The view from an embed minder

Lt. Col. Paul Fanning writes on the Daily Gazette blog about working with embedded reporters in Afghanistann. Fanning is the Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix Public Affairs Officer with New York National Guard 27th Brigade Combat Team. He documents how he helped three journalists working in Afghanistan; namely Charles Eckert, an agency photojournalist with Newsday, Richard Butler, who works for CBS News and Frontline Club’s John D. McHugh,

I hooked [John] up with our Afghan Regional Integrated Security Command-Central where the commander is a Marine and other Marines, Army, French and others serve as the mentors there. Two of the provinces this command covers is along the border with Pakistan. That is where John wants to go. “I want to embed with Marines,” he said. “I haven’t done that before. I am looking forward to it.” link

It’s well worth a read to get some insight into the ‘silent’ side of the story, the story from the guy who does all the organising. The thoughts of Charles Eckert probably ring true with a number of freelancers, including John,

“Financially this was a personal disaster for me,” he said, referring to the investments he made in equipment, training and travel to get over here. “But it is the most important and best thing I have ever done. This is an incredible story here and its not being told. I just can’t believe that it is going mostly uncovered. I am going to tell this story. I am glad I came.” link

UPDATE: You can watch the discussion with Lord Malloch-Brown here.