By Anjan Sundaram
The writer of the acclaimed Stringer: A Reporter’s trip within the Congo now strikes directly to Rwanda for a gripping examine a rustic stuck nonetheless in political and social unrest, years after the genocide that stunned the world.
Bad information is the tale of Anjan Sundaram's time operating a journalist's education application out of Kigali, the capital urban of 1 of Africa's such a lot densely populated nations, Rwanda. President Kagame’s regime, which seized strength after the genocide that ravaged its inhabitants in 1994, is usually held up as a beacon for growth and modernity in important Africa and is the recipient of billions of bucks every year in reduction from Western governments and overseas firms. Lurking beneath this shining imaginative and prescient of a contemporary, orderly country, besides the fact that, is the strong weather of worry springing from the government's brutal remedy of any voice of dissent. "You can't glance and write," a policeman ominously tells Sundaram, as he is taking notes at a political rally. In Rwanda, the testimony of the individual—the facts of one's personal experience—is beaten via the pensée particular: the only state of mind and conversing, proscribed by way of these in strength.
A vibrant portrait of a rustic at a unprecedented and unsafe position in its historical past, undesirable information is an excellent and pressing parable on freedom of expression, and what occurs whilst that strength is seized.
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Additional resources for Bad News: Last Journalists in a Dictatorship
Who are your reporting models? Gay Talese is impeccable. David Halberstam is great: a real hard-working sonofabitch. Tom Wolfe works his ass off, too. I used to read Wolfe and think, “Well, fuck you! ” Then in the mid-eighties I walked in to the offices of Rolling Stone one afternoon and saw him working at a desk. He was writing The Bonfire of the Vanities in biweekly installments at the time, and I looked in his eyes and saw the haunted, hunted animal look I know I have in my eyes when the shit is hitting the fan.
Now I’ve known a lot of politicians from when I worked for The Baltimore Sun, and that’s not how those guys are. And all these presidential candidates had once been city councilmen and state reps and congressmen themselves, just like the folks I knew. So I knew that something had happened to them on the way to the presidential campaign. And I wanted to know what that something was. That was the question I wrote What It Takes to answer for myself. How did you have the confidence to write such an ambitious first book?
Being in the Peace Corps was very important because it taught me about cultural relativity. I lived among the Nandi people in a very rural, relatively isolated part of northwest Kenya, and I learned very quickly that I had to adjust to the local culture, rather than trying to get the local culture to adjust to me. It made me realize in a profound way that people who have different upbringings from me end up having very different values—whether they live in Kenya or right here in the United States.