With the rise of Web 2.0, it is easier than ever to share and explore personal accounts of the Iraq war.
This week, I browsed through some military blogs (aka “miliblogs”) and came across a wide array of content. My favorite three were Acute Politics, The Gun Line, and When Last We Left Our Intrepid Heroine.” When Last We…,” written by a livejournal user named “soldiergrrrl,” was of particular interest to me because it was one of the few blogs that I came across that was written by a woman. Although all the blogs were similar in topic (e.g., life in the front line of war), it was refreshing to read from a woman’s perspective.
YouTube is also a great resource for those looking to see action in the front lines. While browsing through enemy combatant footage, I was reminded of when the Iraq War first started about six years ago. People were fixated on their television sets to watch live footage of the fighting, taken by professional reporters. Now, the soldiers…the civilians…the enemies – they are now the “reporters” conveying the information.
However, I can’t help but think how much of what’s posted online is censored (videos, specifically – but I suppose this would also apply to miliblogging). While there is some graphic footage out there, are the more extreme videos blocked by government or video sites? Photos of dead soldiers and videos of memorial services are off limits.
The Constitutional Rights Foundation has a site that lists policies of press freedom versus military censorship:
- “Policy #1: Press Pools. The Pentagon accredited all American journalists and required them to observe the battlefield press rules (e.g., No reporters could visit any U.S. military unit or travel outside of Dhahran or Riyadh except in a press pool.)
- Policy #2: Proposed Rules by News Media (e.g., The Pentagon should accredit independent journalists, who must observe ‘a clear set of military security guidelines that protect U.S. forces and their operations.’ Violators of these guidelines should be expelled from the combat zone.)”
In closing, the following are videos of resistance towards the military censorship put forth by the Bush Administration: