Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stars and Stripes Reporter Request For Embed Denied; Paper Says It's Censorship

Editors of the newspaper distributed to all U.S. troops say it has been censored by military brass because of what one reporter has previously written about the U.S. occupation in Iraq. Heath Druzin asked to be imbedded with the U. S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division in Mosul, but the Army said no, referencing an article Mr. Druzin had published about local lack of support for the continued U.S. presence in Mosul. 

The paper quotes an Army public affairs person as saying,

“Despite the opportunity to visit areas of the city where Iraqi Army leaders, soldiers, national police and Iraqi police displayed commitment to partnership, Mr. Druzin refused to highlight any of this news,” Major Ramona Bellard, a public affairs officer, wrote in denying Druzin’s embed request.

Bellard also alleged that Druzin used quotes out of context, “behaved unprofessionally” and persisted in asking Army officials for permision to use a computer to file a story during a communications-blackout period. 

The Army did suggest Mr. Druzin could be embedded with another unit. Stripes denies the allegations about Mr. Druzin. Read the Stars and Stripes story here. It lists several other stories that it alleges the Army has criticized. Read a CNN story here.

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