The legacy of journalist Robert Fisk
The British journalist Robert Fisk has died at the age of 74. He was a Middle East correspondent for The Independent for 31 years, and before that worked for The Times for many years. Fisk reported from countless war-torn and crisis-ridden areas, and was one of the most important foreign correspondents of his time. The European media honour his life's work.
Personal experience over hotel journalism
With Fisk's death, the type of journalism he stood for is also disappearing, Tygodnik Powszechny writes:
“Fisk belonged to the generation of permanent foreign correspondents who worked with Western media in different parts of the world. ... He always stressed the superiority of personal experience, and had no time for 'hotel journalists' and 'internet surfers'. His growing reluctance to face the new era manifested itself in stubbornness and defiance, as well as in an eccentric predilection for controversy. He fought against the superficiality of journalistic reports on the Syrian War and showed that all the actors involved as well all of their foreign benefactors were responsible for crimes.”
An endangered species
The Independent explains why there are fewer and fewer reporters like Robert Fisk:
“Fisk also represented a type of journalism - being out on the field to try and find out what is going on, not being dependant on 'instant news' put together from afar - which has become increasingly under threat. This is due to the constraints of costs, but also, as we have seen, a desire to manipulate news by powerful vested interests, including political leaders. It is vitally important, now more than ever, to protect this role of the journalist. For them to be where bad things may be happening and to try and show readers - and viewers - what is going on.”