Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Haaretz's Poetic License

Ha'aretz will conduct an interesting experiment tomorrow, in honor of the annual Hebrew Book Week, a nationwide celebration of literature. The paper's usual journalists will have the day off, and instead, the entire newspaper - news, opinions, features and even the weather report - will be written by 35 prose writers and poets, "through their own experience" (whatever that means).

Yes, it's mostly a publicity stunt (though not a very good one - since I only know about it because I read today's print edition - the website has nothing about it and I haven't seen any commercials about it either), and writing subjectively about the news by people who usually write literature is very un-journalistic. I don't see the New York Times, Washington Post or Le Monde handing over their news pages to non-journalists. I really don't care about all that, though. Since it is just a one time thing, I don't see this as an insult to the idea of objective, professional reporters covering the issues in as balanced a way as possible.

So, if any of you notice new bylines and offbeat reports tomorrow on Ha'aretz's website, don't be surprised.

Expect more on this tomorrow, after I read the special edition.

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