Ir al contenido principal

Peter Preston, a eulogy for a great editor

2018 is with us, and almost immediately those who follow the media feel a great loss. Peter Preston was the very personification of The Guardian when I started reading it in my early teenage years. His period at the head of the paper spanned a total of 20 years and he oversaw some of the most important changes in its history, including a major redesign, the overhaul of its editorial operations and the laying of the foundations for its subsequent global conquest -its online version nowadays has more readers in the US than in the UK.

Nevertheless, what I most recall from this period is the very different structure in the way news was reported around the world, and not least the relationship with foreign correspondents who, certainly in the case of The Guardian, normally had a very broad knowledge of the countries they were writing about. Not to mention the greater freedom to report from the perspective of what they saw on the ground rather than simply reinforcing their readers prejudices through with the excessive use of cliché. The UK society and political system, with all its many faults, also has many virtues however it is not the only benchmark on which all other systems should be judged. The way British history is taught hardly helps in this regard.

At The Guardian, in part thanks to its editor and his broad international experience - half his family live in Barcelona-, to name just one example, very clearly understood this, and his own rightings displayed objectivity and impartiality, which is very different to the equanimity displayed by so many nowadays when analysing issues of huge global significance. Maybe it was Tony Blair, with his so-called centrism, who convinced us that faced with two opposing views we should always seek a middle way. Today, in the context of Brexit and Catalonia, surely even he will recognise the need for journalists to consider that perhaps one of those opposing views, all things viewed equally, might actually be closer to the truth.

The past is not always better than the present however much can be learned from it. RIP Peter Preston. You will be sorely missed.


Entradas populares de este blog

Hard Brexit or no Brexit: Calling bluff on this (not so) Scottish play

Being English, naturalised Spanish and living in Spain, sometimes it is difficult to know what position to take on Brexit. Seen from afar, the spectacle of a country self destructing over an issue that could have been avoided, -had David Cameron been more statesmanlike and avoided basing national policy over such a fundamental issue purely on the interests of his party-, is at the very least fascinating. One British (well, admittedly, Scottish...) commentator told me how exciting it was to watch, comparing it to a train crash in slow motion. Given how tiresome the country's eurosceptic mob has become over so many years, it is not difficult for that German word schadenfreude to come clearly into view when contemplating which of all the negative or not so negative scenarios for the country could possibly end up top should they fulfil the dirtiest of their fantasies.

Among those scenarios are options ranging from slow decline to forecasts of something not far short of the Apocalypse.…

Mi ficción se parece a la tuya más de lo que te puedes imaginar

Desde hace años soy consciente de cómo los medios de comunicación de cada país retratan su propia sociedad como algo ajeno al resto del mundo. Todo lo que se anuncia, incluso si afecta a la humanidad en su conjunto, se transmuta a través de las pantallas en un tema local.Bueno, no todo precisamente. Lo malo sí sigue siendo siempre ajeno y lo bueno se asume como propio. Sea una directiva europea, una subvención o una orden de la OMS, si es popular el Gobierno se echa flores y si genera protestas es culpa de Bruselas o de quien toca. Los de fuera, en fin.En este contexto tienen lugar el Brexit, los disparates de Trump o el odio de Salvini. Y en este contexto convivimos en realidades paralelas, cegados por las cortinas de humo que nos crean nuestros respectivos gobiernos, e igual de incapaces de entender qué pasa allende nuestras propias fronteras.Si esa es nuestra visión, es comprensible que las sociedades ya no sean capaces de comprender sus relaciones con el exterior porque francament…

Esto es lo que que deben hacer los gobiernos para resolver el problema migratorio

Los problemas normalmente no surgen de la nada, sino son consecuencia de los modelos y sistemas que como seres humanos hemos creado. Lo mismo ocurre con el 'problema' migratorio, cuyos orígenes remontan a la época de los griegos, que pusieron los primeros cimientos al concepto de ciudadanía tal y como hoy la entendemos. Muchos siglos después surgieron los nacionalismos, aunque en África las personas ya se organizaban en tribus, y en India se dividían en castas, que era un concepto similar en tanto que representaba la división de la sociedad en grupos, y por tanto, de allí surgían los conflictos que tantos baños de sangre han producido a lo largo de la historia. Y eso sin mencionar el papel de las religiones a la hora de fracturar la sociedad en identidades dispares.

De la historia del colonialismo y de la primera y segunda guerra mundial, no voy a entrar en detalle. Todos ya la conocemos bastante bien. Sin embargo, llegada la paz, las sociedades europeas no tardaron en crear n…