commentary

the importance of global reporting

Mort Rosenblum, a wonderful writer and reporter; former editor of the International Herald Tribune; special correspondent for The Associated Press; AP bureau chief in Africa, Southeast Asia, Argentina, and France; and founding editor of the quarterly, dispatches, has just written a correspondents’ field guide and a fascinating view into foreign reporting, by the title of Little Bunch of Madmen.  He is committed to the need of training young reporters and having people on the ground, where and when news is happening, rather than receiving it through a wire service, and his book speaks to why and how this needs to happen.

He recently wrote a short piece on these matters, and I don’t think you can’t say it much more clearly than this:

Now any citizen can commit journalism, and this is a wondrous thing. No longer, as A.J. Liebling wrote, is freedom of the press restricted to those who own one. This is also scary as hell. Simply owning a scalpel does not equip you to remove a gall bladder. And even with med school behind you, you cannot operate from an ocean away…Societies get the news coverage they deserve. Our endless national debate is not about “the media” but rather its target: all of us. Demand something better and pay the cost. Go viral. Get mad as hell and don’t take it anymore.

You can read the piece in full here.  I strongly encourage you to check out the book – very reasonably priced at $12! – and to consider what he says: to think about the news you’re getting, how it can get better, and how you can help make it so.

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