isobel Whittle

    Word count: 1430 words

    TheVisionMachine’s Kevin Sites: Shooting Death is a micro-documentary accompanied by a textual synopsis contextualizing the film within a discussion of the control of news reporting within a transformed media landscape. The micro-documentary consists of an interview with American author and journalist Kevin Sites, featuring clips of video footage from the Iraqi battlefield. Sites’ recounting of his experience as an embedded journalist in Fallujah gives insight to the mechanisms producing US media’s sanitized narrative of warfare. The micro-documentary’s central claim posits that the US media coverage of war undermines democratic principles as it does not adequately impart to the US public an understanding of the true nature of war and its human costs. The central claim is supported through discussions of: the power of imagery in its depiction of warfare, characteristics of the embedded journalism system that serve to produce a sanitized vision of conflict and the present media landscape’s consumer demands. This essay argues that Kevin Sites:Shooting Death presents convincing and valid claims from a relevant source , although occasionally the micro-documentary’s messages may have been strengthened with greater discussion on certain issues and reference to an alternative source.

    The micro-documentary persuasively discusses the power of images to effect public perception of conflict. Sites refers a censored version of his video footage of a marine shooting a wounded insurgent in Fallujah; broadcast by US media. He contends that the censored version misinformed the US public as to the implications of the marine’s actions and more broadly distorted the public’s understanding of the US’ conduct of war in Iraq. The micro-documentary strengthens Sites’ insights through providing viewing of the censored and uncensored footage. His claims regarding the necessity of imagery to convey adequate understandings of conflict are supported by the relevant literature. There is a general consensus among scholars that images have a power to effect emotional response that written sources do not, exemplified by Sontag’s assertion that “photographs can…teach us to feel across global distances, establish…a proximity to suffering” (Butler 2005:223). Further, Sites’ discussion of the censorship of the video and its failure to provide a accurate understanding of the shooting indirectly acknowledges to the misplaced perception as acknowledged in the literature that images give an objective account; exemplified by Butler’s assertion: “Photographs…offer us only fragmented or disassociated truths”(Butler 2005:223).

    A key point convincingly posed by Kevin Sites: Shooting Death is that the embedded journalism system, appears to promote transparency in warfare by giving an ‘uncensored view’ but has been designed to produce a sanitized depiction of conflicts. This claim was advanced through Sites’ retelling of his experience in Fallujah as journalist embedded with a military unit, producing footage according to the Pentagon’s rules. The micro-documentary’s briefly acknowledges, through Sites’ comments, that there is a focus on “exciting” firefights but a lack of coverage of broader issues such as the consequences of the attrition of war (VisionMachine 2014). This alludes to the consensus within relevant literature that the embedded journalism system frames warfare in a way that produces a ‘soda straw view’ (Katovsky and Carlson 2003:22). Such a view is characterised, according to Tumber and Palmer by “very rich but very narrow coverage” (Tumber and Palmer 2004:16). This claim was supported by clips of Sites’ video footage from Iraq. However this claim would have been strengthened had it been explicitly acknowledged, as done within the literature, that the purposes of this ‘zooming in’ was designed by the US government to politically disengage the US public from questions regarding the “objectives for which the war machine should be used” (Stahl 2010:43).

    The micro-documentary’s argument that the embedded journalism system facilitates journalists’ identification with the military and therefore provides motivation for journalists to self-censor would have been strengthened with reference to additional sources and considerations. Sites alleges that the embed system produced a bond between journalist and military that could serve to influence the coverage of the war produced; to the extent the press may become a “propaganda tool”, noting “at the very least, you [journalists] try to be fair” (VisionMachine 2014). This is supported by the consensus within the literature that the “reporter literally traded in the trench-coat for a standard issue uniform” and came naturally to “using the identifying language of ‘we’ when speaking of the military” (Stahl 2010:42). The extent of this bond is implicitly explored through three aspects of the micro-documentary. Firstly, Sites’ discussion of his fear of causing harm to the US military’s reputation when deciding whether to release the footage of the marine shooting a wounded insurgent – to the degree he was considering destroying the recording. Secondly, the revelation that Sites and NBC decided to screen a censored version of the footage in question. Thirdly, Sites’ failure to more explicitly acknowledge the implications of the marine’s shooting of a wounded insurgent – particular to violation of the rules of war, instead merely finding that the footage depicted the US military in a “not exactly flattering” light (VisionMachine 2014). However, the micro-documentary may have strengthened its claims here had it made reference to an additional (less inherently biased) source and more explicitly acknowledged the extent the influence the bond between military unit and journalist has upon war reporting.

    Kevin Sites: Shooting Death accurately implicates the demands of the new digital media landscape as facilitating the embedded journalism system’s production of sanitized and insubstantial reporting of conflict. Firstly, Sites asserts in the interview that the audience does not wish to be confronted with the realities of conflicts and their government’s actions in wartime; which provides motivation for media networks to not broadcast graphic images. This assertion, though corroborated within the literature (Zelizer 2008:20), would have been strengthened if there more explicit reference to the dominant scholarly understanding that there is societal expectation in times of national crisis the press supports government policy (Williams 2003:52, Carruthers 2011:31). This is merely alluded to vaguely in the micro-documentary; with Sites revealing every US news network used the censored version of his footage. Strengthening of this claim may have been achieved had the micro-documentary engaged with an alternative, more objective source. Secondly, Sites validly claims that in the new digital media landscape the audience demands instanteous and experiential news coverage. He implies this demand is conducive the anecdotal and ‘soda straw’ footage produced by the embedded journalism system that the government promotes as unfiltered. This claim is consistent with a dominant belief in relevant literature (Katovsky and Carlson 2003:68), as exemplified by Hoskins understanding that demands for “experiential news” allows reporters to relate little of substance of their audience (Stahl 2010:45). Thirdly, while discussing his decision as to whether it was the correct choice to share the censored version of the footage he captured in Fallujah, Sites acknowledged a commonly shared scholarly understanding that the press avoids showing “gratuitous violence” (VisionMachine 2014), exemplified by Taylor’s claim “the press errs on the side of caution in depicting death and destruction”(Campbell 2004:54).

