Embedded in Iraq: The Evolving Relationship Between the US State and the News Media during Periods of Conflict in post-9/11 America


Sydney Lopez

Class Year


Access Type

Archival Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Media Studies Program

First Advisor

William Hoynes

Second Advisor

Tarik Elseewi


My thesis is an exploration of the evolving relationship between the US State and the news media in periods of conflict, ranging from World War I to the War in Iraq, and how this relationship culminated in the practice of embedded journalism during the War in Iraq. My point of departure for my thesis is understanding the dominant mode of warfare today, a phenomenon known as total warfare, and unpacking how news media has become intrinsically linked to the process of warfare. To gain an understanding of the ways in which media representation is integral to waging war, it is necessary to further unravel the structure of the US news media itself, and see what facets of this system make the US news media useful in the process of waging war. Exploring the evolution of warfare itself, as well as the historical roots of the structure of the news media, and how these two processes have evolved in tandem, is essential to understanding how the system of embedded journalism arose in the Iraq War, in the US’s post-9/11 sociopolitical landscape. My findings are then illustrated through a detailed analysis of embedded journalism during the first five weeks of the invasion of Iraq, from the invasion of March 19, 2003, to the official end of combat operations on May 1, 2003.

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