Embedded reporters: We don't feel used

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As a rule, said embedded reporters speaking on a panel in Washington, D.C., Monday,
the exercise was a journalistic success and they did not feel used by the
Pentagon.

At a National Associations of Broadcasters Education Foundation seminar , they agreed that it was often like being the second dog in a sled
team (all you see is the rear end in front of you), but their job had not
been to show the big picture, but to tell the stories of the soldiers attached
to those backsides.

While saying he couldn't help but empathize with the soldiers with whom he
was embedded, Aaron Katersky of KTRH(AM) Houston said he didn't feel used.

Greg Jarrett of KGO(AM) in San Francisco agreed, saying he came upon relatively few negative
stories, but he would have done them without hesitation.

He also said that because most of his tape gear broke down, a lot of his
reporting was live and would have been impossible for the military to censor.

Byron Pitts of CBS said the question of whether the media was giving the Bush
administration a free ride was a legitimate one to ask, but because the war
went well and didn't last long, the media didn't have to answer some of those
tough questions.

It did have to face some tough situations, though. He recalled one
occasion when someone commented with relief on hearing that he had come under
only "small arms" fire, and Pitts had responded: "They're not throwing Tic Tacs at
us."

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