Saturday, 2 April 2011

The journalism of Dahr Jamail

Dahr Jamail
When George W. Bush and Tony Blair invaded Iraq in 2003, the American journalist Dahr Jamail was working as a freelance journalist and mountain guide in Alaska. Appalled by the uncritical reporting of the US mainstream press he decided to head to the war in the desert, equipped only with a laptop and a digital recorder.
     Under hazardous conditions he made his way into war-torn Baghdad and started to write a blog that showed how the average Iraqis were afflicted by the war. Offering a welcome diversion from embedded flak-jacketed and war-feverish correspondents, he was soon discovered and many newspapers carried the reports he published on his website Dahr Jamail's MidEast Dispatches.
     He received worldwide attention when he reported about war crimes committed by US soldiers during the 2004 siege of the Iraqi town of Fallujah. Dahr Jamal’s journalism showed impressively how important qualitative independent war reporting was especially in times where most of the other journalists brought themselves into line willingly.
     And that it was possible and desirable to reach and inform wide parts of the western readership with a form of journalism that contained many characteristics of peace journalism, like for example reporting from the perspective of the ordinary people.

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