Spinning the war in Iraq?

“Back to Iraq” is a trip organised Vets for Freedom (VFF), an American pro-war group. A band of ex-servicemen with some journalism experience are heading “Back to Iraq” to areas in which they served to report on what they find. But is it journalism? Alex Koppelman on Salon.com has more,

VFF leaders say they chose to have their team members become embedded reporters for journalistic, not financial, reasons. “I think it’s just the most unfiltered, transparent approach,” David Bellavia, [VFF vice chairman] says. “We want to know what these soldiers think.” “It’s not independent journalism,” says Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute. “If I were [VFF], I’d be saying, ‘Gosh, the Army should be paying me PR fees.'” link

The soldier/reporters will be heading variously to Diyala province, Taji, Baghdad, Fallujah, Ramadi, Samarra, Tikrit, Anbar province, Mosul and Balad. You can read their exploits on the Vets for Freedom website and make your own mind up. PR guff or frontline journalism? I think I’d rather stick with the original Back to Iraq blog. There’s a different kind of pedigree over there.