Conference brings reality to conflict

Kernel Editorial Board

For many students, war has been a constant in the background of their lives. War has either played a dominant role, been heard under the static of a radio station or taken in via the passive flipping through newspapers or television stations.

Since 2001, the U.S. has been involved in a war overseas,  in some form or another, in either Afghanistan or Iraq. The reality of this war is brought to us in the form of the printed word or broadcast.

However, it’s easy to forget that in order to receive the news, there must be someone on the other side, capturing those moments, recording the attack and transmitting their words and pictures back home.

War and journalism go hand in hand, and have for years. Last weekend, UK brought some of the leaders and reporters who have been involved in covering the war during the conference on War, Journalism and History.

“TV does not show you what we see,” Robert Fisk, a foreign correspondent and columnist for London Independent said. “It doesn’t show you dogs tearing up dead bodies, or blood flowing up over my shoes into my socks from a bleeding boy in the hospital, or a decapitated baby, and these are the realities.”

This is war.

Students had the chance to listen to these people, hear the voices of those involved in the coverage and gain a deeper understanding of the United States’ involvement in the war.

The conference was a successful undertaking by both The School of Journalism and Telecommunications and the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for the Study of the Two World Wars.

With Terry Anderson, UK professor and a former chief Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press, helping bring in the best names in war journalism, it’s clear the school is becoming a known name in field of journalism.

Those are the steps UK must make not only to improve as a university, but to ensure the students understand the reality and urgency of war-time situations.