Wednesday, 20 March 2013

So I'm almost finished the Faber book of Reportage (will probably finish it tonight and review will follow shortly) and am wondering what the selection criteria was as its a fairly eclectic bunch of writing.

Wikipedia has this to say about Reportage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reportage and the introduction does say that most of the chosen articles are from an eye witness POV. They are also mainly about war, tragedy/catastrophe with a few sporting articles thrown in.

It's a massive book (686 pages + notes and index) and I can see how some events have entered our collective consciousness due to the brilliant way they were captured through reportage - Stanley & Livingston, Scott's last diary, the charge of the light brigade etc.

So here's my question - is reportage alive and well and living in blogland or is it dead considering that journalism relies more and more upon press releases and third hand reporting?

The book was published in the mid 80's and I do wonder if there were a Faber book of Reportage 2 what it would look like - would it be blogs and twitter feeds? would it still contain eye witness journalism? Is eye witness journalism a lost art as we all now rely upon TV & photos, seeing is believing? Who are the masters in journalism of painting a picture with words?

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