- Foreign reporting in the wrong direction

Robert Fisk shared his views on and experiences from 30 years of reporting the Middle East.

Hilde Marie Tvedten, 13.09.2008 13:03
Robert fisk

Robert Fisk

Fisk, the well-known Middle East correspondent who currently works for The Independent in UK, called his speech «An exercise in lethal journalism», and expressed clearly that he is not happy with the development in correspondent and foreign reporting. He compared some of the reporting from wars to reporting from a football match. 

- What is shocking is the absolute denial to show war images. That is what is lethal, he said.

Instead, the world is fed with journalism full of clichés, Fisk means. He also thinks it is damaging to think in the textbook way of showing both sides of the conflict. You must dare to take a stand and present the victims of a conflict, he expressed. 

The 24 hour television and the hectic workday of a reporter has damaged journalism, Fisk means. A correspondent spends too much time talking into the camera, instead of being around people and what is happening.
- My sources are the people, those who are living there. I go where they go, listen to them and mix with them, he described later in the presentation.
Fisk presented an extract from is latest book, and a couple of movie clips, among them a report from the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.
The experienced correspondent has lived and worked in the Middle East for over 30 years. He feels that the experience he has from living in the area never comes to life in Western media.
- When I cross the Atlantic towards the US, I feel like there is a glass curtain. The Middle East that I know of does not exist in American papers and television, and their US does not exist in the papers of the Middle East. There are two groups of people who are not listening to each other, Fisk said.