I was a journalism major, I worked as a journalist in the past, and I am an advocate of honest, truthful reporting and the freedom to do so. I’ve always harbored a desire to be a foreign correspondent (I still do), and I love to live vicariously through memoirs of journalists who have been there and can tell their stories.
Breaking News: A Memoir by Martin Fletcher is an interesting read. Fletcher has decades of experience as a cameraman, producer, and eventually correspondent in the field reporting harrowing stories from front lines of war and more. I know, another book by an old white man reporting on wars happening in foreign lands. However, that’s the sad fact of journalism in general, and one of the aspects of the book I didn’t enjoy. Fletcher writes about his colleagues very often – all white men. When a women is mentioned, she is a secretary, at the assignment desk, a sexual conquest, or wife. His tales of being young, having money, and enjoying white privilege in Africa are not appealing, but they are the truth – at least he admits that.
That’s not to take away from the actual stories of war – they are harrowing. The battle between ethics and humanity and trying to “get the story” is also fascinating. Dealing with filming a woman dying to get the story across. He put his life on the line to bring these stories to the world.