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What is the powerful message conveyed to the readers in the poem 'War Photographer' by...

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nehasrivastav | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted September 9, 2013 at 10:39 AM via web

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What is the powerful message conveyed to the readers in the poem 'War Photographer' by Carol Ann Duffy, and how is it conveyed?

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted September 9, 2013 at 2:46 PM (Answer #1)

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Like many poets, Carol Ann Dufy poses many questions in poetry.In the poem 'War Photographer' the word 'question' or 'ethics' might be more suitable than message, because the questions she is asking are still being asked today around conflict, war and suffering and in discussing how best to report it in order to deal positively with differing sides. The goal would ideally be to please everybody and have all sides agree, but one of her messages is that 'it's complicated.'

There are many differing opinions on the reporting of world conflicts. Some say it is important to get the news out, to get pictures, to get eye witness reports out. But like most things, media technology changes. For example we now have instantaneous social media reporting opportunities the war photographer could never have dreamed of in Belfast or Beirut. In some ways this is good, as each of us now has power to speak the truth and to document it. But as always, the truth can be bent and twisted, angles put on things, facts and opinions deliberately omitted, timing scheduled deliberately to create or dim effect and so on - even on social media channels. Others believe that some fighters (tyrants and terrorists for example) should not be covered at all, their story left untold and unsupported, their war cries denied the boosting 'oxygen of publicity.' Either way, Duffy asks the questions and each reader takes their own message away.

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