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Reporter by Seymour Hersh

“Read before you write. And, secondly, get the hell out of the way of a story.”

These are two rules for reporting from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Seymour Hersh in his memoir “Reporter”.  At times reflective, he is also blunt in his opinions about world leaders and the deeds done in the name of the American people. Above all, it is his pursuit of truth and his passion to provide an honest reporting of events that has compelled him from his early days in Chicago through his tenure with the NY Times and up to the present. Seymour Hersh has written on several controversial topics such as My-Lai and other massacres in Vietnam, the secrecy of the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, the death of Osama Bin-Laden and the torture at Abu Ghraib. He is unapologetic about his coverage stating: “I will happily permit history to be the judge of my recent work.”

Hersh acknowledges that investigative reporting has changed in the current “24 hour news cycle”. In the rush to get into print there is little time for the kind of in-depth research that Hersh and others pursued to get the story. In addition, with falling revenues, newspapers no longer have the resources that would allow a reporter to do the kind of work that Hersh had been able to produce. In this memoir, he offers a compelling argument for why they should and why the public should demand such reporting. To be fully and intelligently informed we need to know the whole story.

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