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The U.S. Military Is Cracking Down on Embedded Photojournalists

 by Danielle Maestretti

Tags: media, Iraq War, photojournalism, war photography, New York Times, Danielle Maestretti,

The New York Times reports that the military is cracking down on photojournalists who take pictures they don’t approve of, in many cases booting photographers from their embeds or keeping them away from combat. “By a recent count,” the article claims, “only half a dozen Western photographers were covering a war in which 150,000 American troops are engaged.”

Chris Hondros, a photographer for Getty Images, was removed from his embed after one of his photos—a haunting image of a hysterical 5-year-old girl whose parents had just been killed by U.S. soldiers—was widely published. (We featured the photo in our May-June issue, with George Packer's essay “Kindness Amid Carnage: The Iraq We Don’t See.”) Hondros did, however, find an embed in a different city.

The military’s embed policies don’t just keep photos of wounded and dead Iraqis out of our newspapers. “After five years and more than 4,000 American combat deaths,” the New York Times reports, “searches and interviews turned up fewer than a half-dozen graphic photographs of dead American soldiers.”