War stories

In Magazine article class we are supposed to do a lot of reading, I really try to keep it up but in the nearest past I have failed that task. I did however read the war reporting articles.

"Dying in Darfur" by Samantha Power (published The New Yorker)
"Torture at Abu Ghraib" by Seymour M. Hersh (published The New Yorker)
"The killer elite" by Evan Wright (published Rolling Stone)

I chose one of these to analyse for my second analysis but before I start with that project I want to post a learner's journal about how it was to read these articles. It was hard to think about the way they are writing and how they tell information because the articles were very informative and interesting so I got caught up in the story and forgot about the analyse of it. I guess that how you write it is not depending on whether you write the truth or fiction but it is easier to to see how it is written when it is fiction becuase when it is about the truth you (atleast I) tend to be caught up in analysing if it is true or not rather then the style of the writing.

"Dying in Darfur" did the classical thing with starting with a single person's story, to make the article feel personal. I did however feel that the effect of making the story personal by giving example of a single person's story lost it's effect when the person never got directly quoted. The person is Amina Abaker Mohammed who lost her son to the janjaweed but the story need her voice to get personal and not only Power retelling what she said. Power uses Amina's story as a memory point in her article. She goes back to it two times in order for the reader to keep track of where you are in the article. This article was 15 pages long and it was really hard for me to focus on the writing rather than the content. In the article

"Torture at Abu Ghraib" I had even more trouble staying focused on the writing rather than the content. This article is a lot shorter, 6 pages, but I remember this event from the news and the pictures that went around the globe. It is about soldiers who tortured prisoners and took pictures of it. Hersh way of writing this story makes the officers victims for someone else's orders. He mentions that they have no training and talks about other officers that thought the behaviour was wrong. Hersh gives the officers personality by mentioning personal information about them, for example that General Karpinski wanted to be an officer since she was five. He ends the article with repetingly qouting people who says that this is was orders from someone else and that the officers are just a brick in a game.

I really enjoyed reading "The killer elite" and this is also the article I'm going to do my analysis on. Wright has a fun way of writing and he uses things I like to use myself. He doesn't judge in his text, he just writes it as he hears it and sees it. He is very distant from the subjects and the places he describes in the article until he gets to the shooting in Al Gharraf, then he mention "I" and how he felt when all that was going on. I like how he takes everything down to a personal level and let the ones who are actual in it describe what it is. He as a journalist is not in it until the shooting and that occur on page 10 of 16. It is fun to read even though it is about an awful thing.


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