Friday, June 10, 2011

Robert Fisk is Robert Fisk

What's the difference between our armchair journalists and Robert Fisk? It's very simple. Our journos are those who don't know what a journalist should be doing. According to Fisk, journalism must "challenge authority, all authority, especially so when governments and politicians take us to war." Another famous remarks of his about journalism is this: "There is a misconception that journalists can be objective ... What journalism is really about is to monitor power and the centers of power." The last one is a view held by Israeli journalist Amira Hass and Fisk too approves of this definition of fair journalism. Now, how many of our journos are really eligible in this regard? We may have a Tharun Tejpal, Sainath or Praful Bidwai. That must be enough in fact. But how much heed our main stream media is paying to these greats? That's where we fail ourselves. It shouldn't be surprising for it's all too natural that we only get what we really deserve. We are a people who are always too ready and happy to be deluded ourselves into manufactured images of self grandioseness by our rulers or anyone else for that matter.

Coming back to our subject Robert Fisk, let's have a few more words. Fisk is currently writing for the prestigious The independent of UK. Whatever he writes is eagerly awaited each day across the continents. Then his words are translated into a large number of international and vernacular languages in the respected dailies and weeklies the world over. What prompts this kind of receptivity among the readers for a journalist who lives so far away from them? It's his objectivity and sincerity while analyzing the events. contrary to our belief it's not because of the impartiality. He is not impartial always. If there is an obvious aggressor and a clear victim, you have to be partial in solidarity with the victim. This rule especially applies to a sincere journalist. Fisk always upholds this basic principle. Fisk's father was a world war(ii) veteran. and he used to talk about the necessity of wars to achieve a peaceful world. The young Fisk may have realized even at this tender age the perennial futility of war and destruction. Perhaps that's what made him dead set against injustice and imposed wars and invasions.

Though his is a British, he has primarily been based in Beirut for more than 30 years. The New York Times once described Robert Fisk as "probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain." He reported the Northern Ireland troubles in the 1970s, the Portuguese Revolution in 1974, the Lebanese Civil War, the Iranian revolution in 1979, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the Iran–Iraq War, the Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. A vernacular Arabic speaker, he is one of few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden, and did so three times between 1994 and 1997.His awards include being voted International Journalist of the Year seven times.

Fisk has published a number of books. His 2005 work, The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East, with its criticism of Western and Israeli approaches to the Middle East, was well-received by critics and students of international affairs, and is perhaps his best-known work.


yousufpa said...

99% of media people corrupting the law. they creating market value..

ബഷീര്‍ Vallikkunnu said...

Dear Salam
I outrightly underscore each and every line of your short description of Robet Fisk. He is one of my long time favorite. My another favorite is Uri Avneri, the great Israeli writer. Please write a piece about him too.

ajith said...

Robert Fisk is a man I always see as a roll model journalist. I have read his report on gulf war and wondered at the untold stories revealed by him. But Fisk is a vernacular Arabic speaker is new info to me. Thanks Salam. You are doing great work on blog.

ചാണ്ടിച്ചന്‍ said...

This is the first time, I heard about Fisk, thanks to my wide reading habit :-).
A well written master piece.

രമേശ്‌ അരൂര്‍ said...

Robert Fisk is a well known journalist and
he has over thirty years of experience in international reporting on various issues.
In India, Journalists are the forth Pillar of our Great Democracy.
I couldnt agree with Yousufpa's views ..
As we know there are some journalists ,who misleads this great service to a money making business.But we know its only a minority ...I have some other details to reveal about our Journalists .I think .without delay it will be a post on my blog.

ഹാഷിക്ക് said...

I like the beginning with that comparison. The rest all is well informative topic for me.

പള്ളിക്കരയിൽ said...

സത്യത്തോടും മൂല്യങ്ങളോടും നൈതികതയോടുമുള്ള പ്രതിബദ്ധതയാൽ എനിക്ക് ആദരണീയനായി അനുഭവപ്പെട്ടിരുന്ന വ്യക്തിത്വത്തെ സംബന്ധിച്ച കൂടുതൽ വിവരങ്ങൾ അറിയിച്ചു തന്നതിനു കടപ്പാട് അറിയിക്കുന്നു.

പതിതരും പീഡിതരുമായ ജനസമൂഹത്തിന്റെ നാവായി ഇത്തരം മഹത് വ്യക്തിത്വങ്ങൾ വിരളമായെങ്കിലും ഉണ്ട് എന്നത് ഇരകളാക്കപ്പെടുന്നവർക്കും അവർക്ക് വേണ്ടി ശബ്ദിക്കുന്നവർക്കും പ്രത്യാശയും ഉത്തേജനവും നൽകുന്ന കാര്യമാണ്.

കൊച്ചു കൊച്ചീച്ചി said...

Thank you for introducing the man. I would have never heard of him otherwise.

MT Manaf said...

Fisk had his own disagreement even in the official narration of Sept 11 attack ..""I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11.". Most of his 'Independent' thoughts which stood against the main stream flow, always reflect the colourful side of his journalism.

"In journalism, there has always been a tension between getting it first and getting it right".

Shukoor said...

Robert fisk, one of the most veteran journalists in the world, is known for his unbiased and brave stand on world affairs. I had started reading him since the time of first Gulf war. Some translated articles were published in Malayalam dailies then which persuaded us to see the crooked imperial interests behind the war.

Thanks for posting about him.