Tuesday, January 18, 2011

first -- and last -- draft of history

Terrific quote from Errol Morris, courtesy of USU journalism prof, Ted Pease:

History on the Hoof

"We often do not realize that history is perishable. It depends on evidence. There are countless stories where evidence is lost, corrupted or hidden, and hence, our attempts to re-assemble a picture of reality are doomed at best. If we lose all the evidence of the Battle of Hastings, what then can we say about it? Journalism may be the first draft of history, but sometimes it’s the only draft. It is often the journalist who collects evidence before it is lost."
Errol Morris, filmmaker (Thin Blue Line, Fog of War…), author and New York Times blogger (The Opinionator), from a 2010 commencement address to the Berkeley School of Journalism http://www.errolmorris.com/content/lecture/berkeley.html

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