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A new blog and an effort to understand war

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I’d like to think we journalists do a pretty good job of presenting an accurate portrayal in our stories. We try our best to be keen observers, objectively detached and fair recorders of what’s often called the first draft of history. But by definition we’re outsiders, writing about what others do. That distance gives us fresh eyes, but perhaps we don’t always capture a subject as intimately as we might.

Perhaps no subject is more elusive than war and its after-effects. Generations of artists, novelists and reporters, poets and filmmakers, have struggled to capture the reality of war. And yet it remains elusive. That’s especially true for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which despite round-the-clock-coverage on cable TV and the Internet, remain murky and distant.

So we’ve decided to try something different on washingtonpost.com. We’ve recently begun a journalistic experiment, a blog called the "Impact of War" that's a first-of-its-kind collaboration between The Washington Post and the people who live the wars everyday. It will bring you first-person accounts, free of filter, to capture a more intimate portrait of the wars and what they mean. We’ll hear from soldiers, veterans and their families who together will help us understand more fully what nearly nine years of war has wrought.

Along the way, reporter Christian Davenport will write stories that explore how the wars resonate as well. But please feel free to suggest story ideas or blog items. And if you'd like to write a guest blog, email davenportc@washpost.com. The floor could be yours.

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By Christian Davenport  | May 10, 2010; 8:43 AM ET
Categories:  Journalism , More on the story  | Tags:  Iraq War, War in Afghanistan, Warfare and Conflict  
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