    Through providing insight into mechanisms producing a sanitized depiction of war in the media, the micro-documentary effectively strengthens its central argument that this particular media coverage of war fails to adequately inform the US public; therefore undermining democratic principles. The micro-documentary problematizes the production of sanitized images of conflict through Sites’ assertion he had failed the US public by not revealing the realities of the Iraq war by condoning NBC’s release of censored version of his video footage from Fallujah. Sites’ understanding that such censorship undermines democratic principles is supported within the literature, exemplified by Eldman’s assertion that “[the function of the media in wartime] is not to inform a democratic citizenry and enable them to form educated opinions about events, but rather mobilize the public in support of…government policies” (Williams 2003:61). The detriment resulting from a censored depiction of warfare is inferred from Sites’ question that “even if you protect your people, what is it worth if you are not protecting your principles?” (VisionMachine 2014), and validated by support from current literature (Anden-Papadopouslos 2009:924). For example, Stahl alleges consequent of the media’s production of a ‘clean’ war in the 1991 Gulf conflict “the sacrificial lamb was the American public. Along with diversity of perspectives so disappeared the oxygen of democracy” (Stahl 2010:78).

    Kevin Sites: Shooting Death offers unique and persuasive insights in regard to the control of news reporting of war in a transformed media landscape. During his interview Sites makes a number of valid claims corroborated by relevant scholarly works. However, due to Sites’ position as an embedded journalist and the focus of the micro-documentary, claims may have been strengthened had there been reference to an alternative source and further discussion of certain points.

    Reference List

    Anden-Papadopoulos, Kari. 2009. ‘Body horror on the internet: US soldiers recording the war in Iraq and Afghanistan’. Media Culture Society 31(6):921-938.

    Butler, Judith. 2005. ‘Photography, War, Outrage’. PMLA 120(3):822-827.

    Campbell, David. 2004. ‘Horrific Blindness: Images of Death in Contemporary Media’. Journal for Cultural Research 8(1):55-79.

    Carruthers, Susan. 2011. The Media At War, 2nd ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Griffin, Michael. 2004. ‘Picturing America’s “War on Terrorism” in Afghanistan and Iraq: Photographic motifs as news frames’. Journalism 5(4): 381-402.

    Katovsky, Bill and Carlson, Timothy. 2003, Embedded: The Media at War in Iraq. Conneticut: The Lyons Press.

    Stahl, Roger. 2010. Militainment, Inc: war, media and popular culture. New York: Routledge.

    The Vision Machine. 2014. Shooting Death: Kevin Sites and the Seige of Fallujah. Accessed 23rd September 2015. Available at: http://thevisionmachine.com/2014/01/shooting-death-kevin-sites-fallujah/.

    Tumber, Howard and Palmer, Jerry. 2004. Media at War:The Iraq Crisis. London: SAGE Publications.

    Williams, Paul. 2003. ‘The new media environment, internet chatrooms and public discourse after 9/11’. In War and the media: reporting conflict 24/7, ed. D. Thussu and D. Freedman. New York: Routledge.

  2. The Vision Machine presents Shooting Death: Kevin Sites and the Siege of Fallujah, an insight into embedded journalism and the impact and usage of imagery and censorship within a democracy throughout war according to Kevin Sites. Kevin Sites’ main critical claim throughout the mini-documentary regarding his time as an embedded journalist within Fallujah, is that journalists are faced with the dichotomous challenge of seeking and reporting the truth in order to avoid misinforming the public of the actions carried out by their own military personnel. However there is also the expectation that the journalist will minimise harm and the risk of detrimental impacts to both the nation and the military by maintaining the sanitised communication of America’s role in Iraq, thus “we see the two sides operating in mutually beneficial or even collusive ways” (Steel, 2011, p. 51). This essay will prove that Kevin Sites approach to embedded journalism as a problematic notion of equilibrium between the democratic right to view the explicit actions of their own military within the warzone – questionable or not – and the potential consequences is extremely challenging due to censorship and ignorance. However even though Kevin Sites suggest that unjust actions must be made aware of to the American public, he lacks substantial evidence and does not does not take into account other influential factors. It will also become clear that “what Americans saw from Fallujah was determined by their news source” (Perlmutter & Major, 2004, p. 72), even though Sites suggests this, the pre-existing literature surrounding embedded journalism adds further dimensions to his claims. Kevin Sites communicates by the event in a mosque in Fallujah that “embedding was designed to improve press/military relations be allowing reporters to tell the soldiers’ story” (Fahmy & Johnson, 2005, p. 301), yet it has become evident that embedded journalism is a multifaceted conception, providing insight into many perceptions of war.

    Kevin Sites’ perspective conveys a close message to that of the existing literature surrounding embedded journalism, censorship and the communicated imagery of war. In general, the process of embedded journalism is one, which Froneman and Swanepoel consider, the immersion of journalists into coalition forces and military units (Froneman & Swanepoel, 2004). However as Sites clearly outlines this is due to the expectation for the news media to provide a seductive image of war – a snapshot of action, a distraction from the collateral damage occurring in civilisations. As Sites illustrates, even though “independent, unbiased third parties” (Froneman & Swanepoel, 2004, p. 24) are employed “[to] tell us the true stories” (Froneman & Swanepoel, 2004, p. 24) the snapshots of marines in battle, continue to communicate a character of heroism and their actions are rarely questioned as the audience avoids all considerations that military personnel are not carrying out just war. In line with the pre-existing literature, Sites depicts embedding to consider various guidelines and in consideration of consequential reactions, politically and militarily, therefore “embedding may be…influenc[ing] news coverage” (Pfau, et al., 2005, p. 469). Sites expresses the public is rarely shown the consequences of the battles, the bloodshed in the country of occupation, only what are sold to be the heroic deeds of the army and therefore their actions are continuously justified as represented by Dodson: “the horrors of multiple civilian killings are elided, replaced with rationalisation and humanisation of the soldier’s action.. rather than posing deeper questions about… the degree of care taken by the invading forces or the wider implications of violence on civil society, normalise the extreme violence of military operations while nonetheless conveying the ‘‘reality’’ of the situation” (Dodson, 2010, p. 110). Kevin Sites reflects, the constant struggle to report the truth when the broader audience does not want to hear this. He questions this false reality and explains that the public is more attracted to the images of heroism and courage than the refugees, the pain and overall the destruction. This is supported by the literature, as only a “snapshot” of combat” (Pfau, et al., 2005, p. 473) is shown as many authors argue that “embedding meant only a slice of the war could be reported while the broader picture of the war was lost, and that the military version of the war was the only one feature” (Fahmy & Johnson, 2005, p. 301). Sites accurately represents war as a narrow field for those distanced from the warzone. His central message of the dichotomous challenge between truth and censored truth is corroborated in the literature.

