ACCUMULATING PERIPHERALS


The transformation of Roger Cohen by mattsteinglass
June 21, 2009, 12:37 pm
Filed under: democracy, Iran

When he’s out on the street, he writes a great column. Gutsy guy. One notes that journalism is increasingly being pushed in the direction of eliminating the barrier between reporting and opinion.

Advertisements

6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Provocative post. I wonder if one can imagine, in this situation, a form of “reporting” that could be the opposite of “opinion” as you suggest. The reporter’s pretense of objectivity is empty and meaningless in this situation because subjectivity is all there is right now.

Cohen’s column rings true because it’s knowledgeable and yet subjective — it’s just his experience. But we’re dealing with an event that really has no objective content except these individual acts of witnessing and other people’s response to them.

What would reporting look like? Well, a reporter would go out and interview people and get their individual stories — but we don’t need reporters for that; the people are doing that themselves.

A reporter would also try to tell us what’s “really” happening in the big picture, but in this situation their “reporting” would really just be speculation. The better kind of reporting would project the reporter’s knowledge of history onto the current event and form a reasonable speculation. We’re getting that from the BBC, NYT etc, but it’s not very satisfying. I submit it’s not satisfying because we can all tell this event is unprecedented, that nobody involved knows what’s really going on, and that the essence of the event lies in that uncertainty.

In such a situation, subjectivity rules. The individual acts of witnessing, what we’re getting via twitter and YouTube, really are the only story. And Cohen tells his well.

So I’m not sure how you’d separate “reporting” from “opinion” here, and I’m not sure we should want to.

Comment by Jarrett

I expanded and clarified that last comment on my personal blog here:
http://urbanist.typepad.com/creature_of_the_shade/2009/06/reporting-vs-opinion-in-iran.html

Comment by Jarrett

The very core of your writing while sounding agreeable initially, did not work well with me personally after some time. Somewhere within the sentences you managed to make me a believer but only for a very short while. I nevertheless have got a problem with your jumps in logic and one might do nicely to help fill in all those gaps. In the event you can accomplish that, I will undoubtedly end up being fascinated.

Comment by Removalists Moonee Ponds

Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your site. You have some really great articles and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Regards!

Comment by Removalists Doncaster

[…] chastain jessica chastain nook tablet eagles magic johnson involuntary manslaughter stevens johnson syndrome Share […]

Pingback by Mozilla and Google agree on search engine | udypitamosi

[…] tufnel day black friday deals molokai molokai ashton kutcher twitter sandusky barbados Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in […]

Pingback by Van Halen unveils new tour with Roth aboard | adylobufur




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: