The New York Times this weekend took up the story of Zoriah Miller, a freelance photographer and blogger who was kicked out of the U.S. military unit with which he’d been embedded after he published photos of dead marines.
Miller told the paper he was ousted this month even though no rule bars embedded photographers from publishing photos of American dead — "I don’t see a clearer definition of censorship," he said. The Times did its own research and found "fewer than a half-dozen graphic photographs of dead American soldiers" published since the start of the war in 2003.
"If the conflict in Vietnam was notable for open access given to journalists — too much, many critics said, as the war played out nightly in bloody newscasts — the Iraq war may mark an opposite extreme," the paper reports. Some news groups told Times reporters Michael Kamber and Tim Arango that they blame tighter restrictions on access to the front lines, in part, for lighter coverage of the war.
Miller was dropped from the Marine unit he’d been following after he posted on his Web site photos of the carnage from a suicide bombing in Anbar Province. Three marines were among the dead.
Embed rules forbid running photos identifying dead marines before their families have been notified, The Times reports; Miller said the members of his unit looked at his photos and couldn’t identify the bodies, and the families were notified three days before he posted them.