    During Kevin Sites’ short interview, he mentions the common phenomenon of nationalistic bonding, which Fahmy and Johnson describe as “social penetration theory” (Fahmy & Johnson, 2005, p. 470). This occurs when “embedded journalists develop relationships with the troops they are covering and they “become fully integrated in to military command structures” (Fahmy & Johnson, 2005, p. 470). Sites eludes to the fact that different opinions are generally overruled by the sense of nationalism. Kevin Sites does not justly signify the importance of such an aspect as critiques have written that “journalists may grow “so close to the troops…that they cannot be impartial” (Fahmy & Johnson, 2005, p. 470) and therefore, the literature provides more in depth evidence than Sites. If considered further, there is the potential for reasoning the particular behaviour of the soldier in which carried out the shooting in the particular mosque as a conditioning of othering due to the nationalism within the military units and nationalistic and patriotic marine culture. As a result to this anticipated behaviour minority of embedded journalists reveal the unjust events practised by the American Army through their work. Kevin Sites remains one of very few whose experiences and viewings are communicated to the American public.

    Lastly, the dichotomous relationship that Kevin Sites outlines throughout the mini-documentary is illustrated through the overall impression of the effect of censorship on a democratic nation. Kevin Sites, reveals his intentions throughout the journalistic process to remain objective as the journalist is there to do a job for the democracy. His question to whether the security of the nation overrides the principles of the nation of democracy, is frequently by the literature. Dodson highlights that “professional war journalism becomes concerned with articulating uncritical and, at times, favourable accounts of military actions, which at once remain both professionally based on “hard facts” of military information and interviews but which do not lead to direct confrontation with the military” (Dodson, 2010, p. 103). Sites’ ideal of democratic and free press is similarly expressed within literature on the matter, as writers argue that “the role of journalists when covering wars is to operate purely as independent and impartial witnesses to events, which they report back as accurately as they can. It is not their job to promote peace or to act as a propaganda tool of their national government or… military” (Gunter, 2009, p. 45). It is rare to witness the news media provide full details or coverage of an event as seen in the Kevin Sites documentary, and this is further reinstated by (Dodson) as “the journalisation of the military is the process by which military strategic intent is normalised and humanised by up close, sympathetic…coverage of military operations” (Dodson, 2010, p. 100). This supports the neglect to democratic ideals as censorship restricts the general public from viewing actions committed by their own personnel. Sites explains that the Pentagon considers embedded journalism to present a positive narrative of war and combat. This is proven by Dodson as “the professional media’s own predilections for drama, visual spectacle and immediacy limited the potential for critical embedded perspectives” (Dodson, 2010, p. 105). According to Kevin Sites this restriction is not the way that democracy works.

    To conclude, after watching the interview documentary of Kevin Sites it is clear that “a lot of anecdotal evidence…remains unpublished” (Froneman & Swanepoel, 2004, p. 40). As even though embedded journalism has the potential to “provide first-hand reports in real time about the war, giving a clearer sense of the horrors” (Fahmy & Johnson, 2005, p. 302), Kevin Sites’ dichotomous impossible equilibrium remains alive – the desire to present the truth to the public, a democratic right, however restricted by the necessity to please the audience – in America. It has become evident that Sites does not provide a broad horizon of evidence, nevertheless through his illustration of the occurrences within Fallujah, the transparency that he urges for, in Perlmutter and Major’s words, would be “good for journalism” (Perlmutter & Major, 2004, p. 71) as “we [are]…owed photographic as well as print reporting of what took place” (Perlmutter & Major, 2004, p. 72).

    References

    Dodson, G., 2010. Australian Journalism and War. Journalism Studies, 11(1), pp. 99-114.

    Fahmy, S. & Johnson, T. J., 2005. “How We Performed”: Embedded Journalists Attitudes and Perceptions Towards Covering the Iraq War. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 82(2), pp. 301-318.

    Froneman, J. D. & Swanepoel, T., 2004. Embedded journalism – more than conflictreporting issue. Communicatio, 30(2), pp. 24-35.

    Gunter, B., 2009. The Public and Media Coverage of the War on Iraq. Globalizations, 6(1), pp. 41-60.

    Perlmutter, D. D. & Major, L. H., 2004. Images of Horror From Fallujah. Neiman Reports, 58(2), pp. 71-74.

    Pfau, M. et al., 2005. Embedded Reporting During the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq: How the Embedding of Journalists Affects Television New Reports. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 49(4), pp. 468-487.

    Steel, J., 2011. Journalism and the Democratic Imperative. In: Journalism and Free Speech. Florence: Routledge, pp. 42-58.

    The Vision Machine. 2014. Shooting Death: Kevin Sites and the Seige of Fallujah. Accessed 23rd September 2015. Available at: http://thevisionmachine.com/2014/01/shooting-death-kevin-sites-fallujah/.

  3. POLS3512 Written Critical Blog

    TheVisionMachine’s spotlight – ‘Shooting Death: Kevin Sites and the Siege of Fallujah’

    TheVisionMachine’s spotlight ‘Shooting Death: Kevin Sites and the Siege of Fallujah’, examines the growing ethical conundrum war journalists face due to instantaneous news coverage. Kevin Sites, an embedded journalist with the United States (US) Marines in Iraq during the Siege of Fallujah, explains through this spotlight what he argues as the greatest challenge facing today’s journalists: the “geopolitical see-saw” (TheVisionMachine 2014). This ‘see-saw’ constitutes the central argument, suggesting that whilst journalists face a demand to retain their democratic values and promote free speech through reporting the reality of war, this demand is quickly conflicted when faced with reporting a truth which may have negative ramifications on their nation and it’s military. Employing a short interview with Sites alongside Sites’ Iraqi visual footage, this central claim is reinforced through discussions surrounding: ethical war reporting using embedded journalism, and the practice of censoring material. Following an analysis of these two key issues, as well as recommendations, this essay contends that TheVisionMachine’s spotlight presents legitimate arguments reinforced by existing literature. However, the addition of supporting perspectives would have validated the spotlight’s central claim.

