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Monday, November 20, 2017, 6:48 p.m.

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OPINION

PHILIP MARTIN: Up to a point, sir

By Philip Martin

This article was published May 16, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

"News is what a chap who doesn't care much about anything wants to read. And it's only news until he's read it. After that, it's dead."

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Print Headline: Up to a point, sir

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Comments on: PHILIP MARTIN: Up to a point, sir

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 total comments

WhododueDiligence says... May 16, 2017 at 10:01 a.m.

"The real point of Scoop is that it's difficult if not impossible to determine the real truth about anything."
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If Waugh and the other reporters were confined to Abbis Ababa and had to rely on what the Italians told them, then it's inaccurate to say that Waugh was an ineffectual war correspondent because he was not, in reality, a war correspondent. If he never ventured near a battlefield, it's no wonder he had difficulty discovering a real truth. And then when he got a scoop, he rendered it fubar by reporting it in Latin!
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"News is what a chap who doesn't care much about anything wants to read. And it's only news until he's read it. After that, it's dead."
There's truth in that quote, up to a point. Applied to earth-shaking war news such as the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand which ignited WW 1 or to the attack on Pearl Harbor, that quote crumbles into gibberish.
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I enjoy reading Philip Martin's column's but this one seems excessively cynical and potentially provides an excuse for readers to cherry-pick flawed narratives they like over basic facts which support realities they don't like.

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TravisBickle says... May 16, 2017 at 10:02 a.m.

Don't kid yourself, Phil. Your wife and the girls don't get together to discuss a book! My wife's book club only reads wine labels! They're a drinking club with a reading problem!

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TravisBickle says... May 16, 2017 at 10:05 a.m.

Whodo, you could also say that if you don't read the news you're uninformed. And if you do you're misinformed.

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WhododueDiligence says... May 16, 2017 at 10:15 a.m.

"And if you do you're misinformed."
No, you're not. It depends on what sources you choose to read. In general the more you read about news from various reliable sources--and about history written by real professional historians--the better informed you are.

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WhododueDiligence says... May 16, 2017 at 10:29 a.m.

A well-written book about war correspondents is "Hell Before Breakfast" by Robert H. Patton.
It describes the risks taken by America's earliest war correspondents--William Howard Russell, Januarius MacGahan, and others--and risks taken by others such as British Lady Emily Strangford in her relief efforts dealing with the aftermath of war and atrocities of war. It pertains largely to the European wars which were precursors to WW I, and also describes the wild behavior of James Gordon Bennett, Jr, the New York Herald owner/publisher/editor who seemed more interested in making money than in getting the story straight.

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