Monday, April 27, 2009

John Simpson, Journalist and Author.

Al Jazeera is reporting on a US-Iranian reporter jailed by Tehran for espionage and the fact that she has gone on hunger strike.

I find them an interesting news source if you're looking for something less manipulated than some of our usual sources. They have a top team of journalists and are worth checking out.

I've been making my way through BBC journalist, John Simpson's rather excellent series of books, essentially the behind-the-scenes stuff about events we've been reading about forever. The one bought to replace the one we left on the Turkish Airlines flight (almost finished!) is titled The Wars Against Saddam - Taking the Hard Road to Baghdad and is an eye-opener, if you dare. If feel like I'm playing the game called 'but oh my goodness, I believed what the NY Times (and so many other news sources) wrote about that situation' and etc ...

John's News from No Mans Land is the unfinished excellent read that I lost - must replace it one day soon, and A Mad World, My Masters was the one that completely hooked me on this man's books.

I need a good long flight to get through them though. I increasingly feel guilty about not working in any spare time that I have ... could be the 1000s of photographs awaiting attention. I think I've run out of other 'urgent' must do things now ...

Oh, and about John. If you don't believe me, then surely you can believe Simon Hoggart, who said: 'You can't really argue with much that John Simpson says - there is no foreign correspondent left on TV who has a fraction of his recognition and his credibility, a fact which may be unfair on the others, but happens to be true';

Simon reviewed Simpson's devastating Panorama profile of Saddam Hussein, broadcast in early November 2002. This riveting, important and timely new book is the summation of more than twenty years covering Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

The War Against Saddam offers, in five acts, the full story of his rise to power and the West's relationship with Saddam throughout his dictatorship. The fifth act is yet to be played out on the world stage, but Simpson will be there to cover any war with Iraq and to report on its outcome and its consequences. It will be a major work of serious reportage and essential reading for us all.

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