ABC reporter: Army has compelling stories
February 9, 2009
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 9, 2009) - A famed reporter and three-time Emmy Award winner told Pentagon leaders Wednesday that the Army has helped her tell Soldier stories to the world.
Martha Raddatz, ABC News chief White House correspondent and author, spoke at an Army leadership forum Wednesday at the Pentagon. Her topic, "The Military and the Media: It's personal," included her experiences covering the war in the Middle East and working with the military.
In a nearly packed auditorium, Raddatz explained her 10 most important tips to working well with the media and gave a little advice to service members who work with the media.
Her first tip was to "keep doing what you are doing," speaking about the Army's interaction with the media.
"The Army is fantastic," said Raddatz. While recapping her recent trip to Iraq, when embedding with the Iraqi Army fell apart, she said it was an Army public affairs officer who saved her story, her trip, and her company's money.
Army leaders in Iraq and some really great Soldiers have always helped her get her stories, said Raddatz. She emphasized how they taught her about the Army, from the special language or acronyms, to the do and don't of embedding.
"You have to see what is going on, you have to get to know the troops... so it is personal," said Raddatz.
Her next tip to the military was to tell the good stories, the human side, because she says those stories are so compelling.
"I have always tried to show the human side because it helps American public know who you are and what the fight is about and how you do what you do," said Raddatz.
She ended with what she considered her most important tip. Talk about the news openly and honestly. She emphasized getting reporters out often and as much as possible to tell those day-to-day stories.
Prior to her appointment as ABC White House correspondent, she was a member of the Pentagon Press Corps. In 1999 she was the network's State Department correspondent where she covered every aspect of the war in Middle East. While there she received the Peabody Award an annual, international awards for excellence in radio and television.
Raddatz' book, "The Long Way Home," embodies her interviews, experiences, interactions with Soldiers and their families and her embedded visits during the Iraq War.