I think you should enjoy seeing Robert Fisk at work in ‘This Is Not A Movie’. I don’t know where you might see it but like today’s newspapers, it’ll probably be on a digital screen. We watched it on Amazon Prime so I know that’s one source.
Fisk reported on some of the most awful conflicts of his time and this feature film enables you see how and why he was among the best of the best correspondents ever.
You’ll doubtless search for yourself and find reviews. Some will be critical but by and large most are very complimentary. In short, you can see how he looked out for the victims of the wars he covered.
‘People are so frightened of offending one side that they feel they have to be 50:50 on everything. I prefer to dwell 100 per cent on the victims. I’m just doing what any human being would do.’
Fisk wrote for The Independent for decades. The paper chose to go exclusively digital in March 2016. Fisk was most comfortable as a print journalist but he recognised the value in being able to reach millions of people in minutes using pixels rather than ink.
He may have been surprised that The New York Times has achieved seven million paid subscribers. Their digital subscription revenue has exceeded the print subscription revenue for the first time. They have proved that millions of people think that good journalism is worth paying for.
The problem for The Independent and other imprints in the British Isles (and the ‘free’ world) is that not enough people are donating or subscribing while advertisement revenue models need to change. Without revenues to support paying for objective journalists, subjective journalism will swamp every other voice. That’s how democracy will be manipulated if not stifled.
Just one example is enough to convince me of the problem. And that is the killing of 290 people on Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes in 1988. It well documented that Fisk proved that the Americans had panicked yet his newspaper still wanted to lead with a story of a civilian airliner on a kamikaze mission.
Fisk of The Times joined The Independent shortly afterwards.
Caveat emptor: my daily musings may be incomplete and incorrect.
While I’m on the subject of digital revenues, I’d like to take the time to share a note from Peter at FabHappy. That’s where you might buy one of my scarves or Gloria’s Xmas baubles, both examples of good gifts.
‘It’s been a bigger job that we thought, but the fabhappy.com website has been fully refreshed. The main aim was to try to make it a more pleasing experience for anybody that visits the site. We hope we’ve achieved this, but we’re so close to it that it’s hard to tell.’