Wednesday, 23 January 2019

On Storytelling

For many years, the journalism I most warmed to was storytelling. A story is commonly understood to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. In other words, it is is a construct, it doesn't represent the way things are but how our brains are able to understand them, what makes sense to us. It is fiction — for fiction we understand, reality we don't; it is too complicated.

Recently, the German magazine Der Spiegel informed their readers that it had been misled. Claas Relotius, one of their most renowned reporters, who had been showered with journalism prizes, had for years invented stories. When a fellow reporter, Juan Moreno, became suspicious, he was initially not believed. Eventually, however, due to his persistence, the truth came out — and Der Spiegel had a credibility problem.

It's reaction was formidable. it laid open what it knew, invited critics to have their say —  more transparency wan't really imaginable. Then, however, I came across this, as far as I'm concerned,extremely stupid sentence: "Die meisten Reporter arbeiten absolut sauber, das muss hier noch einmal betont werden. (Most reporters work absolutely correctly, it needs to be stressed here once again). Well, this cannot be known. Moreover, it is the standard answer when the system should not be put into question.

The system? ... For more, go here

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