NATO Launches New Anti-Taliban Offensive
NATO forces launched their largest combined effort to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan on Monday.
The story from the Associated Press ran in the Star Tribune and the New York Times. The story was written by Noor Khan. The Khan story reported that some 4,500 NATO soldiers and 1,000 Afghan soldiers were deployed to the northern part of Helmand province. The story reported that this was the largest NATO and Afghan military force to move into combat in the region. The story reported that the mission, dubbed Operation Achilles, was intended to drive the Taliban militants out of the reason so that work could begin on repairs on a hydroelectric dam that provides power to thousands of Afghans.
British troops have also been battling militants in the nearby district of Kajaki to enable repairs on a hydroelectric dam, which supplies close to 2 million Afghans with electricity.
I think the most difficult part about this story would be getting the point across through all that has happened in the Middle East. There is so much recent history that I think reporting the relevant parts of this history with the current events in an organized chronology would be the toughest part of the story writing process.
Another version of the story ran in the Los Angeles Times, written by Shafiqullah Azimi and Laura King. This story reported much of the same information but did have a very different flow to the story. The biggest and easiest difference to notice in the two stories was that the Azimi and King version did not use any direct quotes. At least in the Khan version there were some partial quotes and even some complete quotes. The Azimi and King version did also report that Opium trafficking has been a big part of the operations of the Taliban just like what was reported in the Khan version.
Drug revenues are believed to be funding the strong comeback by the Taliban militia, which had been left scattered and demoralized after the Islamist movement was toppled in 2001 by U.S.-led forces. The allied offensive in part was aimed at disrupting the drug trade, Western military officials said.
Col. Tom Collins, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, said the offensive was centered on "improving security in areas where Taliban extremists, narco-traffickers and foreign terrorists are currently operating."
Both of these stories reported much of the some information but did so in very different ways. The Khan version was much more quote centered and had what I though was more accurate information. I felt like the Khan version was much more organized and slightly more interesting to read. I really appreciated the incorporation of direct quotes because I felt like the nature of the story deemed direct quotes necessary. I thought that the Azimi and King version looked juvenile without any direct quotes. Therefore it was easy for me to prefer the Khan version.