Power of the Personal

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"If great literature can be said to be the best work created under any circumstances, then great journalism is the best work written under these circumstances."

This quote was referencing Richard Cramer's " Shiva for a Child Slain in a Palestinian Raid." In Cramer's article, he relies heavily on the quotes, dialogue, and details of a single family to relate a Palestinian terrorist attack on an Israeli bus.  Cramer thus details a large-scale, international event by foucusing on its personal impact.  He tells of the slain daughter's injuries, the mother's heart-pounding ride to the hospital, and the other daughter's escape from danger all in gruesome detail.  Rather than downplaying the worldwide impact of the attack, I think his personal approach to the story made the terrorist attacks stand out even more to those of us who live a relatively safe and quite US life.

To draw a comparison, this story and its vivid details reminded me of a recent program I saw on HBO.  I realize this isn't the best source of news, but the special was a very eye-opening documentary; the film compiled interviews, still pictures, and video clips of injured American soldiers and focused primarily on comparing their military lives to their new civilian lives and physical impairment.  What I found similar between this program and Cramer's article was the powerful imagery.  Through his descriptions and quotations, I was able to see the events of the terrorist attack played out in a very real way.  At one point in the documentary, they showed a collection of pictures that a solider had taken while fighting in the war - one was of a man who had been shot in the head.  Although I've watched war movies and seen violence in the media, this picture was unlike anything I had ever seen; like Cramer's article, it truly drove home the reality of war and violence. 

 

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1 Comments

Chelsea Oliver said:

haha- dont worry I did the same thing too!

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