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You shouldn’t speak until you know what you’re talking about. That’s why I get uncomfortable with interviews. Reporters ask me what I feel China should do about Tibet. Who cares what I think China should do? I’m a f***ing actor! They hand me a script. I act. I’m here for entertainment, basically, when you whittle everything away. I’m a grown man who puts on makeup.
The New York Times is an institution that attracts careerists, who are drawn to power and access. This gave me a kind of a free hand. The kind of work that I wanted to do, most of the other reporters didn’t want to do. I was not doing lunch. I was not sucking up to officials. I was writing from the street.
The Huffington Post Investigative Fund’s goal is to produce a broad range of investigative journalism created by both staff reporters and freelance writers, with a focus on working with the many experienced reporters and writers impacted by the economic contraction. The pieces will range from long-form investigations to short breaking news stories and will be presented in a variety of media – including text, audio, and video.
A police reporter walks into the worst moment in someone’s life on every single story that he covers. It’s not like being a sports reporter. That’s a great job and all that and takes certain skills. But, you know, they’re glad to see you when you show up to cover the football game. Nobody is ever glad to see a police reporter when he shows up.
Mitt Romney’s rally in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday began the way every political event begins. ‘Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and our country’s national anthem.’ This is always an uncomfortable moment for me. While I sat at my laptop, most of the reporters around me stood and put their hands over their hearts. This time instead of just sitting and working, I tweeted what I was feeling: ‘Ari_Shapiro: As a reporter I’m torn about joining in the pledge of allegiance/national anthem at rallies. I’m a rally observer, not a participant.’
I was asked by an NPR reporter once, why don’t I talk about race that often. I said it’s because I’m a neurosurgeon. And she thought that was a strange response. And you say – I said, you see, when I take someone to the operating room, I’m actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn’t make them who they are.
I think that’s a really important role that people sometimes forget about, especially with all these newspaper shutting down and having trouble, where are all these stories going to go? I think you have something really great with all those stories waiting to be told, but I just don’t know how it shapes up exactly. I don’t think there are going to be a lot of newspaper reporters sitting around not writing.
For too long, reporters for the big media outlets have been fixated on novelty, always moving too quickly onto the next big score or the next hot get. Paradoxically, in these days of instant communication and sixty-minute news cycles, it’s actually easier to miss information we might otherwise pay attention to. That’s why we need stories to be covered and re-covered until they filter up enough to become part of the cultural bloodstream.
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