Friday, April 27, 2007

How Graphic of You

I was forwarded this cartoon from David Axe’s website. He’s a journalist who’s also written a book or two.

He recently visited East Timor to cover the situation there. What a disappointment.

And I mean the cartoon.

The cartoon is all about David Axe talking about David Axe on David Axe’s blog.

Does the world care about East Timor? Cartoon David lies and says yes. It could have been more redeeming if he went on to say that he was there to talk to the people and write stories to shed light on the situation. But no, that is not the case.

He just wants to take pretty pictures of pretty helicopters.

Is this the new condition of ‘war correspondents’? That the real story is about the heroic journalist breaking away from an American desk to ‘experience war’?

Don’t get me wrong. I think there is great value in providing this level of media transparency in conflicts.

But here are my two cents to all authors, writers and reporters who call themselves war correspondents. The story is not about you. You are not a warfighter.

I want to hear about what that man in the first panel has to say. I want to hear what that Aussie on the ground has to say.

I can Google for pictures of hardware myself.

Sadly, this is yet another case of journalists trying to market themselves instead of focusing on their jobs.



Sean said...

didn't see that y'all had punked David, a friend and colleague.

did you read, watch, or listen to any of the voluminous media he filed on the story? yes, he also related his own experience.

i think your assessment is unfair, 'Ace'. David did his job, too.

Unmanned Bloggers said...

Indeed I have read many of Mr. Axe's pieces and some have been quite good.

But 'punked'? I assure you there is nothing personal against Mr. Axe. Only his delivery.

The cartoon itself was a marketing tool for the writer. But I see a bigger trend here. There seems to be a celebrity appeal to covering a war. It can be about coverage on the ground, but darnit if the writer doesn't want to make sure he or she is there too.

Is there anything wrong with this? I don't know. I just know it muddles the real issues. It makes it difficult to separate the reality versus the reality for use for promotion.

Mr. Axe's stories should speak for themselves. The recognition for quality will come when deserved.

Excellent post from The DEW Line on war correspondence:

Thanks for the comment though! Always appreciated! -Ace