"Shaping the message?" (article, Aug. 24) misrepresents the media embed program that I have overseen since June.
The reporter unfortunately links practices from other theaters to our own. She suggests that public affairs professionals in Afghanistan grant or deny embeds based on a reporter’s history of coverage. That’s simply not true. To imply journalists embedded with our forces only serve to highlight positive aspects of our mission slights professional journalists who regularly embed with our forces and report what they experience, both good and bad.
We facilitate access fairly to all credentialed journalists without bias or prejudice to previous reporting. While journalists do sign ground rules, none dictates the tone of reporting. What we do ask is that reporting be accurate, respect the dignity of our soldiers’ personal lives, and not compromise security.
Rear Adm. Greg SmithDirector of CommunicationInternational Security Assistance ForceKabul, Afghanistan