As a journalism student I am always curious to read the work of established journalists. Whether it’s their reporting compiled into one book, or an autobiography, I believe seeing your chosen field from a different angle is always an asset.
Recently, I came across the book ‘Truthteller’, by Stephen Davis. He is an investigative reporter but also teaches journalism in a couple of institutions around the world.
Fundamentally, what grasped me was the rawness of this book.
Stephen begins his chapters by telling a grabbing story. By the end of this chronicle you yearn to know the outcome but this is often missing due to the many scandalous coverups of these events.
Davis dives into the underworld of stories. What we see in the media is often very surface level and sometimes uninformed. He shows us how governments manage to shadow certain events until journalists are no longer interested in pursuing the story.
I think, living in a developed country, we are often trapped in a utopian mindset, and this causes us to be naïve, trusting that the world is fair and that the public is aware of everything that is worth knowing. This book jolted me because I realised that we don’t know. There are many stories that are simply pixellated or completely hidden, and even the many stories that we do know, have been twisted, wringed and moulded into the version that the world is permitted to swallow.
‘Truthteller’ highlighted that corruption doesn’t just exist in the countries that we know it to be in, it exists in the countries known for their freedom, in democracies, and right in front of our noses.
‘Truthteller’ poses media as the pretty bow tied around a pile of garbage. The media, usually unintentionally, shows only the best of the news, often not being allowed to explore the reality.
The public has a right to know everything, but as Davis shows us in his book, the public is usually not permitted.