Writing on the Upshot, John Cook has an interesting investigation into “reverse embedding”, a practice “which permits active-duty service personnel to serve as interns in major media companies – sometimes in an editorial capacity”.
The practice is part of the military’s Training With Industry (TWI) programme, which allows military officers to leave the service for up to a year to work for private companies in a wide variety of sectors. But Cook’s article draws attention to the problem with placing officers in media positions, alleging that they may be “gleaning insights and intelligence into how media organisations operate, and perhaps helping to shape the way they cover the military”.
The TWI operation achieved some notoriety in 2000, when Dutch and French media reported that CNN had invited US Army psychological operations soldiers into its newsroom to serve as interns. Embarrassed at having hosted military disinformation specialists, the network acknowledged that it was a mistake and said in a statement that “the intern program was terminated as soon as the leadership of CNN learned of it.”
Now, however, the program appears to have been reactivated – at CNN and elsewhere.
(via Fishbowl NY)