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KNOXVILLE — The role of the media in the recent Iraq war is the subject of a day-long conference presented by the University of Tennessee-s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy on Tuesday, September 23 at the University Center auditorium. The conference, entitled -The War: Iraq and the Embedded Journalists,- is free and open to the public.

The program will feature journalists and photographers who were embedded with American troops, as well as military and Pentagon officials, members of the UT faculty, and representatives of regional and national media.

Speakers and panelists include Lt. Col. Rock Marcone of the U.S. Army, who commanded troops in Iraq; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Bryan Whitman; Rick Leventhal, a reporter for Fox News Channel; Jack Gruber, a photographer for USA Today; Don Bartletti, a photographer for the L.A. Times; Jeffrey Dvorkin, ombudsman for National Public Radio; Kenny Irby of the Poynter Institute; Lyndsey Lawton, a reporter for the Washington Post, David Rust, a CNN cameraman, and Jack McElroy, editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel.

UT faculty on the panel are Ed Caudill, associate dean of the College of Communications and Information; Mark Harmon, associate professor in the School of Journalism; and Captain Rosemary Mariner, U.S. Navy (retired), research fellow in the Center for the Study of War and Society.

University of Tennessee Chancellor Loren Crabtree and Baker Center Director Alan Lowe will make opening remarks, and distinguished journalist and former USA Today editorial director John Seigenthaler of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University will serve as facilitator.

The conference is the first program presented by the Baker Center. Named for Tennessee-s longtime senator, former White House Chief of Staff, and current ambassador to Japan Howard Baker, the center will serve as a research source for students and scholars, develop educational programs to further the public-s knowledge of our system of governance, and highlight the critical importance of public service.

-This opening program reflects the Baker Center-s special interest in the role of the media,- said Alan Lowe, center director. -We are delighted to present such a diverse and interesting group of speakers and panelists. We hope that their examination of the embedding concept will stimulate the kind of discussion and lively exchange of opinion that is a key part of our mission.-

Check in for the conference begins at 8 a.m. The presentations will conclude at 4:15 p.m. For more information, contact the Baker Center at (865) 974-0931 or visit the website at www.bakercenter.utk.edu.