xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
WILM: Embedding journalists with military units is a new strategy by the Pentagon to ensure a different kind of reporting. Scott, where are you?

SCOTT CALVERT: I'm with the 101st Airborne Division and we're sitting in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert waiting for orders on when and where we're going, and exactly what we're going to do.

WILM: The subject of embedding journalists has prompted a lot (of comments) pro and con. I'm curious about your overall feelings. How is this going to assist you as a journalist, and what are some of the drawbacks?

SC: So far it's going very well. It's an interesting experiment. There's a (historic) clash between the culture I come from and the military culture, but so far I've had unlimited access to talk to whomever I want to whenever I want to. I'm hearing lots of things that I guess would be considered classified that I'm bound not to report. I signed off on some ground rules that stipulate what I can and can't report. But they're fairly broad in terms of allowing us to tell the stories of these guys who are over here. But nobody has asked to read my copy, there's been no attempt to censor anything. So it's really been a best-case scenario. I've been able to tell their story from here in the desert.

WILM: Is it just U.S. journalists being embedded with the airborne division?

SC: There are some others, but by and large it's American journalists. They have us spread out. I'm with a 700-man battalion and I'm the only reporter here and I have free rein to do as I please. So in that sense, I've got the whole story to myself.

WILM: As you talk to the troops, are they longing for home or are they waiting for it to get under way?

SC: I haven't heard too much in the way of "I'm not for this war." People are probably going to guard thoughts like that pretty closely. But there's a lot of stress. These guys are with each other 24-7, they miss their families, and they might be going to war. It's a difficult environment. But I think they'd like to get the show on the road.

Advertisement
Advertisement