Meet P. Sainath!
If I were ever given a chance to become somebody else, I would surely want to become this outstanding 53-year old South Asian journalist. Having clinched over 35 national and global awards, Sainath, the author of Everybody loves a Good Drought, spends an average 300 days a year in rural India to cover farmers’ suicides. He has unearthed hundreds of suicides by starving Indian farmers.
Watch this video to get introduced (please do!!!)
Both Aaron and Sainath have one message for the aspiring journalists: Be a story-teller not a stenographer.
I loved Aaron when he said this but his CNN video about the Smiths eventually turned me off . Was this not stenography again, Mr. Aaron! It was a painful art of storytelling without uttering a word about the 95,888- 104,595 Iraqi civilians killed in the war. When the story tells me about “successful elections’ in Iraq were engineered by an invading force, I am reminded of what the Man Booker Prize winning novelist Arundhati Roy once wrote:
So now we know. Pigs are horses. Girls are boys. War is Peace.
Aaron’s report was full of ‘our men’, ‘our soldiers’, ‘our security’ versus ‘their elections’, ‘their dictator’, ‘their victory’ etc.
Aron’s art of storytelling fails to attract me because it does include ‘our men’ and excludes ‘their civilians’. I wish Mr. Brown narrated the stories in P. Sainth- style by giving voice to the voiceless. Otherwise, you are teaching these kids the art of stenographic storytelling.