The Lost Art of Reportage

Robert Fisk and Martin Bell in conversation with Ann Leslie at The Independent Woodstock literary festival.

Event description:

Was there a golden age for international correspondents? Are current affairs now largely brought to us in dumbed down soundbites? Who now sets the framework for coverage of world events?

In this podcast recorded at The Independent Woodstock literary festival Dame Ann Leslie, recognised as one of the 40 most influential journalists of our time (‘Killing my own Snakes’), talks with The Independent’s award-winning correspondent Robert Fisk (The Age of the Warrior’) and BBC’s renowned foreign reporter Martin Bell (‘The Truth that sticks – New Labour’s Breach of Trust’). They discuss whether reportage is indeed a ‘lost art’.

Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

One thought on “The Lost Art of Reportage”

  1. Dripping with self-congratulation, it really ruined the jokes and the discussion for me.

    And, much as I despise idiots doing the whole making-it-look-dangerous-from-in-front-of-your-four-star-hotel gig, the honest truth is they really DO have to wear that stuff because of the insurance thing. They don’t have a choice… if they want their jobs…. It would be inspiring and heroic if they just ignored the rules, but it’s very clear that there’s no compunction about replacing these “journalists”, no matter how famous and influential. There wasn’t any real discussion of this reality, but rather they chose to just look down their noses at it, elevate themselves at others’ expense.


    And, no, there was no golden age for international correspondents, or journalists in general. There just is now a dark age for their employment. It’s not just up to journalists to try to fix this. It’s up to everyone, and we’re not getting it done.

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