Saturday, March 03, 2007

Real Cost...

I loved the Bob Woodruff piece on ABC last week. I think it was marketed like a tell-all about his experience in Iraq, which definately piqued my interest and got me to watch. But once his story was told, he then highlighted a major problem going on with the men and women returning home from this war.

I am obviously interested in the topic, my Medill Reports happens to be quite similar. The Woodruff piece really does in a much grander scale what I am trying to do with my piece.

It is showing the American public what it's not seeing...the full cost of war. The men and women returning home are in serious conditions. According to the ABC piece, at least 10 percent of them have some kind of brain injury. But yet, they are not getting the medical care they need. The V.A. is underfunded.

The New York Times said of the piece:
"On this ABC News special, Mr. Woodruff tells his story with candor and restraint, then turns the focus to the men and women who return badly wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan and do not heal as thoroughly."

One soldier in the piece had a severe brain injury and was taken care of at an elite medical facility, but when he was sent home, his local VA hospital didn't take care of him in the correct way. His condition digressed and there is no way to get that brain function back.

I talked to a soldier this week about the Woodruff piece, and he too thought it would be a story about a journalist that got hurt in Iraq. That irritated him because he said the public never hears about the soldiers, only famous faces. But he emailed me after he watched it and said it was excellent. He really thought it showed the real condition the VA is in right now.

The Woodruff show was a great piece of journalism. It started with a face (woodruff himself) and then showed the macro problem with the V.A.

That's what journalism is supposed to do. It's supposed to stand up for the little guy and inform the public.

Watch it

Good job Bob.



At Saturday, March 03, 2007, Blogger Medill Media Watch said...

Good job Jamie.

I think your story is great, incredibly evergreen and totally necessary. I'm sure that the people you interviewed appreciate you're granting them even the smallest SOT but an even greater amt. of agency.

It hits home for me because my close friend's brother left for Iraq last week and a very dear friend of mine is also scheduled to leave. I pray they too will come home... and maybe be the faces for stories on war survivors and heroes.


At Saturday, March 03, 2007, Anonymous TD said...

I can't believe that this issue is just now getting the type of coverage it deserves by the news media. After four years in Iraq and five years in Afghanistan, it took a high-profile reporter getting seriously injured to draw attention to the issue of the dearth in resources and proper care for injured veterans.

On a side note, I think we're being scooped by the bigger media outlets, first ER now JE...hmmm


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