History from Below (English 203)

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The media tend to give information about dramatic issues that are considered "newsworthy" in order to trigger the audience's attention. This information leaves the audience with obscure knowledge about what is really happening behind the scenes. Wayne Hunt, the author of "Baghdad Burning: The Blogosphere, Literature and the Art of War,” talks about a certain type of media he refers to as the "new media,” blogging in this case, that gives valuable information regarding what is happening globally. This paper discusses two case studies that emphasize the type of information available in different types of blogs. The first case depicts the story of Riverbend, an Iraqi woman who blogs about what life is really like under American occupation. The second case presents a "milblog," written by Colby Buzzel who blogs about what it feels like to serve in the U.S. military in Iraq. Hunt mentions that although they represent different sides during this war, they share many similarities. Indeed, after some examination of Hunt’s paper, it becomes clear that there is a lot in common between soldiers and victims of war. On the surface, Riverbend seems to lead a life different from a soldier’s. She talks about what it feels like to live in Iraq during war, and she gives the audience a perspective of what people like her go through in order to survive. Such details are not given much importance on the news because they are extremely vague and not considered “newsworthy.” Riverbend does not talk about any troop movements; instead she discusses issues like lack of security and basic necessities such as water and electricity. Living in chaos is one of the ways to describe her life during war. Riverbend and her brother "E" learned to identify the types of automatic weapons being used by the sound of their volleys, and this fact gives the audience an idea about the instability of Iraq during the war. The media depict issues that are "newsworthy" in their opinion and most of these...
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