Why reporting from the Mideast sucks–Mark interviewed before his lecture

It’s in my hometown newspaper–a story based on an interview and one of my two lectures about why reporting from the Mideast gets so many things wrong. This story is in the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette.

Editor Craig Klugman and I worked together at the daily newspaper at Indiana University many years

Craig and me at his newspaper's office

Craig and me at his newspaper’s office

ago, and today he’s one of the few people in his position who cares deeply about foreign news. He’s a treasure and an asset to the profession–besides being a great friend and a genuinely funny guy.

In my lectures, I point to a “Western mindset” of favoring the underdog, no matter who the underdog is or what he’s done. In addition, there’s intimidation of reporters all over the region, deep cutbacks in reporting staff, and social media — which requires reporters to tweet and blog while they’re working — in other words, before they have the complete story. It takes me an hjour to document all these issues in a lecture–so far people have been engaged and interested, asking excellent questions for half an hour after I’m done, and coming up to ask individual questions after that.

Now I’m off to California,speaking in Pasadena after chilling with my brother for a few days.

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