Really great Terry Gross interview of Aaron Sorkin from last weekend. Key quote (emphasis is mine):
“I think that the critics and the audience who are reacting as hostilely to the show as they are, part of the reason is because they think that I’m showing off an intellect and an erudition that I don’t have,” says Sorkin. “I’m not pretending to have it. I know that I don’t have it. I phonetically create the sound of smart people talking to each other. I’m not one of them. The characters I create would have no use for me.”
So, for Sorkin, given what I’m sure is at least slightly above average awareness of the news and obviously strong political beliefs, creating compelling characters seems more about trial/error and taste as opposed to having deep knowledge of the subject matter.
“Suddenly there were no conversations about new democracies in Africa, or investment opportunities; the potential consumers were represented as too sick to labor, let alone to shop. This became the burden of caring Americans whose consumption practices can give a sick child in Africa ARVs or provide mosquito nets against the ravages of malaria.”
“That is why Kristof’s stories about American NGOs and enthusiastic young travelers in Africa, meant to encourage Americans’ interest in the continent, are so disturbing. They allow the Africans to be consistently present but irrelevant to the project of making Africa safe for Africans.”
-Kathryn Mathers, “Mr. Kristof, I Presume” Transition Magazine, 2012 no. 107
Summary/description here: http://africasacountry.com/2012/02/09/shameless-self-promotion-9/
Why I have only cared to read one WikiLeaks cable, for work reasons only, and don’t plan to read any more nor believe Assange’s work is journalism.
Reliable economic and business journalism is something individuals and businesses take largely for granted in developed economies. Leading publications have widespread coverage of financial markets, corporate news and key economic indicators that are of crucial importance for the livelihoods, employment opportunities, and investments of ordinary people.
It wasn’t always that way. As business reporter Chris Welles wrote:
For years, business economics and finance journalism was a bleak wasteland — ‘the most disgracefully neglected sector of American journalism,’ according to former NBCtelevision correspondent and former dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism School Elie Abel. If you did a lousy job covering city hall, couldn’t hack it writing obituaries, weren’t too swift taking classified ads over the telephone, then they sent you to the business section. Maybe they even made you business editor.
Media outlets of all kinds in developed economies have since responded to globalization and the explosion of information available for consumers, investors, policymakers, and business managers by investing in higher quality economic and business reporting. As they continue to do so, they benefit greatly from the institutional environment around them.
…In developing and transitioning economies, facing a tremendous growth of private sector activity and economic development as well as an explosion of information, economic and business journalists operate in a murkier institutional environment where providing reliable and useful information to the general public is more challenging.
James Liddell, a friend and former colleague, and I string together some thoughts on the challenges facing economic and business news in developing countries, what overcoming those challenges means for those countries and some ideas for how outsiders can be of service to do so. The full article is in Adobe PDF.
Yes, that’s the headline of Max Hastings’s column in the Daily Mail. But you know how it is with headline writers. They always go a bit far. Get to Hastings’s actual copy, and it’s so much more sensible and toned-down.
If you live a normal life of absolute futility, which we can assume most…
Very interesting take highlighted/punctuated by Felix Salmon. I’m not too intimately aware of what’s going on over there, but this jives with what I’ve heard through word of mouth so far…