Sunday, February 19, 2012

In memoriam - Anthony Shadid

This past week the news broke that Anthony Shadid had died on assignment... Immediately the encomiums started to flow - "... In an era blessed with more than its fair share of brilliant foreign correspondents, he was the best of the breed...," being a relatively mild example (for more see the reactions of his NYT colleagues at: Remembering Anthony Shadid or do a Google search...) It seemed that every journalist covering international affairs was coming out of the woodwork to say how he or she had been touched, inspired, awed, etc. by Anthony Shadid... This blogger has two observations:
  • The praise was well-deserved, Anthony Shadid was a great reporter who told it the way it is...
  • However, there is scant evidence that the legions of journalists professing to have been inspired by him were all inspired enough to emulate him insofar as it comes to taking the time and care (as he did) in writing about the subjects that they cover! Most are pale shadows of Shadid. For example, which of the main journalists covering say, Iran, are doing a good job of laying out the facts and circumstances of a complex narrative? Hardly any - most seem content to be stenographers, parroting the positions of the administration or of various U.S. politicians; while others are actively beating the drums of war...
This is a big loss....

Anthony Shadid (1968 - 2012)
Anthony Shadid: The Best of Our Breed
At Work in Syria, Times Correspondent Dies
Correspondent Anthony Shadid, 43, dies in Syria
Anthony Shadid dies, leaves hole in foreign correspondency
Journalists and Friends Respond to Death of Anthony Shadid...

The 2004 Pulitzer winners - International Reporting - Anthony Shadid
The 2010 Pulitzer winners - International Reporting - Anthony Shadid

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