WASHINGTON - The US military checks the work of reporters before they go to Iraq, Afghanistan and other war zones, the Washington Post reported Friday. However, US officials interviewed by the newspaper denied that they ever used the practice to exclude reporters from being embedded with US military units in war zones or to bar them from interviewing military personnel. US military public affairs officers have acknowledged they had personally done the screening work. One of the officers, Jose Garcia, told the Post that while working in Iraq, he regularly gathered information on reporters backgrounds, their likely questions and angles in advance of interviews with his unit. In some cases, the military rated individual reporters in terms of how beneficial they are to the military mission. The Pentagons reporter-screening practice recently triggered a growing controversy in the United States after The Stars & Stripes reported Monday that the US military hired a private public-relations company to screen journalists before they go to Afghanistan.