Aug 28, 2009

Rated and rejected

The U.S. Army now acknowledges that it rejected reporters applying to embed with military units based in part on the ratings developed by the Rendon Group.

From Star and Stripes:
“If a reporter has been focused on nothing but negative topics, you’re not going to send him into a unit that’s not your best,” Maj. Patrick Seiber, spokesman for the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, told Stars and Stripes. “There’s no win-win there for us. We’re not trying to control what they report, but we are trying to put our best foot forward.” ...

In at least two instances, Seiber said, he rejected embed requests based partly on what he read in the profiles — once because a reporter had allegedly done "poor reporting" and once because a journalist reportedly had violated embed rules by releasing classified information. The latter allegation, if true, would have been grounds for automatic denial of an embed request even in the absence of the profile.

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