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RTNDA: Make room for locals

The Radio-Television News Directors Association has written the Pentagon
asking it to include local reporters, as well as network reporters, in any plans to
accommodate coverage of a possible war with Iraq.

The Pentagon and journalism organizations are still working out details in
what the Pentagon contended will be unprecedented access to the possible military
strike by reporters "embedding" directly with the military units.

The networks -- particularly their Washington bureau chiefs -- have been asked to
help coordinate the selections, and emerging, though hardly final, criteria
lean toward major news organizations.

"While network journalists play a critical national role, local reporters
also have an important role, particularly those at stations with military units
based in their communities," RTNDA president Barbara Cochran wrote.

The RTNDA acknowledged that coverage plans are still being made, saying that it wanted
to "encourage" the Pentagon to make some spots available for local