BREAKING NEWS is war correspondent Martin Fletcher’s exciting and soul-searching memoir covering three decades reporting wars, revolutions, and natural disasters. It’s an amazing look at history through the eyes of a man who was in many of the world’s hot spots, while also offering an insider’s take on the ethics, politics, and logistics of journalism.
The genocide in Rwanda, apartheid in South Africa and Rhodesia, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the Berlin Wall coming down, the Intifada, the Six-Day War, the Ethiopian famine, Kosovo, and more–Fletcher was there, working his way up from cameraman to NBC bureau chief. The memoir provides a sweeping inside look at some of these major events while offering a journalist’s perspective. A man just lost his daughter to famine, should we showcase his grief in closeup? Somebody has been shot and is lying in the street, should I help or keep the film rolling? A woman is about to die from famine. Should I capture her suffering and death, maybe hoping by showing it to the world, the world will act?
Fletcher writes with passion and deep insight, providing a memoir that at times reads like compelling war fiction. BREAKING NEWS begins with an ambitious cameraman who wanted to go abroad, build a career, and bed everything in sight. It then charts his rise to an NBC bureau chief torn by the dilemmas, exploring his heritage and the Holocaust, and finding it is far more satisfying as a journalist to cover people instead of events. Capture their experience with sympathy and understanding.
BREAKING NEWS is my favorite kind of nonfiction, informative while constantly engaging. I found it a terrific and thought-provoking read.
Here’s Fletcher talking about his book. You don’t get a book trailer more compelling than this:
Here are some of Fletcher’s reports, all of which he talks about in his book: