A warblog is a type of weblog that usually focuses on the issues or events of an ongoing war. Often, authors of warblogs have been soldiers, aid workers, or journalists who are close to or firsthand witnesses of the events of a war. Like other weblogs, or blogs, they are usually written from a first-person perspective, relating events as the author saw or experienced them. Some of these warblogs have been seen as a form of reporting that provides unique information. Less often, a warblog may present a personal view of political matters related to a war, without the author being near the war itself.
Warblogs were first identified as a unique type of blog concerned with the aftermath of the September 11th, 2001, terror attacks on the United States and that country's response to them. At first, they were part of a larger online discussion of the terror attacks. They developed further during the U.S.'s involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are sometimes associated with instant reports from journalists covering a war. The idea of the warblog also came to include personal accounts of war by active combat soldiers, former soldiers, or local citizens.
After the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq had begun, the personal accounts of soldiers and citizens increased in popularity and attention. They were seen by some to be different, or even more accurate, accounts of the wars. Some observers were uncomfortable with the way they differed from journalists' reports or official accounts. Others welcomed the alternative perspective. In this way, they are often seen as an example of the way news sources have increased on the Internet.
Some authors of warblogs have gone on to write formally for established media. A few American soldiers and Iraqi citizens had their blog posts collected as books. Others have been featured in documentaries or even dramatized.
In some cases, the warblog has been seen as a form of citizen reporting. This type of reporting is usually thought of as a series of personal stories published by someone without formal training in journalism. Some readers have seen this as a fuller description of war than ordinary reporting. On the other hand, critics may be skeptical of personal reports that are not edited or reviewed or are written by a person without a journalistic background.
The first instances of the use of the term warblog came only a few years after the term blog became popular. It appeared in newspapers within weeks of the September 11th attacks. Some credit warblogs with greatly expanding the number of Internet users who established their own blogs.