Perhaps fitting that during my return from Slovakia yesterday, I had the Current Podcast playing an episode that examined the career of journalist Joe Schlesinger. Joe was born in Bratislava, on one of the streets that I’ve been walking for the past five days. He was and is the epitome of the foreign correspondent, with that tone of voice and cadence that just naturally makes you listen. He reported from war zones throughout the world, and places that at the time, few people had ever heard from.
By the end of the interview Anna-Maria asks Joe what he thinks about journalism now as compared to then. Despite being an old man, he gets into the benefits that now anyone can report via the internet directly to audiences around the world. At the same time he warns about reporters not being there, not truly understanding a situation they are supposed to be explaining. When asked about the economic troubles of today, he took a route I didn’t expect. He talks about how even through the economy is bad, the fact that so many people in the world are living better than they were when he was a kid, he points to this as clear progress.
But there’s so much more in this interview than can be described in this post. Especially interesting to hear him talk about escaping Czechoslovakia during the Nazi Occupation and then returning only to have to escape again, this time from Communist control. Highly recommended listening, and someone I now very much admire.