Empty jars, not news

I seriously started not to believe in breaking news anymore.  I wanted to start with a press review this morning. But really nothing much happened, other than a few “breaking news” pieces such as “Amin Gemayel arrives in Rome and he will stay there for several days” (what for, who is he seeing, what are they discussing), “President Michel Suleiman discussed developments with head of Hizbullah’s parliamentary bloc MP Mohammed Raad” (what developments, why with Raad, anything they agreed on?) or (!!!!!!!) “Syrian Tourism Minister Saadallah Agha al-Qalaa arrived at Masnaa border crossing to take part in a conference in Beirut” (why would I care?).

It’s like giving your readers the jar, but not the honey. It’s frustrating. I know that what the politicians discuss in their official meetings is a state secret in Lebanon, it’s highly confidential.

 The people are not allowed to know (just like in the Middle Ages when noblemen kept their peasants illiterate in order to control them better) about state matters, or their own tax money for that matter. But as a journalist you have the duty to ask and give to the public what’s the most important: what was discussed, what’s the conclusion. But that only comes out on “anonymous” sources; therefore we end up with empty jars, no content.

But you still have to try, and if they say no you tell the public they said no. Maybe this way this public that is used to getting empty jars will realize they are actually hungry and will stop venerating these politicians.


About View over Beirut

For all the stories left unwritten.
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