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  • Saturday, December 18, 2004


    War in Iraq

    As I've often commented, I hardly ever watch mainstream news anymore. One of the biggest reasons is the amount of "news" I have no interest in seeing: sports, so-called human interest stories with little content beyond the "heartwarming" or "tragic" elements, etc. When I boil it down, actual content that informs me might be only 0-5 minutes. So, like many, I go searching for my news. Sometimes I worry that I'm only seeking out news that supports my particular views. But I still think that's preferable to being fed news which is incomplete or, worse, pointless and bland.

    So it is with Iraq. I was recently tipped to Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches. His entries in his blog seem immediate and concerned with the news on the ground in Iraq. He's not "embedded" with the US military so sees things and talks to people who are affected by US actions in Iraq. He has plenty of firsthand observations and quotes from regular people. I find this more informative than the glossy and almost impersonal reports given by the mainstream media. In some ways, I think that the fewer extended corporate relationships a journalist has, the more they are able to write freely. Is the result more accurate? I'm not sure but the truth seems closer to the surface.

    Dahr Jamail also sprinkles photos throughout his pieces. I have to warn you that some of them are not easy to look at. A recent piece on identifying the dead in Fallujah includes photos taken of dead bodies. The photos were being shown to people so they might be able to identify relatives. Photos with stories are usually linked to the text rather than integrated into the text, allowing you to bypass them if you want.

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