Thursday, April 19, 2018

the British press

Just got off the phone with an Associated Press fellow who definitely trimmed my journalistic appreciation of British reporting. The basis for assessing the veracity of stories, he said roughly, was, for example, "If the BBC sees two news stories on the same topic with the same outcome, they take the story to be true and run their own." No double checking. For this reason among many violent others, he thought my idea was likely to receive a cold shoulder.

What I was trying to do, and what my interlocutor let me know I was unlikely to accomplish, was to inspire a follow-up on the Guardian story of the Mexican town , Cherán, which tossed out all of its power brokers, both licit and illicit, in an effort to stem the corruption whose fallout, as usual, fell most heavily on the impoverished locals.

Mexico is altogether too violent to be stirring the pot, the AP fellow said. Journalists were being killed. Question-askers were not welcomed. Staff, he did not say, was being cut.

Oh well, as Norman Mailer once said of Manhattan, "A million good ideas die in New York every day."


  1. Mediocrity and a lack of heart seem to be the order of the day now.

  2. Replies
    1. While I have absolutely no confidence that true democracy in happening in that town, occasional follow ups would have been nice.

      I don’t expect foreign journalists to walk around with targets on their back. This has nothing to do with intentional mediocrity. Those journalists who are willing to put their lives at risk are praiseworthy as are those willing to put their careers at risk to report certain stories.