The Antidote to Your Depression About the Pig Stupid Journalism of Today,
This review is from: Unreliable Sources: How the 20th Century Was Reported (Paperback)In journalistic parlance John Simpson is a Big Foot, a heavy hitter of a journalist who can plow through the chaos and bull that seethes throughout wars and humanitarian disasters to make an honest effort of reporting events. Most of the world's war correspondents, respect his work and I am pretty sure will respect this book as well.
This is not a book about world events, an encyclopaedia of history, or any kind of attempt to set the record straight on what happened and when. Instead, it is a valuable and all too rare holding to account of journalists throughout the 20th century for how they behaved and whether they held true to any extent to the trust they owed to the reader, listener, and viewer.
Anyone who despairs of modern North American journalism with its insistence on willful blindness to the principles of fairness and accuracy, its mendaciousness in support of some political view or other, or the sheer and unashamed pursuit of image over substance, will be heartened to know that there have been worse periods in journalistic history.
The fact that the journalistic craft is no worse now than it was through much of the last century is oddly cheering to me.
I have been both journalist and relief worker in most of the world's conflicts over the past couple of decades and I know that John Simpson, although we have never met, has rare credibility when he holds others to account.
There are other books out there with similar points of view but few of them were written by a journalist who knows first hand the terrible hardship, extreme and ever present danger, the impossible difficulty of day to day living in a disaster zone, and always the pressing, unceasing need to figure out just what the hell is going on and then, how to get it home to the editor.
An important book