    Ethical War Reporting and Embedded Journalism

    Throughout the micro-documentary, Sites makes explicit reference to the pressure war reporters face in upholding a specific code of ethics: seek and report the truth whilst minimising damage to the reputation of their homeland. However, as Sites’ experience uncovers, the balance between maintaining this ethical code is increasingly difficult due to instant media coverage and political pressures. As Ibrahim, Pawanteh, Peng Kee, Basri, Hassan and Mahmud (2011: 3) concur, journalists are pressured to impart information responsibly to the audience whilst abiding by such ethical values, with the public entrusting reporters to be honest observers and interpreters. Although as Sites’ story demonstrates, the pressure of reporting the truth whilst remaining patriotic was severely challenged when he found himself filming a US Marine unlawfully shooting a wounded Iraqi insurgent. Froneman and Swanpoel (2004: 33) corroborate Sites’ argument, noting that political pressures easily impede on journalist’s abilities to sustain a neutral approach to reporting, which is vital for ensuring unbiased reports and enabling citizens to make informed decisions about foreign interventions. However, the spotlight furthers discussion surrounding the issue of maintaining ethical conduct when faced with the challenges of the embedded journalism process, arguing the nature of embedding as preventing truthful war coverage and perpetuating a sanitised, seductive image of war and military involvement (TheVisionMachine 2014). Banham (2013: 606) elaborates that whilst the US government and military initially saw journalism as a hindrance, often swaying public support of international interventions (as was displayed in Vietnam), the method of embedded journalism, in which journalists live amongst soldiers, has resulted in the US military recognising the importance of involving the media for advancing military objectives. Sites particularly contends embedded journalism as a “propaganda tool” (TheVisionMachine 2014), proclaiming that during his embedding with the US Marines in Fallujah, he became indebted to the soldiers and relations of mateship and comradery were forged, making the release of his controversial footage more challenging. Froneman and Swanpoel (2004: 24) reinforce Sites’ dilemma, arguing that because embedded journalists rely on the soldiers for survival in violent situations, embedded journalists are often faced with the problem of conflicting interests – whether to provide the raw footage whilst appearing unpatriotic and disrespectful towards the soldiers, or censor the footage to avoid negative repercussions at the expense of democracy. Consequently, recognising the ethical difficulties faced by reporters, the US government and military have worked to get journalists on their side (Hoskins and O’Loughlin 2010: 38), a factor which Griffin (2010: 7) depicts has resulted in visual coverage of US military interventions appearing overly nationalist and glamorised, with footage of death and overt violence being avoided. Sites reinforces this, arguing that embedded war journalists are instructed to film shoot-outs and gun fire, however avoid reporting on long-term issues likely to instigate public concern, including refugee camps; a reality to war. Consequently, the spotlight reinforces existing literature regarding the severity of the ethical dilemmas faced by war reporters, particularly those involved in the embedding process, of the need to balance democratic duties whilst maintaining respect for one’s nation and military. However, the issue of censoring material further perpetuates the challenge for journalists to balance this ethical code of conduct.

    Censoring Material

    The spotlight makes explicit claims regarding the role censoring footage plays on perpetuating the ethical divide contemporary war reporters confront. Sites’ explains how he worked with the NBC to (self) censor his footage of the Fallujah mosque shooting, in which war crimes were apparent. The micro-documentary details how journalists are often forced to censor material due to graphic content potentially distressing audiences. Palmer (2015: 231) reinforces this, arguing that whilst violent and bloody imagery is often omitted due to audience concerns, this simultaneously prevents journalists from reporting truthfully. Additionally, as Sites’ explains, viewers of war reporting are often seduced into the inherent violence and drama of conflict. Ibrahim et al. (2011: 4) concur, depicting that the method of footage censoring, whilst being employed to eradicate graphic imagery of blood-spilling and body bags, concurrently conceals important information from the public domain. Sites’ dilemma detailed in the spotlight is therefore reinforced by literature, in that because the interests of the American public is swayed towards the heroic, humanitarian side of war and seeing their nation acting lawfully abroad, journalists are occasionally forced to ruin the integrity of their reports. However, Sontag (2003: 7) disputes that ethical reporters must ensure that their reports provide a lens into the truth of war. Only through providing a myriad of shocking war footages can such mediums work to accuse perpetrators and alter unethical conduct (Sontag 2003: 72). Sites’ justifies his actions with regards to the Siege of Fallujah, arguing that due to his participation in a network ‘pool’, in which reporters share footage from the war zone with international news networks, he presented networks with both the raw and censored footage, allowing them to decide what to show to their local audience. Nonetheless, commercial considerations with selling a story, alongside viewer discretion, are often prioritised over providing a truthful report (Froneman and Swanpoel 2004: 24). Consequently, Griffin (2010: 31) reinforces that censoring is a disservice to the public, as was conveyed by Sites’ spotlight. Sites confirms that whilst his job was to report the reality of war, by not providing the American public with the full video and context, Sites failed to fulfil his democratic duty, resulting in significant public confusion and concern. Sites discussion regarding censoring material demonstrates the ethical conundrum war reporters face, an issue which is further strengthened by existing literature. However, to further validate the spotlight’s argument, several recommendations should be considered.

    Recommendations

    Sites’ main argument is reinforced by discussions of sub-themes, which are in turn verified through contemporary literature. However, as Buchanan (2011: 102) argues, embedded journalists are often utilised for propaganda purposes, therefore making it important to look to contrasting perspectives for further explanations. The employment of the soldier’s perspective who was depicted as shooting the insurgent in Sites’ footage, would work to clarify the soldier’s motives as well as any pressures faced by soldiers to fulfil a patriotic role. As reinforced by Sontag (2003: 8), ethical journalism must portray a variety of perspectives, to prevent silences in opinion and allow informed audience decisions. Subsequently, the spotlight’s claim would have benefited from the additional perspectives of other war reporters, who have potentially faced a similar dilemma to Sites. This inclusion would confirm the issues experienced by Sites whilst also emphasising the significance of this issue in the journalism discipline. Finally, an examination of the opinions of the public, both in America and overseas, regarding their thoughts on Sites’ footage would have reinforced the validity of Sites’ spotlight. Lazaroiu (2011: 164) concurs the importance of presenting various opinions in highly-emotive situations such as war, and the addition of voices from the public would serve to explain the public’s reaction to Sites’ footage, rather than Sites’ sole explanation.

