Sunday, May 31, 2009

How to be a great journalist the Nicholas Kristof way

Many of us have admired the reports of Nicholas D. Kristof. He has reported on many of the regions of great suffering among human beings around the world. He has faithfully humanized what it’s like to be a slave, a woman trafficked in the sex trade, children forced into war. What we don’t get to see much is what is entailed in telling the world about the human condition in its most tragic forms. Today’s report, though, reveals some dimensions of what it is like to be a great reporter of human suffering. You will have to read it yourself to see what he says, but there is a subtext in what he says worth putting into words. This is what I surmise from today’s op-ed piece about what one has to do to be a great reporter of the human condition:

• Live out of a back pack.
• Hide your valued possessions on your person at all times.
• Travel in the scrawniest taxis available.
• Watch out for bed bugs.
• Block your hotel room door so intruders cannot sneak in on you when you are sleeping.
• Be prepared to fight pickpockets -- and to lose the fight.
• Be prepared to charm bandits who are equipped kill you on the spot.
• Know how to deal with those who might poison you.
• Watch out for robbers who carry machetes.
• Know how to manage corrupt police and fake police.
• Be prepared for a bus crash when almost everyone is injured.
• If you get malaria, shrug it off.

[Click on the title to see the original article.]

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