A U.S. newspaper says the American military in Iraq is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to print stories highlighting the work of U.S. and Iraqi troops and denouncing insurgents.

The Los Angeles Times reports Wednesday that the articles are written by American soldiers but are presented to Iraqi media as unbiased accounts from independent journalists. The Times says the stories are translated and placed in Iraqi newspapers with the help of an American defense contractor, the Lincoln Group.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman says the allegations are being investigated, and if they are true, some of them are troubling and could violate Pentagon policy.

Iraqi editors and journalists interviewed for the Times article reacted with a mixture of surprise and indifference when told about the alleged origin of the stories.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.