Thursday, 1 March 2007

War reporting just isn’t my thing

A little about me, I’m a 22-year-old who favours Grazia over the Economist. I have always loved to write, anything, and I am endlessly nosy. Combining these passions I found my niche, journalism. This blog began as an academic task. When asked to create a blog on a current affairs issue my first thought was, “The demise of Britney Spears’ hair” or on a wider scale “Can curls really be the new straight?”

A friend mentioned the matter of the war reporter death toll rising and the affect this is having on independent coverage from war zones. I was intrigued, but this was not something I would usually consider writing about. Every time I open up a newspaper and try to understand what is going on in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon so much past knowledge is assumed that I tend to shy away from the subject feeling ignorant to the issues and ashamed that I don’t know more. I feel that I have a basic understanding but I am nowhere near confident enough to vocalise an informed opinion.

By choosing to tackle this subject I forced myself to jump in at the proverbial deep end and I assume that I will have to ask a lot of seemingly obvious questions along the way. Aside from my choice of publication and enthusiasm for hair I like to think of my attitude as more Jane Austen than Jessica Simpson and I am alarmed at how much I have missed because of my anticipation to enter the debate. I didn’t want to appear stupid. But I have come to realise that too many abstain from offering opinion with my same excuses. I find it impossible to believe that anyone could fail to be interested in this topic.

If you’ve found yourself lost in all the jargon, I urge you to come join me on this journey of discovery. And if you are far more knowledgeable and worldly you may at the very least find my little blog an amusing insight from a relatively humble being. This has surpassed the original purpose and become a conquest to extinguish my own ignorance to a very real affair. I invite you to learn with me.

In the next few weeks I intend to interview journalists and casualties of war, review books, address any issues that arise in the press, attend events at organisations and relay it all for you and your comment.