Digital Media: Life-Changing Online

Blogging the Iraq War: Soldiers, Civilians and Institutions

  • Alisa Miller King's College London
Keywords: Iraq war; milblogs; war blogs; censorship

Abstract

This article considers how blogs written about the war in Iraq that began in 2003 have informed public narratives. It examines how so-called citizen journalists were read and presented by established media organisations. It considers what motivated some of the more influential bloggers of the war to engage in life-writing in this particular media, and how they found, read and responded to one another. It details how institutions like the US military reacted to milbloggers, shifting from a phase emphasising discretion and in some instances overt censorship, to viewing them as allies, implicitly and explicitly advancing a view of the war that circumvented critical, civilian media filters. It looks at the balance of coverage of mil and civilian bloggers in the West, and how they and their readers communicated—or failed to communicate—across cultures. Finally, it poses questions about how mediated content complicates notions of 'authentic' war writing.

Author Biography

Alisa Miller, King's College London

Alisa Miller is based in the English Department at King’s College London, where she is Research Associate and Project Manager for the ERCfunded Ego-Media and Beyond Enemy Lines. Her research focuses on the comparative development of war cultures in twentieth and twenty-first century Europe and the United States, looking at how evolving literary networks—utilizing different forms of media and technology—influence political discourses and perceptions of violence. Some recent publications include Rupert Brooke in the First World War (Clemson and Liverpool University Press, 2017) and ‘Modern War and Aesthetic Mobilisation: Looking at Europe in 1914’ in the British Journal of Military History (2016) Email: alisa.m.miller@kcl.ac.uk.

Published
2019-05-18
Section
Digital Media: Life-Changing Online