Posts Tagged ‘Reportrar’

JOURNALISTIK | Det är inte ovanligt att amerikanska reportrar tecknar ner sina erfarenheter från de presidentvalskampanjer man har bevakat.

Vem har då skrivit den bästa boken om en amerikansk valkampanj? Om en sådan lista existerade skulle böcker av Theodore H. White och Richard Ben Cramer tävla om förstplatsen.

En av de mer underhållande är klassikern The Boys on the Bus av Timothy Crouse.

Crouse var reporter på tidskriften Rolling Stone när han bevakade presidentvalet 1972. Om man skall vara petig handlar boken minst lika mycket – om inte mer – om alla reportrar som följer ”sina” presidentkandidater på bussar och flygplan.

Här är några nedslag i boken:

It was just these womblike conditions that gave rise to the notorious phenomenon called “pack journalism” (also known as “herd journalism” and “fuselage journalism”). A group of reporters were assigned to follow a single candidate for weeks or months at a time, like a pack of hounds sicked on a fox. Trapped on the same bus or plane, they ate, drank, gambled, and compared notes with the same bunch of colleagues week after week.

Actually, this group was as hierarchical as a chess set. The pack was divided into cliques-the national political reporters from the big, prestige papers and the ones from the small papers; the wire-service men; the network correspondents; and other configurations that formed according to age and old Washington friendships. The most experienced national political reporters, wire men, and big-paper reporters, who were at the top of the pecking order, often did not know the names of the men from the smaller papers, who were at the bottom. But they all fed off the same pool report, the same daily handout, the same speech by the candidate; the whole pack was isolated in the same mobile village. After a while, they began to believe the same rumors, subscribe to the same theories, and write the same stories.

Everybody denounces pack journalism, including the men who form the pack. Any self-respecting journalist would sooner endorse incest than come out in favor of pack journalism. It is the classic villain of every campaign year. Many reporters and journalism professors blame it for everything that is shallow, obvious, meretricious, misleading, or dull in American campaign coverage.


Campaign journalism is, by definition, pack journalism; to follow a candidate, you must join a pack of other reporters; even the most independent journalist cannot completely escape the pressures of the pack.


There is nothing drearier than following a loser all the way to his grave. The candidate is exhausted, the staff is crabby, the hotels are bad and get worse, and the campaign generates less and less news. Off in the distance is the Winner’s campaign-a cornucopia of big stories, excitement, power, money, and a burgeoning sense of promise. Everybody in the business is suddenly talking about the Winner’s campaign. The best reporters seem to be there. It grows like a fad; you have to be there, at the center of the action.


If you stayed away from the campaign for any period of time and then came back on again, the first thing that stuck you was the shocking physical deterioration of the press corps. During the summer, the reporters had looked fairly healthy. Now their skin was pasty and greenish, they had ugly dark pouches under their glazed eyes, and their bodies had become bloated with the regimen of nonstop drinking and five or six starchy airplane meals every day. Toward the end, they began to suffer from a fiendish combination of fatigue and anxiety. They had arrived at the last two weeks, when the public finally wanted to read about the campaign- front-page play every day!-and they were so tired that it nearly killed them to pound out a decent piece.


During the last week, the press bus looked like a Black Maria sent out to round up winos; half the reporters were passed out with their mouths wide open and their notebooks fallen in their laps. When they were awake, they often wandered like zombies.

Förordet i boken är skrivet av Hunter S. Thompson. Gonzo journalistikens fader var en av de journalister som bevakade valet 1972. Även han skulle skriva ner sina efarenheter i bokform –  Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72.

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ATT DIKTATURER använder sig av lögner och propaganda är inget nyhet. Att västerländska medier spelar med är mindre känt.

Media lider ofta av ett sjukligt behov av leverera ”balanserad nyhetsrapportering”. Man ger därför utrymme även år dessa regimers talesmän.

Det behövs knappast någon större kompetens hos journalister och reportrar för att kunna genomskåda spelet. Men trots detta rapporterar media sällan om hur detta propagandakrig fungerar.

Terroristorganisationer som Hamas och Hizbollah använder sig t.ex. av exakt samma överdrifter, lögner och absurditeter som Muammar Khaddafi och hans talesmän använder sig av i Libyen.

Enda skillnaden tycks vara att västmedia har bestämt sig för att Hamas och Hizbollah är ”politiskt korrekta” medan Khaddafi inte är det längre.   

Andrew Gilligan, Londonredaktör för Telegraph Media Group, skriver i The Spectator om hur det kan låta när Khaddafi och hans propagandamaskineri maler på. Men det skulle lika väl kunna handla om någon annan regim eller organisation i Mellanöstern eller norra Afrika.

‘We have some civilian martyrs for you,’ said the Libyan government minder, with the triumphant look of a Soviet housewife who has just found a bottle of Scotch in the state-controlled supermarket.


It was the kind of thing that stays in the memory — but mainly because that body, and another one next to it, were the first two that any western reporter in Tripoli had seen in weeks. […] Three more corpses were brought out last Tuesday. And that, so far, has been it.

For the Tripoli press corps, a typical Crusader airstrike has three phases. First, nearly always in the middle of the night, comes the bang itself, or multiples thereof — often conveniently close to our hotel, allowing us to report that Nato has launched its ‘heaviest attacks yet’ on the Libyan capital.

Then there is the government-organised bus ride to what is generally an empty building with smoke billowing from it (more sensitive targets tend to be omitted from the tour itinerary). Finally, the evening may conclude with a visit to a hospital, at which we will be told that there have been dozens, even hundreds, of civilian casualties, but will actually be shown perhaps six young men with superficial wounds. The others, it will be explained, are being treated elsewhere, or have already recovered — praise be to Allah!

This week, the regime claimed that Nato has killed 718 civilians since the bombing began. But in the whole ten weeks of the air campaign, the authorities have not produced a single one of the dead babies, bombed schools, or large-scale ‘martyrdoms’ that feature so prominently in the state-controlled media. They are starting to get desperate.

Othman Baraka, an official of the anti-corruption ministry, gave a press conference to denounce a Nato strike on his headquarters. Twenty-five of his civilian staff had been injured, he stormed. No, on second thoughts, make that 54. The hacks politely pointed out that the attack had taken place in the middle of the night. ‘The anti-corruption ministry works around the clock,’ said Mr Baraka.

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