David Byrne, author of How Music Works (2013): “Real in-depth reporting isn’t just a cache of data”

David Byrne is author of How Music Works (2012).

You can access an Oct. 18, 2013 CBC interview with him here.

You can access his journal, entitled the David Byrne Journal, here.

The opening of his most recent journal entry reads:

  • 11.04.13: Fair and Balanced
  • About a week ago, there was a discussion between former New York Times editor Bill Keller and Glenn Greenwald, who wrote a lot of The Guardian pieces based on the Snowden leaks. Greenwald and Laura Poitras were also Snowden’s conduits. Mostly it was about “objectivism” in the press. At least that’s how I read it. Keller is, at least in this discussion, of the “show all sides and don’t betray your own subjective feelings” school of journalism. He believes the Times should not be about advocacy journalism. Greenwald, who has now left The Guardian, is of the “speak truth to power/advocacy journalism” school. They’re not as far apart as they might seem.

[End of excerpt]


The story, as I read it, goes back to Sir William Stephenson and a long time before.

In the only major speech by him on the public record, delivered on May 31, 1954 in Toronto, Stephenson spoke of what he characterized as the obligations and responsibilities that are meant to accompany good fortune.

Additional contextualizing references include Soldaten (2011) and Genocide and the Geographical Imagination (2012).

Evil Men (2013) also offers a salient overview of the topics under discussion.

Also of interest: Extremely Violent Societies: Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century (2010).

Update: Genres of journalism

A March 11, 2017 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Museums as newsrooms, university profs as journalists: A look at how museums could be a source of trusted civic information, as well as the roles of universities and ordinary people as newsrooms shrink.”


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