Reporting Death

In terms of reporting death I like the way that Dexter Filkins describes the raw and honest circumstances of war. It allows the reader to understand the context of the situation and see a more humanized side of the conflict. It does not feel as if he is telling these stories for business or public interest but because he wants to share his experiences. While reading the book I was captured by the graphic scenes he describes and I found myself doing further research on some of the topics he mentioned. For instance the public executions in the Kabul Sports Stadium, I looked up photos of the stadium to get a better idea of the scale of the event. I also researched Uzbekistan to gain better understanding of the significance of the people there. It didn’t feel like he was exploiting anyone with the stories he was telling; it felt like he was offering an honest perspective on what took place.

However, I do not feel as open or positive to images of death that are shown in the media. The family has such little control of the situation already, death is permanent, that it does not seem fair for them to lose control of the way their loved one is shown in the media. I think images of coffins are okay, they are less personal but still send a strong message.

I find that images of people who have died from natural disasters or illness like cyclones and ebola are easier to comprehend because they are not a result of human actions. I thought this NYT segment was informative but still jarring.

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