Monday, December 05, 2005

Reporting 101, Pajamas-style

For some reason, people continue to think that this sort of thing is "reporting." It is most certainly not:

Smoke rises from place de la Bastille. A bit further up the boulevard, a cluster of firemen looking like Lego characters stand and watch, their silver helmets whistling in the dark. The buzz is that this time it’s the gypsies. Tough looking guys walk up the boulevard, away from the standoff at the place de la Bastille, brandishing long sticks. The liberté égalité fraternité slogan was probably thrown on the burning trash heaps. They didn’t really believe in it. It was a pretext. They admire their handiwork, pointing to trash, burned trash cans, smashed bus shelters and phone booths.

What a mess. Buzz? Who is buzz? A French official? A person you actually talked to? A wino? Is buzz an authoritative source? Building on this theme, how do you know a demonstrator "didn't really believe" whatever it is he or she believes? How do you know it's all a pretext? Did you ask him? Did somebody tell you this? Are you, in fact, God? Further, I wasn't able to detect a single quote from a demonstrator, a police officer, a forlorn shopkeeper, or, in fact, anyone involved in this scene.

Apparently, the template for right-wing blog-reporting is to wander into a place, talk to no one, and then bang out a thin, impressionistic account dotted with purple prose about helmets whistling in the dark.

The piece is just about useless. It has no context, no understanding of what is going on, and an abundance of attitude. A bad mix.

Look, I'm all for bloggers attempting to report. It's good. It'll help. I'm on the record as wanting it to work. But guess what? Reporting is actually a little bit harder than you think it is.

And help me out on this Joe Friday conclusion:

Watch out for the next demonstration. It seems the pedophile-rapist-murderers think they aren’t getting a square deal in France. They might just decide to tear up the boulevard one day soon and demand égalité pour tous.


Permalink posted by Jonathan : 5:02 PM

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?