A série do The New York Times do repórter David Rohde, que foi sequestrado pelo Talibã, segue maravilhosa. Você pode ler, ouvir, ver o material aqui.
No site há também perguntas e respostas dos internautas e do repórter. Numa das questões, o editor-chefe do Times, Bill Keller, explica um pouco o contexto da série. Infelizmente, não existe uma versão em português. Peço desculpas por publicá-lo em inglês. Abaixo:
BILL KELLER: Readers raise a number of legitimate questions about the format and display of this series. We wrestled with those questions ourselves before arriving at a presentation that is, while unusual, not unprecedented.
Before getting to the specific questions — Why a first-person account? Why a serial? Why on the front page? — it’s important to point out that our coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan has been an effort on many fronts, by many correspondents, from a variety of vantage points. David’s account is one slice of an immense and continuing story.
Our reporters and photographers regularly embed with American forces, for days or weeks, to report from the various battlefields of this war. Embedding is a way to witness firsthand the strategy and tactics, the relationship between NATO forces and the Afghan civilian population, and the stress and sacrifice of our military at work. Our reporters and photographers also travel independently in Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan, to provide a perspective not available when traveling with troops. To cite one example of many, the explanation of how the Taliban has consolidated its power in the tribal regions — by focusing a terror campaign against the landlords — was a story that could only be told by going to the Swat Valley and interviewing locals. We also report on the daily dramas of societies living in wartime — on schools that try to educate Afghan girls in the face of threats from the Taliban, for example, or on the shortcomings of the Afghan justice system which has created an opening for the Taliban’s rougher form of justice.
Embeds and independent reporting in the region are dangerous work. We go to great lengths to minimize the risks in such reporting, but we can’t eliminate it entirely. And there is simply no other way to tell you what is going on in the region, to provide readers with the information they need to judge for themselves whether the war is working, whether the cost in blood and treasure is worth it, except to be there.
In addition, of course, we cover events in the capitals — Kabul, Islamabad, Washington — that bear on the conflict. The Times broke several of the biggest stories about corruption in the Afghan elections. We cover the debate over troop deployments, we profile the major military and political figures, we follow the diplomacy. We have also written extensively about the impact of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on the American military and military families, including a series still unfolding about the dramatically increased role of women in combat.
Sorry to go on, but we’re proud of this work, and it is the context for the questions about the kidnapping series. We cover the war from many angles.
When David Rohde escaped after more than seven months in captivity, it was clear even as we celebrated that his experience was one more window into a long and complicated war. No other journalist, as far as I know, has had such an experience of the Taliban from the inside. As I hope the series makes clear, this is not a story about David Rohde, it is a story about the character, strength and organization of the people the United States is fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It provides detailed insights into the minds and motives of the Taliban’s foot soldiers. It also reveals the extent to which the Taliban has, with impunity, colonized a swath of Pakistan. Yes, it is a hell of a story, but it also adds rich detail to our understanding of the Taliban.
We asked ourselves early on whether this should be a first-person account or should be assigned to another reporter. That was an easy call. We use first-person reporting sparingly in The Times, but sometimes, when the reporter is unavoidably an actor in the drama as well as the main witness of the events, first person is the most honest and accessible voice. David has been a Times correspondent for many years and has proven himself an extremely reliable reporter. He worked with some of the best editors at the paper. And it’s not as if a new reporter brought into the process would have had a lot of independent sources to check. The kidnappers are not available to provide their version of events.
We thought about presenting David’s account in The Times Magazine, or as one giant piece in the daily paper. There are precedents for both, when we have had projects of unusual length. We decided to go with a serial for a few reasons. First, the entire account — a total of nearly 19,000 words, more than twice the length of a normal magazine cover story — would be a lot to digest in a single sitting. Second, a serial, if well done, is an effective, engaging narrative device. Third, David had several distinctive points to make, so we were confident the pieces would not seem redundant.
Why the front page? While it is true that the front page is primarily the showcase for important news and news analysis, we often vary the page by including something unexpected that we think will be of interest to readers: A review of an important, long-awaited book. A column by one of our business or Metro columnists. And, rarely, a first-person account of an extraordinary experience well told. In 1998, we fronted Mirta Ojito’s moving account of returning to Cuba as a reporter more than 17 years after her family fled in the Mariel boatlift. Amy Harmon’s series on genetic testing, which won a Pulitzer Prize, included a first-person account of what she learned by having her own DNA tested. Last year another Times correspondent, Barry Bearak, wrote a front-page account of being jailed in Zimbabwe for the crime of committing journalism. In July of this year, C. J. Chivers stepped outside of the usual third-person in a profile of Natalya Estemirova, the murdered Russian journalist he acknowledged as a source and friend.
Postado por Rodrigo Lopes