    Conclusion

    ‘Shooting Death: Kevin Sites and the Siege of Fallujah’ effectively illustrates the dilemma faced by contemporary war reporters; to advocate democratic values through providing audiences with the realities of war, or rather to ensure a positive representation of the nation and its military cohort. This essay has uncovered that due to the spotlight focusing solely on Sites’ experiences as an embedded journalist, the introduction of alternative perspectives would have strengthened the central argument. Nonetheless, Sites makes valid claims regarding this ethical conundrum, as is further validated by existing literature, therefore raising awareness of the challenges and politics of war reporting.

    Word Count: 1,428

    Reference List:

    Banham, Cynthia. 2013. ‘Legitimising war in a changing media landscape’. Australian Journal of International Affairs 67(5): 605-620.

    Buchanan, Paul. 2011. ‘Facilitated news as controlled information flows: The origins, rationale and dilemmas of ‘embedded’ journalism’. Pacific Journalism Review 17(1): 102-118.

    Froneman, J. D. and Thalyta Swanpoel. 2004. ‘Embedded journalism – more than a conflictreporting issue’. Communicatio 30(2): 24-35.

    Griffin, Michael. 2010. ‘Media images of war’. Media, War & Conflict 3(1): 7-41.

    Hoskins, Andrew and Ben O’Loughlin. 2010. War and media: the emergence of diffused war. Cambridge: Polity Press.

    Ibrahim, Faridah, Latiffah Pawanteh, Chang Peng Kee, Fuziah Kartini Hassan Basri, Badrul Redzuan Abu Hassan and Wan Amizah Wan Mahmud. 2011. ‘Journalists and News Sources: Implications of Professionalism in War Reporting’. The Innovation Journal 16(3): 1-13.

    Lazaroiu, George. 2011. ‘The Language of Journalism Ethics’. Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 2011(10): 162-168.

    Palmer, Lindsay. 2015. ‘Outsourcing Authority in the Digital Age: Television News Networks and Freelance War Correspondents’. Critical Studies in Media Communication 32(4): 225-239.

    Sontag, Susan. 2003. Regarding the pain of others. London: Penguin Press.

    TheVisionMachine. 2014. Shooting Death: Kevin Sites and the Siege of Fallujah, January 17, 2014. Accessed 3rd August 2016. Available at: http://thevisionmachine.com/2014/01/shooting-death-kevin-sites-fallujah/.

  4. Reporting on war zones in today’s multimedia jungle is not an easy task; the above video shows just a few of the moral dilemmas faced by journalists in the field today. Kevin Sites is well known for his war time reporting out in the field, and has also written many books on the subject. Although he is extremely experienced, is still not on sure ground when it comes to current journalistic decisions for reporters who are embedded with the military in conflict zones. This article clearly highlights the ethical judgements that journalists frequently have to make. Current literature shows that these judgements and the ethical decisions that journalists have to make are growing, and raises questions of what to show, how to show it, and to whom to show it.

    The proliferation of technology in the field in order to provide visual footage has also created new issues within the world of journalism. The executive editor of The New York Times, Bill Keller, said that ‘photos are trickier than words, because their content is in a large measure emotional, visceral, and because you can’t edit their content.’ (Calvert and Torres 87), and the struggle to properly manage visual material can be seen through Kevin Sites’ decisions about his video footage, as this clip would result in a very visceral reaction from the American public. Another complication to these decisions is that newspapers are a business, and they have to worry about whether or not people will unsubscribe from their services, or if they will be sued for photographs of a dead American soldier (88). As Calvert and Torres states, ‘the ethical obligation of journalists in the United States to report the truth militates at first blush, in obvious favour of publishing images of death during wartime’ (93). However this gore and bloodshed is usually shown through the bloodied bodies of America’s enemies, and not of dead Americans for reasons seen when there was major backlash to a media outlet publishing a photo of a fatally wounded marine (87). A study has shown that war is increasingly becoming more sanitised by the press (96), and the reasons for this censoring can be in part tied to the culture surrounding dead American soldiers in the news in the United States. This showing of only one side’s casualties is part of what is creating a deceived populous, along with the restrictions placed on journalists in the field, as “the mass media provide information that individuals use to form their opinions…[and therefore] without unfettered journalistic access, the public’s ability to form informed opinions is reduced” (Hayes and Reineke 424).

    Kevin Sites’ struggle with the video he shot in Fallujah is depicted in this article as being a very tough time for Sites, which although it would have been, it is not the same to look back and say you wish you had done differently after experiencing backlash. His message above does not sit well when it it thought about in conjunction with his numerous books. Kevin Sites is profiting from the war whether he likes it or not, and he does not face this in his interview. A one-sided depiction of Sites’ personality is shown, and as he atones for some of his past mistakes, he is either unaware or uncaring about his position within the industry that perpetuates the atmosphere in which these blatant disregards for journalistic integrity can occur. This brings into question exactly how deep the ethical dilemma goes for Sites, as he knew perfectly well that it was a flawed system, and yet he still went along with it. Obviously he needed to be embedded in order to keep his job, which arguably kept the public somewhat informed about the war, yet kept them further in dark when it comes to governmental and corporate control that the field of journalism is under. Sites was still unquestionably a part of trying to cover up the murder of a prisoner by an American soldier, and no matter what his rhetoric is in interviews, his actions do not seem like a rage against the machine. Admirably, Sites was concerned about further deaths if his footage was published, however his decision really brings into question whether or not journalists, especially embedded journalists, actually have the capacity to remain neutral and to be able to make ethical decisions.

