An embedded journalist is a news reporter attached to a military unit involved in a conflict situation. This term arose during media coverage of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, although the concept is hardly new. At the outbreak of war in March 2003, as many as 775 reporters and photographers had signed contracts with the military that allowed them to travel with the military, thus providing them with some degree of protection, but which limited what they could report on. While embedded journalism has been widely lauded for the unprecedented access it allows to the media, some have argued that it leads to distorted or limited reports, where facts are blown up out of all proportion or else obscured.
The independent journalist Dahr Jamail, while he describes himself as an embedded journalist, chose to 'embed' himself with the people of Iraq rather than with the military, seeking to report on "stories of real life" rather than "the usual parroting of US military propaganda". It has been argued that this enabled him to report more freely on the apparent atrocities being committed on a daily basis. Other reporters in Iraq also chose to follow this route, reporting on stories that often went uncovered by journalists attached to the military. War Feels Like War, a film by Esteban Uyarra, tracks independent journalists reporting on the second Gulf War without the benefit- or, perhaps, hindrance- of military affiliation.