Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Request to All Reporters and Journalists in the World

Dear Reporters and Journalists in the World:

I hereby sincerely request--beg, even--that you stop asking stupid questions, because your public does not want obvious answers. And stupid questions almost always bring about obvious answers, if not stupid answers in themselves. Really, Mrs. and Mrs. Reporters and Journalists, you have to consider that maybe--just maybe--your audience is not a 5th-grade-education level inept adult; maybe, just maybe, your audience isa university-level adult who yearns to understand situations with facts and figures.

You see, Reporters and Journalists of the World, I have been following the liberations of kidnapped people in my country, and I am appalled at the interviews! I can no more believe the questions, as I can believe that some editor/director approved them to be aired!

When a freed person is ready for an interview, "How does that make you feel?" is not an appropriate question. Dude, seriously, how do you think freedom after 3 months or 3 years makes him/her feel? Do not ask his/her family how they feel about their family member being released. Of course they feel rejoiced! No one is going to say (or admit) that they are really unhappy about the release. Also, we don't care what kind of party they will give the recently-freed prisoner, or what food they will offer. Please, ask questions worth answering and worth listening to.

Ask, for instance, which particular experience made more of an impact on him/her. Ask how precisely he/she found out he/she was being freed. If the kidnapped person was a member of the police or military, ask whether they plan to go back to their job. Ask how they were kidnapped, and how they were freed. Ask questions that matter. Ask, for instance, if the kidnapped person could grasp some sort of understanding or compassion for the illegal guerrilla forces while in captivity. Ask how he/she kept sane during the kidnapping.

I am extremely happy that these people are free, and I salute my Armed Forces for their amazing job. I actually am acquainted with two of our "Black Ops" people, and they really risks their lives for these people. Interview them! Interview the dude who flew the helicopter; interview the dude who walked up to the "bad guys" and took the kidnapped person from them, at the risk of being kidnapped himself.

My President, knowing the level of incompetency of our reporters and journalists (they don't even deserve a capital letter), did not allow interviews and just gave a short speech after the liberations. He said he is tired of the show the FARC are putting on, and that he will not allow it to go forth. Why is it, he asked (rhetorically, of course), that kidnapped people coming out of the jungle have perfect manicures and haircuts, and why they are well dressed (the most recent one appeared wearing a suit and tie). Why aren't the reporters asking this? On Sunday, three kidnapped men were supposed to be released, according to Piedad Córdoba, ex-Senator and (in my opinion) undercover member of the FARC; but only one was released. The other two liberation coordinates were false. Why? Why is no one interviewing Piedad Córdoba and asking her why?

I have a friend who is awesome, and an awesome reporter, too. Were he in Colombia, he would be asking all the right questions. He is not scared, and he is most definitely not a 5th-grade level inept adult. We need more people lilke him, people who are not only not afraid to ask the right questions, but who know which are the right questions to ask. We need more people like him. Read his Blog and you will understand what I mean.

In the meantime, Reporters and Journalists of the World, consider my plea. Ask questions worth answering. Ask questions with answers worth listening to. Consider that maybe, just maybe, we have an ounce of gray matter ready to be used.

Respectfully, yet quite annoyed,

--Nat

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