Accusers of parachute journalists say, “they fly into hotspots around the globe, enter cultures they have no understanding of, work in places where they don’t speak the language, tell surface level stories of what has occurred and leave before the story has truly been completed.” Accusers say, “this style of watered-down news turns major stories that deserve in-depth, localized reporting into pop-trivia facts and catch phrases for the nightly news.”
Having just been to Egypt for their revolution, and now Japan, those comments hit me pretty hard. I find myself thinking, “jeez, I don’t want to be a part of that, those parachute journalists sound like terrible people.” And to an extent, their accusers are correct – to turn those accusations on myself: I don’t speak Arabic or Japanese, I don’t know a lot about Egyptian or Japanese culture, and I haven’t been able to stay in either country to tell the long term stories about what happens after the biggest events occur.
Maybe he shouldn’t beat himself up too much. At least he’s trying to make it more than just a job.