Accredited war correspondents, photographers, cameramen and sound recordists were included in eligibility proposals for the Iraq medal made by the Ministry of Defence to the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals in November 2003. These proposals were included in the criteria when the medal was announced in February 2004 (Cm 6135). Entitled journalists were invited to apply for the medal. It has not been sent to them automatically.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 7 November 2006, Official Report, column 1467W about the number of medals that have been accepted or declined by journalists.
The practice of making medals available to accredited journalists deployed alongside the British armed forces goes back to at least world war one and, more recently, happened in both the Falklands conflict and the Gulf war.
No. The information requested constitutes personal data, within the terms of section 1(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998, as provision of a list of the relevant newspapers, broadcasters and news agencies is likely to permit identification of individual journalists who have been awarded the Iraq campaign medal.