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Robert Fisk

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In just one year in Bosnia, thirty of my colleagues died. There is a little Somme waiting for all innocent journalists.
--
Preface (page XXI)

 
Robert Fisk

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Our fellow passenger was Major Grogan, who thirty years before had been the first white man to go from the Cape to Cairo. It took him three years, one whole year in the marshes of the Sudd; his two companions died. It is said he ate them; I think so. He looked like a sensible man.

 
James Tiptree
 

If you consider the great journalists in history, you don't see too many objective journalists on that list. H. L. Mencken was not objective. Mike Royko, who just died. I. F. Stone was not objective. Mark Twain was not objective. I don't quite understand this worship of objectivity in journalism. Now, just flat-out lying is different from being subjective.

 
Hunter S. Thompson
 

The situation also gave U.N. Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali a chance to start the U.N.'s disegagement from Bosnia, something he had long wanted to do. After a few meetings with him, I concluded that this elegant and subtle Egyptian, whose Coptic family could trace its origins back over centuries, had disdain for the fractious and dirty peoples of the Balkans. Put bluntly, he never liked the place. In 1992, during his only visit to Sarajevo, he made the comment that shocked the journalists on the day I arrived in the beleaguered capital: "Bosnia is a rich man's war. I understand your frustration, but you have a situation here that is better than ten other places in the world. ... I can give you a list." He complained many times that Bosnia was eating up his budget, diverting him from other priorities, and threatening the whole U.N. system. "Bosnia has created a distortion in the work of the U.N.", he said just before Srebrenica. Sensing that our diplomatic efforts offered an opportunity to disengage, he informed the Security Council on September 18 that he would be ready to end the U.N. role in the former Yugoslavia, and allow all key aspects of implementation to be placed with others. Two days later, he told Madeleine Albright that the Contact Group should create its own mechanism for implementation thus volunteering to reduce the U.N.'s role at a critical moment. Ironically, his weakness simplified our task considerably.

 
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
 

The situation also gave U.N. Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali a chance to start the U.N.'s disegagement from Bosnia, something he had long wanted to do. After a few meetings with him, I concluded that this elegant and subtle Egyptian, whose Coptic family could trace its origins back over centuries, had disdain for the fractious and firty peoples of the Balkans. Put bluntly, he never liked the place. In 1992, during his only visit to Sarajevo, he made the comment that shocked the journalists on the day I arrived in the beleaguered capital: "Bosnia is a rich man's war. I understand your frustration, but you have a situation here that is better than ten other places in the world. ... I can give you a list." He complained many times that Bosnia was eating up his budget, diverting him from other priorities, and threatening the whole U.N. system. "Bosnia has created a distortion in the work of the U.N.", he said just before Srebrenica. Sensing that our diplomatic efforts offered an opportunity to disengage, he informed the Security Council on September 18 that he would be ready to end the U.N. role in the forme Yugoslavia, and allow all key aspects of implementation to be placed with others. Two days later, he told Madeleine Albright that the Contact Group should create its own mechanism for implementation - thus volunteering to reduce the U.N.'s role at a critical moment. Ironically, his weakness simplified our task considerably.

 
Richard Holbrooke
 

Many journalists now are no more than channelers and echoers of what George Orwell called the 'official truth'. They simply cipher and transmit lies. It really grieves me that so many of my fellow journalists can be so manipulated that they become really what the French describe as 'functionaires', functionaries, not journalists. Many journalists become very defensive when you suggest to them that they are anything but impartial and objective. The problem with those words 'impartiality' and 'objectivity' is that they have lost their dictionary meaning. They've been taken over... [they] now mean the establishment point of view... Journalists don't sit down and think, 'I'm now going to speak for the establishment.' Of course not. But they internalise a whole set of assumptions, and one of the most potent assumptions is that the world should be seen in terms of its usefulness to the West, not humanity.

 
John Pilger
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