    Current literature shows that “the ‘embedding’ of journalists in military battalions… are subsequently restricted in the things they can report from the battlefield…[and] constraints on journalist coverage of war-related deaths. For instance, in March 2003 just prior to the beginning of the U.S. war against Iraq, the Pentagon issued a directive indicating that it would not allow news coverage of the processing or transport of the remains of military personnel at air bases, nor would it allow military personnel or contractors to disseminate photographs or video footage of caskets to the media” (423-4). These restrictions on the press spells a terrifying future mediascape for America’s so called democracy. This fist around independent and neutral journalism has been tightening around America’s media sector since the Vietnam War. This tightening was a knee-jerk reaction to the outcomes of the reporting of the war, where “the war that Americans saw on television was…‘almost exclusively violent, miserable, or controversial: guns firing, men falling, helicopters crashing, buildings toppling, huts burning, refugees fleeing, women wailing’” (Carruthers 102). This extremely violent and visceral depiction of the realities of war meant that governments reacted extremely strongly, and censored wars such as “the Falklands War and Grenada invasion demonstrated that military operations in the television age remained a feasible proposition – but only if cameras were kept as far from the action as possible” (130). The actions that were taken included one where “the White House undertook to assemble a special press pool that would accompany American forces into action during any future operation” (130). This was the beginning of the end for independant, unrestrained journalism in war zones, as “the stubborn belief that the media were a menace far more liable to do harm than good on the battlefield remained intact” (131). Reporting was therefore unable to be accomplished as it became clear the level of censoring occurring, as “after the [Gulf] war, journalists were swift to identify a multitude of ways in which their work had been hampered and, to all intents and purposes, censored” (134). Although there was some active censoring, it was “the beauty of the pooling system, amplified by the more thorough-going embedding arrangements instigated in 2003, was that it turned reporters into characters in a highly self-referential martial drama. The fact of being embedded itself became ‘the story, narrated by television journalists decked out in brand new fatigues, surrounded by men in uniform against an exotic desert background” (135). Reporters were no longer reporting solely on the war in front of them, and this changed the very nature of how war was perceived; “this wasn’t war as typically mediated and sanitised, but a radical new departure…if blood looked very red on the television screen, then war must be made to appear bloodless. And so it was” (137). War had suddenly been “sanitised beyond all recognition, it didn’t seem to be a war at all” (137). This sanitisation has been depicting an untruth, and as Hayes and Reineke explores, a misinformed public is comprehensively unable to make proper decisions, especially those decisions of whether to go to war or not. These issues remain extremely necessary to discuss, and yet are left out of Kevin Sites’ conversation. Whilst he acknowledges that there are issues in journalism today, this interview does not address fully the restrictions that are faced. It is obvious that although Kevin Sites may think it possible for him to have made a different decision about his video footage, the way the situation is socially constructed now means that it is quite improbable that journalists will ever make a different decision.

    References:

    Calvert, Clay and Mirelis Torres. “Staring death in the face during times of war: when ethics, law, and self-censorship in the news media hide the morbidity of authenticity.” Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy, no. 25.1, 2011, http://heinonline.org.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/HOL/Page?public=false&handle=hein.journals/ndlep25&page=87&collection=journals

    Carruthers, Susan L. Media at War. 2nd ed. China: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Print.

    Elmore, Cindy. “Stars and Stripes.” Media History, no. 16.3, 2010, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13688804.2010.483092

    Hayes, Andrew F., and Jason B. Reineke. “The Effects of Government Censorship of War Related News Coverage on Interest in the Censored Coverage: A Test of Competing Theories.” Mass Communication and Society, no. 10.4, 2007, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15205430701580581.

  5. The Vision Machine features a blog post and micro documentary by Sebastian Kaempf and Peter Mantello on Kevin Sites the granddaddy of solo journalism and his experience as an embedded war reporter for NBC in Iraq. Sites was primarily involved in the footage of a shooting death in a Mosque of an Afghani man by a U.S marine in the siege of Fallujah. The footage that was captured of this incident put Sites in a compromising position in regards to his ethics as a journalist and accountability to the American people. Embedded journalism plays an important part in the war machine; it holds militaries responsible for their actions while also keeping those far from the conflict aware of the happenings. The media is addicted to constantly providing information in order to fuel the instantaneous news realm present in today’s society. This essay will explore the challenges faced by war reporters based on Sites experience in the field. Journalists are faced with the task of being the fourth estate and serving the public interest while also considering how the content they produce could affect viewers in order to minimize harm. The issue of self-censorship will also be explored to understand its potential flaws.

    Journalists are often confronted with a crisis of consciousness in war reporting. They must decide whether to fulfill their prime directive to seek and report the truth or obey a code of ethics that directs them to minimize harm. Sites explained these two concepts are contradictory to each other and it is not possible to achieve both, as he believes they are mutually exclusive. Therefore journalists are faced with the difficult decision to either report what they see truthfully or protect those they report for. In wartime this decision is amplified with much greater consequences attached (Ibrahim et al. 2011: 3). Sites learnt this the hard way with his footage taken in Fallujah. The public entrusts that journalists remain unbiased and report what they see honestly (Cross 1999: 32). However this is a great challenge with news companies and governments often placing political pressure on reporters that influences their work (Froneman, Swanepoel 2004: 33). This affects what the public views and how they interpret war. A common occurrence sees journalists embedded within the military. This phenomenon invites journalists to live in with the military and follow their everyday activities. These reporters are said to better understand the military experience by being embedded with them in a foreign combat zone (Buchanan 2011: 103). Although journalists have the opportunity to better understand the life of a soldier and their daily struggles and successes, this can influence their reporting to becomes biased (Froneman, Swanepoel 2004: 24). Sites explains that journalists for their safety and welfare rely on soldiers and friendships are forged through the commonalities endured through war. As a result journalists can become sympathetic and this lens distorts their view of the war and how they report it. Buchanan explains there is pull and push factors in embedded journalism. The pull is the military trying to control the news flow while at the same time there is a push by corporate news media for ratings driven reality programming (2011: 104). It is also difficult to report the truth of war to an audience that doesn’t want to see it. Sites enlightens that audiences prefer the drama of combat over what is happening in a refugee camp. Journalist this way become induced by the inherit spectacle of divergence, constantly conflicted about where their loyalty lies. If the preconceived traditional idea of objectivity as a journalist cannot be achieved in today’s media realm, the concept all together cannot be abandoned at the risk of irresponsible and misleading journalism (Tuosto 2008: 22). It is important journalists still uphold their responsibilities assumed by their profession to keep the public informed truthfully especially in instances such as war.

