30 July 2010

Satir över Haiti-rapporteringen

STOCKHOLM En text med några grundläggande råd om hur vi västerländska reportrar (inte) bör skriva om Haiti...ur Huffington Post och denna blogg, av den amerikanska frilansjournalisten Anzel Herz. Ett långt citat ur inledningen:
”For starters, always use the phrase 'the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.' Your audience must be reminded again of Haiti's exceptional poverty. It's doubtful that other articles have mentioned this fact.

You are struck by the 'resilience' of the Haitian people. They will survive no matter how poor they are. They are stoic, they rarely complain, and so they are admirable. The best poor person is one who suffers quietly. A two-sentence quote about their misery fitting neatly into your story is all that's needed.

On your last visit you became enchanted with Haiti. You are in love with its colorful culture and feel compelled to return. You care so much about these hard-working people. You are here to help them. You are their voice. They cannot speak for themselves.

Don't listen if the Haitians speak loudly or become unruly. You might be in danger, get out of there. Protests are not to be taken seriously. The participants were probably all paid to be there. All Haitian politicians are corrupt or incompetent. Find a foreign authority on Haiti to talk in stern terms about how they must shape up or cede power to incorruptible outsiders.

The US Embassy and United Nations always issue warnings that demonstrations are security threats. It is all social unrest. If protesters are beaten, gassed, or shot at by UN peacekeepers, they probably deserved it for getting out of control. Do not investigate their constant claims of being abused.

It was so violent right after the January 2010 earthquake. 'Looters' fought over goods 'stolen' from collapsed stores. Escaped prisoners were causing mayhem. It wasn't necessary to be clear about how many people were actually hurt or died in fighting. The point is that it was scary.”

Det stämmer verkligen att journalister har svårt att låta bli att alltid noga nämna att landet är västra halvklotets fattigaste, för att bara ta upp inledningsexemplet. I mina artiklar och reportage har jag förmodligen gjort mig skyldig till de flesta av klyschorna, dock inte alla (hoppas jag). Texten är för övrigt uttalat inspirerad av denna Granta-klassiker om gängse Afrika-rapportering.


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