También llamado Gerrit Gerritszoon (Gerardo, hijo de Gerardo), en 1506 él mismo
decidió llamarse, definitivamente, Desiderius Erasmus Roterdamus. Con
anterioridad se llamaba a sí mismo Desyderius, Herasmus
Roterdam, Rotterdammus, Rotterdammensis, Roterdamus.
As you read this now, more than ever, the tools we have at our fingertips are more powerful tha any in the history of mankind, technology and communication. In June of 2009 I gave a presetation on "backpack video journalism" at the Harvard Club in New York City. Here is part of what I said:
"Even more important than the Gutenberg press, the advances in digital cameras and the Internet provide at an extraordinary juncture “We are, right now, at an extraordinary juncture in the history of mankind, technology and communication. Even more important than the Gutenberg press, the advances in digital cameras and the Internet provide us unprecedented opportunity. Ordinary citizens of the world now wield extraordinary power. We wield the power to communicate instantly, globally and in a language, the visual language, which supersedes both the written and the spoken word. This visual language knows no frontiers. It needs no translation. It is contingent on no corporate support. It is one of the most powerful tools of our time…And backpack journalism is the embodiment of this visual language".
Eventually, I also came to understand that journalism can be a tool. What I wrote years later at the homepage of my Web site (www.billgentile.com) summarizes what I feel about the craft today:
"I began my career in the golden days of journalism when the craft still was about information as opposed to entertainment, and when the men and women who practiced the craft believed that information can make a difference. That belief has often taken me to places inhabited by the poor, the illiterate and the oppressed, places where journalists are so desperately needed. In all of these places, I have found people with the grace, the dignity and the generosity of spirit to allow me to tell their stories, to practice my craft. The work that you see here exists largely because the people depicted allowed me to work among them. I am deeply grateful for that privilege, and this work is a tribute to them. I hope it has made a difference".
The concept of journalism as a double-edged sword, “is a very interesting concept. Journalists are often drawn to the profession in order to ‘make a difference’' and improve the world. Perhaps witnessing Nicaragua try to create a more equal society in the 1980s may have been a motivating factor for you to become a journalist. However, your (brilliant) follow-up shows what an utter failure that attempt was, and the extremely high price poor people paid on both sides of the struggle. Where does that leave journalism?”
“I like the comment that what the "double-edged sword" means is that a journalist has to consider the usual "so what?" question as well as the "so what to me?" question. As someone who holds a traditional journalism degree, I would, however, argue that both questions apply to any good conceptualization, no matter whether the format is print, photo journalism, or video journalism.”
“You dig deep into the things that are important to you, and while doing so you're digging deep into yourself. Why is that particular topic important or more important than others?
That is true, but you have to detach yourself enough to make sure that whatever you're pursuing is not only interesting to you, but the society you are making journalism for.
That's where the 'so what' question becomes relevant. So what for your viewers or readers, or your editors to start with. Without a proper answer to it, the story finding process may not be finished.”
“I think of the old adage of journalism's purpose -- to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted -- which I believe is at the heart of all good investigative journalism, like Bill going back 17 years later to find out where these people were after this war and if the war made any real change in the peoples' lives. A lot of people don't want to know the answer to that, but we need to know. Telling the truth -- reporting the truth -- often isn't pretty.”
“To tell a story really well means understanding yourself really well. It's knowing your strengths and weakness with both storytelling in general and telling *this* story in particular. For example: I'm really good at writing but need to get better at video. Also: what is your *real* objective for telling this story? Are you open-minded about it and exploring possibilities? Or are you focused only on making a specific point? This will determine how effectively you are able to collect info and imagery, present it to viewers, and engage those viewers.”
“One edge of the sword may represent the journalist's attempt to seek truth and report it while the other edge represents the risk of harm. Practicing ethics in journalism includes not only capturing and sending strong visual stories but taking into consideration those affected by news coverage. This poses many challenges ranging from deciding on what information is important to share with the public to what the potential harm may be not only to those in the news but to consumers. Areas that come to mind include cultural sensitivities, private vs. public figures and dealing with children in the news. Reporting on juveniles in small-town crime coverage a few years ago posed this challenge to me as a double-edged sword situation.”
Mary Ann Ebner
“It is true that journalism is a two-edged sword. First, you have to know who you are as a person-- what really matters to you. It is not enough to pitch a story that interests you in a general way... I find that to really do a story justice I have to discover what about the story is important to me. Now, having skin in the game, I can create something that brings value to myself and others.”