Saturday, August 22, 2015

Why is so much journalism crap?

Stephanie Nolen is no unpaid intern. In fact, she's a respected veteran in the journalism profession.

In today's Globe and Mail she's got a two-page feature about the horrific gang violence gripping El Salvador. By the time I finished the story, I was convinced that there is indeed an epidemic of gang violence in the country.

Here are some questions that Nolen carefully avoids:

Is the gang violence in El Salvador related to gang violence in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala?

Is the gang violence related to the militarization of the police forces?

Is the gang violence related to the "war on drugs?"

Are these latter two questions related to American meddling in these countries for the past 100+ years?

In two pages, our reporter doesn't go anywhere near these obvious questions. Instead, you turn the page under the impression that gang violence just spontaneously erupted after a few illegal immigrants were repatriated from the US.

That's very shallow journalism.

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