I’ve just been reading A Russian Journal, written in 1948 by John Steinbeck with photography by Robert Capa. The quick description is: “A memoir that takes place not only to Moscow and Stalingrad (now Volgograd) but through the countryside of the Ukraine and the Caucasus.”
I’d recommend it, and not only for its clear style (it’s Steinbeck), and its insights into post-WWII Russia from an American perspective. I was also struck by the sentiment that I’ve quoted below about the state of news writing in 1948. It forms the basis of the trip to Russia then.
It seems to me that is it is being repeated as if newly minted now. I see it all over the Internet in 2015 by those of us mourning some ‘Golden Age of News’. Read on…
For news is no longer news, at least that part of it which draws the most attention. News has become a matter of punditry. A man sitting at a desk in Washington or New York reads the cables and rearranges them to fit his own mental pattern and his by-line. What we often read as news now is not news at all but the opinion of one of half a dozen pundits as to what that news means.
That was at a bar, in New York… in 1948 remember.
And shortly after writing this, I read this… #PRfail: fill in (all) the template before sending out your press release