    Another difficult decision journalists face is the use of censorship in their reports. Images or content may be seen as potentially damaging or sensitive where journalists decide to self-censor material. Often news companies also choose to sensor content in order to avoid criticism or repercussion for releasing potentially delicate material (Pew Research Center 2000: 1). However Sites learnt that criticism can also be received by doing the opposite by censoring when the audience requires the full story. He self censored his footage of the shooting death in Fallujah by a US marine on US news platforms by not showing the actual shooting of the insurgent. Sites went to report the truth of the war and did the opposite and created confusion with lack of imagery and vindicated the marine and military by not showing the full footage. He believed what he was doing was appropriate by minimizing the harm, however by doing this he didn’t give the US public an opportunity to see how the military was behaving. Therefore he was not reporting the truth and was betraying his profession and the American people in which he is held accountable to in his duties as a journalist. The media and the military often censor images of graphic nature because they believe audiences cannot handle it (Palmer 2015: 231). However this is the reality of war and by not showing these images, war is being sanitized. Audiences are not able to understand the full essence of what is happening without the full story and are being betrayed by the ones expected to uphold these ideals (Hamill 2004: 30). It is difficult to assess whether content should be censored before being viewed by an audience especially in war where there are many risks attached. Journalists are often faced with challenges of showing sensitive footage or imagery in war due to instances where it may be used as insurgent propaganda or endanger public support for the conflict (Palmer 2015: 230). What is seen in today’s society is what is known as a geo-political seesaw. This is where there is a challenge in society over what takes precedence; the security of the nation, or the principles on which the nation was founded. It is said one cannot exist without the other. However this is why it is important for journalists to maintain that they act as independent observers and report accurately no matter the ramifications.

    Throughout the micro documentary Sites effectively gives insight into the struggles of a war reporter. His argument could have been strengthened with alternate sources that support his claims with similar experiences. Views from the public, military and even government could have been incorporated to give the audience a greater understanding of the issues. Although Sites comments and ideas have been supported with literature used throughout this post, which reinforce the challenges faced by journalists worldwide. Reporters find it difficult to uphold both of their predetermined directives to seek and report the truth while also minimizing harm. While trying to uphold these ideals, self-censorship is raised as an issue by either trying to present the reality of war or protect the government and military from criticism. Journalists now face a multifaceted mediascape where they are confronted with multiple challenges in delivering news in an instantaneous and critical world. The demands required of a reporter in the settings of war are problematic and taxing. These individuals should not be underestimated, as they are tasked with the greatly important duty to keeping the public informed on the events in war.

    References:

    Buchanan, Paul. 2011. ‘Facilitated News as Controlled Information Flows: The Origins, Rationale and Dilemmas of Embedded Journalism’. Pacific Journalism Review 17(1): 102-118.

    Cross, Al. 1999. ‘Losing moral ground’. The Quill 87(3): 32.

    Froneman, J. D. & Swanepoel, T. 2004. ‘Embedded journalism – more than conflictreporting issue’. Communicatio 30(2): 24-35.

    Hamill, Pete. 2004. ‘The War Without Blood’. The Quill 92(7): 24-32.

    Ibrahim, Faridah, Latiffah Pawanteh, Chang Peng Kee, Fuziah Kartini Hassan Basri, Badrul Redzuan Abu Hassan and Wan Amizah Wan Mahmud. 2011. ‘Journalists and News Sources: Implications of Professionalism in War Reporting’. The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal 16(3): 1-13.

    Palmer, Lindsay. 2015. ‘Outsourcing Authority in the Digital Age: Television News Networks and Freelance War Correspondents’. Critical Studies in Media Communication 32(4): 225-239.

    Pew Research Centre. 2000. Self Censorship: How Often and Why. Accessed: 26 October 2016. Available at http://www.people-press.org/2000/04/30/self-censorship-how-often-and-why/.

    Tuosto, Kylie. 2008. ‘The “Grunt Truth” of Embedded Journalism: The New Media/Military Relationship’. Stanford Journal of International Relations 10(1): 20-31.

