UPDATE: Pentagon Reviewing Its Embedded Reporter 'Rating' Practices

By: Joe Strupp The Pentagon is reviewing its recently uncovered practice of rating past work by reporters who are embedded in Afghanistan, according to Stars and Stripes.

The military affairs newspaper revealed Monday that the U.S. military had been rating the positive and negative aspects of reporters covering the military in Afghanistan, a report the Pentagon initially denied.

But the paper responded with what it claimed was documented evidence of the practice.

Today, Stars and Stripes followed with another report quoting a Pentagon spokesman as confirming a review was underway, but still maintaining "that they were not making use of 'positive,' 'negative' and 'neutral' grades assigned to reporters' work by a Pentagon contractor."

"For me, a tool like this serves no purpose and it doesn't serve me with any value," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters, according to the story, which said he responded when several journalists were seeking information about the reports on themselves.

It added that Whitman told them he was inquiring about the issue, but stressed that the Pentagon was not launching any formal inquiry into the matter.

"I haven't seen anything that violates any policies, but again, I'm learning about aspects of this as I question our folks in Afghanistan," Whitman said in the story. "If I find something that is inconsistent with Defense Department values and policies, you can be sure I will address it."

The Pentagon said the practice had ended in June, but a reporter has said she asked for and was given her "ratings" for a period right up to July.

The entire Stars and Stripes report is here.


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