It might even be that to an Arab Sudanese all we gammons look the same but this insistence from Nesrine Malik just isn’t true:
There is a myth that many in the press in Britain cling on to for dear life: they are members of a crusading profession which, in the mould of Woodward and Bernstein, unfailingly holds the powerful to account.
That’s the Americans love. There – among the practitioners at least – journalism is regarded as a noble profession whose duty is to do just that. Here in Britain the attitude has always been a little more reasonable. It’s a craft – not a profession – and the aim is to fill in the white bits between the ads. To be a “hack” is to be a consummate such craftsman, able to turn out the required length of useful prose to order. To be a hack is thus a – possibly cynical – term of approbation.
We really are a different country, a different culture, with a different attitude towards journalism and the press. We can even see this in stories about said press. An American journalist might well be utilised as a paragon of nobility out there righting wrongs by skewering the powerful. An appearance of a British journalist in such stories is to announce the arrival of a drunken sleazebag. In our folk tales the skewering isn’t done metaphorically but actually, by Robin Hood and the like.
Yea, we’re even different even though the majority in both places are disturbingly white.
I have spent much of the pandemic year trying to shield vulnerable members of my family in Sudan remotely, while moving myself between North Africa and east Africa.
Here’s an idea Nesrine. Why not try covering this country from this country? You might even learn a little more about it by doing so. After all, there is a reason why “foreign correspondent” means sending someone from here to cover that bit in foreign, not using someone in foreign to illustrate here.