Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Now this is what newspaper journalism is all about

I wanted to become a newspaperor magazine journalist. Life didn't turn out that way, but it was the ideal, what I'd hoped for in my teens. I couldn't think of anything more interesting and desirable. There's a beautiful scene in Season Five of The Wire - where a couple of older newspaperman, now squeezed on all sides by changing technology, readership habits, and economic wrangling, talk about why they entered the field - how glorious and noble it seemed at the time.

This article by Barry Bearak on the front page of the New York Times yesterday, is the epitome of what great newspaper journalism is. A really damned fine story.

HARARE, Zimbabwe — I had never been arrested before and the prospect of prison in Zimbabwe, one of the poorest, most repressive places on earth, seemed especially forbidding: the squalor, the teeming cells, the possibility of beatings. But I told myself what I’d repeatedly taught my two children: Life is a collection of experiences. You savor the good, you learn from the bad.

I was being charged with the crime of “committing journalism.” One of my captors, Detective Inspector Dani Rangwani, described the offense to me as something despicable, almost hissing the words: “You’ve been gathering, processing and disseminating the news.” (more)


Bryan P said...

I loved that article, too! Brought back vague pinings I had myself to be a journalist back in the day, despite the fact that it sounded like a horrifying ordeal for him.

Josh Ramsey said...

All the President's Men suckered all of my generation into journalism -- only to find it the victim of economics -- both the industries and your own paycheck ...