  6. Over the course of human history, the ways in which wars are fought have changed and evolved with developments in technology. Running parallel to this, is the way in which wars have been reported and documented on. Paintings and songs turned to newspapers and news broadcasts. In the modern era, one of the ways reporting on wars has evolved is through the utilisation of embedded journalism. Embedded journalism involves a journalist who is embedded within a military unit and thus witnesses everything they do from a ground level. This type of journalism became popular following the invasion of Iraq by US military forces in 2003. Kevin Sites was one of those journalists, and the documentary Shooting Death: Kevin Sites and the Siege of Fallujah details an event in which a US soldier was filmed by Sites executing a wounded Iraqi. The way in which this footage was shown and broadcast throughout the world showed how the truth of events can be manipulated. In the documentary, the core point Sites makes is the contrast between a journalist’s role to both “seek and report the truth” and “minimise harm and treat subjects with respect” (The Vision Machine 2014), and how this contrast can result in misinformation and censorship of news that should be reported accurately.
    Sites’ main argument in this documentary is that he has a responsibility to the public to show what he saw. This is a responsibility that is challenged by his other responsibility to respect his subjects and to respect the public who will be viewing the footage. This first responsibility is significant; images and video can be incredibly powerful tools, as they convey messages in a way that words cannot. By showing the US public what he saw, he could change the path that the war would follow and also help in changing the notion that the US were not the fighters of freedom as the government had painted them. However, this responsibility was outweighed by the second: respect the public and minimise harm. This is something that Sites’ struggled with – he himself considered deleting the footage altogether. This can be seen as an effect of embedded journalism; by living and working alongside the soldiers, Sites began to identify and sympathise with them. This is a trend seen in embedded journalism, as Sites claims that another journalist told him to remind himself every day that he is not a soldier. Sites also was worried about the footage causing harm to other US soldiers, or whether it could be used as propaganda. This concern made him consider not releasing the footage at all and question whether the story could work by itself without the footage. Sites eventually concluded, that without the footage, the impact of it would be lost and thus the attention of the US public would not be held for long. However, by releasing the footage both censored and uncensored to the media, Sites unintentionally did just that. Almost every news network chose to show the censored version of the footage, thus detracting significantly from the story. This prevented the American audience from properly seeing the actions of their own military or to fully understand the context of what had happened. By censoring the footage and covering the story with a lack of context or understanding, the American media undermined democratic principles.
    Sites’ claims are not unsubstantiated. The notion that the use of imagery is important in the media, as well as the claims that censorship by the media and the implementation of embedded journalism result in a potential loss of an image’s significance, is well documented in existing literature.
    Images are incredibly important tools that can be used by the media, as their ability to evoke emotion and portray a situation is effective in a way that words fail. Gillian Rose elaborates on this notion, outlining that three tiers make up the proper steps to the analysis of a picture. The first tier is concerned with what the image is composed of; what is shown in the photograph. The second tier is concerned with what potential significance and symbolism lies within the photo, while the third tier is concerned with the implications of the photograph; power relations; what isn’t shown in the photograph and; what political or ethical discourse will unfold as a result of the photograph (Rose 2007). Rose’s intention is to outline what processes are necessary to correctly understand what an image’s effect can be within the media. Sites’ recognises this necessity, as shown by his ultimate decision to release the footage. Other scholars readily acknowledge the role images can play in the media, and, the role images can play in war. James Der Derian states that “More than a rational calculation of interests takes us to war. People go to war because of how they see, perceive, imagine, and speak of others; that is, how they construct the difference of others as well as the sameness of themselves through representation” (Der Derian 2009: 238). Issues arise, however, if this perception of the ‘other’ is shown in a way that does not fully utilise Rose’s processes of analysing an image. This is what occurred when the American media failed to correctly show the footage that Sites’ captured. Judith Butler believes that “If a photograph becomes effective in informing or moving us politically, it is only because the photograph is received within the context of a relevant political consciousness” (Butler 2005: 823). If a photo or video footage is received without the relevant political context, its effectiveness is greatly reduced, which is what occurred in this situation.
    The American media’s decision to censor the footage had the resulting effect in misinforming the American public. Sites believes that by misinforming the public and showing viewers the censored footage, the US media had undermined democratic principles: “The American Audience was not able to see the actions of their own military…to understand the context of his actions” (The Vision Machine 2014). This process of censoring and failing to provide appropriate context meant that Rose’s image analysis could not properly work – the image was not, as Butler states, received within the context of relevant political consciousness and as such failed in its ultimate goal of informing the US public of what happened in Fallujah.
    The US media’s handling of this story is not an isolated incident; the reporting of war is becoming more and more sanitised and clean. The use of embedded journalism in the Iraq war was a deliberate move by the US government, in an attempt to allow journalists to report on the conflict while also portraying the military in a positive light (Tumber and Palmer 2012). The idea of embedded journalism is to give viewers a window into what is really happening at real time. However, embedded journalism often fails to portray the bigger picture of a conflict. Embedded journalism allows for a reporter to show a very in-depth portrayal of a very narrow perspective (Tumber and Palmer 2012), which began to be known as a soda-straw view (Schoenfield 2010). Additionally, by living and working alongside soldiers, Sites began to identify with them and as such became hesitant to release the footage. This is not an isolated incident, in fact the key flaw in embedded journalism is that a reporter will begin to identify and sympathise with the soldiers, thus foregoing their effort to portray the truth of what they are seeing (Tumber and Palmer 2012). Embedded journalism can be seen as an extension of what Der Derian calls ‘virtuous wars’, in which wars are portrayed as clean, humanitarian and hygienic (Virtuous War/Virtual Theory 2009). By promoting this image of stability and therefore keeping death out of sight and out of mind, embedded journalism aimed to “clean up the political discourse” (Der Derian 2009).
    While Sites’ claims are in convention with the broader literature, Sites’ does not actually cite or refer to any of this literature, thus resulting in a weaker argument. Sites’ failure to recognise literature which would strengthen his argument is the core issue with this documentary. He recognises that there was an internal struggle between his desire to show people what is really happening and his desire to protect those he was reporting on. However, Sites failed to cite literature which also claims that embedding “appears to put two of our most important priorities—protecting free speech and preserving national security—into inevitable conflict” (Walton 2003: 27).
    Sites’ claims are substantiated, yet his failure to recognise key literature is his key failing. Images and footage of conflicts are incredibly important to reporting said conflicts in the media; “People will live and die, figuratively and literally, by the power of images” (Der Derian 2009: 247). By failing to properly show the American public what occurred, the media also failed in reporting the truth.

    References
    Butler, Judith. 2005. ‘Photography, War, Outrage’. Modern Language Association. 120(3): 822-827.
    Der Derian, James. 2009. ‘Virtuous War/Virtual Theory’. In Critical Practices in International Theory: Selected Essays, by J. Der Derian: 243-262. London: Routledge.
    Der Derian, James. 2009. Virtuous War: Mapping the Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment Network. London: Routledge.
    Der Derian, James. 2009. ‘Virtuous Wars and Hollywood: The Pentagon wants what Hollywood’s got’. In Critical Practices in International Theory: Selected Essays, by J. Der Derian: 239-243. London: Routledge.
    Rose, Gillian. 2007. Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials. London: Sage Publications.
    Schoenfield, Gabriel. 2010. Warfare through a ‘Soda Straw’. Accessed October 19 2016. Available at http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704895204575321080522272718.
    The Vision Machine. 2014. Shooting Death: Kevin Sites and the Siege of Fallujah. Accessed October 20 2016. Available at http://thevisionmachine.com/2014/01/shooting-death-kevin-sites-fallujah/.
    Tumber, Howard and Palmer, Jerry. 2012. ‘Media at War: The Iraq Crisis’. Sage Knowledge. Accessed October 20 2016. Available at http://sk.sagepub.com.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/books/media-at-war.
    Walton, Lindsay R. 2003. Degrees of Access: Factors Preventing Wide-Scope Coverage of the Iraq War by Embedded Reporters – From “Shock and Awe” to “Mission Accomplished”. Washington D.C.: University of Maryland.


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