Sunday, September 13, 2015

On the scene reporters

From David Warren:
In a previous generation there were foreign correspondents who stayed in one place long enough to acquire some idea of what was going on there.


The contemporary journalist is voyeur to a “crisis.” He has been flown in, with a crew. He does not arrive knowing the way from the airport. He is taken for a fool by every interested party he encounters, and manipulated accordingly. He is like a rich hunter on safari who must employ beaters to drive a few game animals into his way. He has limited time, before his audience has lost interest in the latest crisis, and he is himself air-freighted to the next one. The result is reportage not quite so good as no information at all.

I suppose our familiarity with (but not actually knowledge of) a reporter whom we've seen before at other locations is supposed to be a proxy for the reporter's knowledge of the situation.

The essay ends with a novel suggestion for dealing with the army of would-be immigrants (aka refugees) in Europe.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

In Iraq, reporters had limited contact with Iraqi nationals other than military or government officials.

The opinions of barbers started having an outsize influence on them, and the various factions started competing to see who would provide them with barbers - without revealing what was up.

Mark Reiff said...

Yeah, I would say that the reporters from the US in AFG were second only to the politicians from the US in cluelessness. One more reason I learned to love AL-Jezerra English.