Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Life after newspapers

It's nice to know that some former newspaper reporters and editors are behind HBO's The Wire, possibly (IMHO) the best series ever written for television. The New Yorker's Margaret Talbot profiles David Simon, the former Baltimore Sun reporter who created and guided the entire series. Simon was 'bought out' in a Sun downsizing in 1995.

Now a new, fourth season is soon to start, and it will focus on a Baltimore newspaper -- a 'fictional' Baltimore Sun. Several writers, directors, crew and actors are former journalists too. I can't wait.
“The Wire,” Simon often says, is a show about how contemporary American society—and, particularly, “raw, unencumbered capitalism”—devalues human beings. He told me, ...if the first season was about devaluing the cops who knew their beats and the corner boys slinging drugs, then the second was about devaluing the longshoremen and their labor, the third about people who wanted to make changes in the city, and the fourth was about kids who were being prepared, badly, for an economy that no longer really needs them. And the fifth? It’s about the people who are supposed to be monitoring all this and sounding the alarm—the journalists.
...This final season of the show, Simon told me, will be about “perception versus reality”—in particular, what kind of reality newspapers can capture and what they can’t. Newspapers across the country are shrinking, laying off beat reporters who understood their turf. More important, Simon believes, newspapers are fundamentally not equipped to convey certain kinds of complex truths.

Don't miss this profile -- or the show. The story of The Wire is an amazing, amazing story. And this profile just proves that journalists can have a lot to say in other media than just newspapers.



Post a Comment

<< Home