Invasion vs occupation: A hierarchy-of-influences analysis of how embeds assess influences and performance in covering the Iraq War

Shahira Fahmy, Thomas J. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Scopus citations


This study aimed to determine how well embedded reporters perceived they covered the Iraq War and whether those attitudes have changed over time. While findings suggested embeds continue to judge their overall performance as positively in 2005/6 as in 2004, respondents largely recognized problems with the embedding process. Data analysis indicated after the official declaration of victory that embedded reporters became significantly less likely to agree that embeds were qualified for their job. Professional values and norms were perceived as the top factors in reporting the war, as suggested in both surveys. Other measures at the individual level were judged as less influential. Further, while journalistic routines were the strongest predictors of embed performance, these factors did not change over time. Embedded reporters identified individual-level factors, extra-media factors and ideological factors as more influential on their reporting after President Bush declared victory in May 2003 than before that declaration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-42
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Communication Gazette
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012



  • Iraq conflict
  • Iraq ground war
  • embed vs unilateral
  • embedded journalism
  • hierarchy-of-influences model
  • media performance
  • occupation of Iraq
  • war coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this