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Columbia Journalism Review of Fixers

http://www.cjr.org/reports/the_thankless_work_of_a_fixer.php?page=all

Anybody have any thoughts on this article?

by Neal Jackson at 2014-05-11 01:36:41 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Thanks Neal sir for posting….Great article…..

by Dinesh Dubey | 11 May 2014 01:05 | Mumbai, India | | Report spam→
I think that when the LS Egyptian Fixer with the week long posts finds out the article was done without him, he is going to be upset.

Fixers should get their name in the byline if they have contributed to the story just like it is done in the reporter’s home country with domestic stories——and I think it should be done for two reasons, it is their effort to a degree that put out the story but then also as a reader, I want to know who did the story.

The purpose of sending a correspondent overseas is to relate on a far away story and relate events in a way home readers will understand best——apart from getting the facts straight and correct as well as an accurate description and feeling of the scene, the home reporter will/should deliver the situation in a way that home reader will understand—-I don’t want an Australian telling me about the Ukraine and I am sure the Australians don’t want an American telling them about it either --While I am interested in what a Ukraine Journailist would have to day about events, I want to hear what a US journo has to say first and it’s not because I only want a US point of view but I not only get that but I can also read between the lines and most likely I know the journo’s style so I can adjust my view because I have known him/her to exaggerate or report from too far away or what ever the case might be——

A local fixer is a tougher read—-I don’t know who they are and how they report—-maybe even if they are too far leaning to one side or acting more out of allegiance to one cause or another——I think I would take this on case by case while I would not make it a policy to see things this way with fixers so now you see it’s already to complicated because I am thinking about it too much.

Let me add too, that in reporting events, how many times I hear a story from a local and ten feet away I get another story so the outside journo working on the journo or really must the journo, is able to gather and cull all the info together in order to make a complete story—-I wouldn’t see the fixer as being able to do that ands because first, the information gathered has to be presented in a way for home consumption.

I have other thoughts but I am on deadline so maybe later——

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by David Bro | 11 May 2014 06:05 (ed. May 11 2014) | Orange County, United States | | Report spam→
Fixers should definitely get their name in the byline (if they choose, they might not want to in some cases). But, if they do want to then especially so if the “correspondent” they are working with does not speak the language and relies on the fixer to find the scoop, fill in the back-story, interview people etc. etc.

But I can’t imagine being able to write a good article if you do not speak/understand, the language,the subtle nuances the cultural meanings, much less be able to ask the right questions or give an honest account of what you are reporting on.

Maybe that is why much of our foreign news is so often just an outline filled in with misunderstandings perpetuating long held stereotypes.

btw: The fixer in question writes English superbly.

So in answer to the question posed by the article: Why shouldn’t the very best fixers and news assistants be correspondents themselves? Why not indeed! Now that is an even more fascinating question, guaranteed to polarize, no doubt there will be some ugly, entrenched beliefs to battle if or when that ever becomes a serious consideration.

by Angela Cumberbirch | 22 May 2014 01:05 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
@Angela:

As to your question “Why shouldn’t the very best fixers and news assistants be correspondents themselves? Why not indeed!”; I agree with David’s comment “The purpose of sending a correspondent overseas is to relate on a far away story and relate events in a way home readers will understand best——apart from getting the facts straight and correct as well as an accurate description and feeling of the scene, the home reporter will/should deliver the situation in a way that home reader will understand[…]”.

That said, a stronger collaboration – recognized one by the publishing media – between foreign correspondents and local journalists/news assistants/fixers surely wouldn’t hurt in order to avoid misunderstandings, biases, omissions etc.

by Laura Larmo | 22 May 2014 08:05 | Milano, Italy | | Report spam→

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Participants

Neal Jackson, Neal Jackson
(Flaneur, Savant and Scapegrace)
Washington, Dc , United States ( IAD )
Dinesh Dubey, Fixer In India Dinesh Dubey
Fixer In India
(FIXER Stringer/LINE PRODUCER)
Mumbai , India
David Bro, freelance editorial David Bro
freelance editorial
Orange County , United States ( LAX )
Angela Cumberbirch, Photographer Angela Cumberbirch
Photographer
New York , United States
Laura Larmo, Photographer Laura Larmo
Photographer
Milan , Italy


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