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Online Journalism

reflections on a changing medium

Tag Archives: war

This is a combined response to Sides of the Wire: America in Afghanistan, The Long Haul, and How I cover the Afghanistan war with the 5DmkII.

These three stories, taken together, show the increasing availability of war photos from overseas, particularly in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. It is easy to find these photos in print and broadcast media, on the internet and, increasingly, through the blogs and Web sites of independent journalists and journalists from smaller news outlets. With such coverage, it’s becoming harder to ignore the reality of the situations–and that’s a positive thing, in my opinion. Making such media available can serve as a strong form of activism, forcing American citizens to be aware of our conuty’s foreign affairs. These photos give a human face to war. It can also be extremely historically significant. These images are reminiscent of photos and documentary work exposing the horrors of the Vietnam War (BBC, Hearts and Minds).

The lengths that journalist Danfung Dennis goes to in order to capture images, sound and video are extraordinary. He mentions 120 degree heat, lack of light, issues with stabilization, the need to wear safety equipment and other various circumstantial and environmental forces that he must overcome. His story also highlights the improvements in portable camera equipment and the ways in which they enable things like war overseas to be covered by journalists in new and efficient ways. Newer versions of compact DSLRs are more impressive than ever, enabling journalists to make multiple media projects (like Dennis’s photo sets and documentary footage) and to stray further from the confining roles of a traditional journalists and photographers.

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