Sunday, 28 October 2007

Sunday Rant

Since this is my blog, and I can pretty much write about anything I like, here's a rant for this Sunday morning.

Whenever I visit London, I always try to spend a weekend there so I can read the Saturday and Sunday newspapers...or the broadsheets as they're called over there. Early morning, on both weekend days, I walk to my newsagent and buy the Times and the Independent....and quickly return home carrying an armful of newsprint and the accompanying magazines.

My next hours are spent reading and absorbing the news and editorials written by true professionals...in-depth, intensive and intelligent analysis of current events and foreign news. Every time I do this, I come to the same conclusion: our mainstream print media is superficial and naive. In London, I read the Times and the Independent from cover to cover, both politically distinct from each other... one more in keeping with my political alignment than the other...but I read each newspaper's point of view with equal relish and respect. Back in New York, I avoid reading the op-eds from the like of Brooks and Friedman because they're vacuous, predictable, repetitive and full of cliches. The only op-ed contributor I have time for is Frank Rich...and even he goes overboard on occasions. If forgot to name other columnists, it's on purpose.

But my rant this morning is not really about the superficiality of our news...but about the long disappearance of solid serious photojournalism from our printed press. Last weekend, the Sunday Times of London had a magnificent feature on the tragedy of Africa with the powerful black & white photographs of Sebastiao Salgado...in the style of LIFE magazine...12 pages of African scenes. I kept it because it's a wonderful issue on so many levels.

In comparison, this morning's New York Times' Sunday Magazine has 8 glossy pages of fashion titled The Others...showing overpriced clothes and diamond necklaces hanging on sickly-looking models made up to look like Halloween ghouls.