Mariane Pearl's Reflections on a Journalist's Death

A smart piece on Daniel Pearl's and James Foley's deaths as well as an indictment on the state of journalism, which is " "trapped between business interests and a bizarre flirtation with the entertainment media." The ultimate message of the article--humanism must prevail. 

By Mariana Pearl


When I first met my husband Danny Pearl, he took me on a tour of his earlier life across America. Today, more than ever, I hang on to the memory of a special visit to the Berkshires where Danny had worked as a reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. There, he crafted his art, explored the complexity of most news stories, learned how to dig for facts and to interpret them. The Eagle was conductive to his aspirations. People there seemed to believe in what they were doing.

One late afternoon, before sunset, Glenn Drohan, a veteran journalist, and a few other of Danny's ex-colleagues came together for a passionate, jubilant exchange about what was best practice of journalism and what wasn't. We had scotch and heated conversations. There were no solutions; in fact, the response always was to keep searching. It felt like a time I have never experienced myself but still feel nostalgia for, back when journalists met at bars and argued until the story emerged from their collective, passionate and often idealistic minds. When newsrooms were messy and loud, and yes, smelly too.

I was truly happy then. Danny was smart, handsome and funny. But what made me fall irremediably in love with him was that willful ability he had to resist cynicism -- the sarcasm creeping up as journalists experienced a widening gap between why they wanted to become journalists and their practice of it.

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