History doesn’t make headlines. Duh. History is by its definition “old news.”
But to say that a journalist isn’t also a historian is a massive misstatement. Any journalist who is worth anything must have a better understanding of history than most. It gives their stories this crucial thing called context. Those who write about the Jewish-Palestinian conflict or even talk about their town’s redevelopment effort are going to have to put things in context briefly and accurately. It’s a skill that many undervalue.
So just out of curiosity and a need for context, I have been delving into Grenada’s history.
Until now, most of my research has been done from the comfort of my own computer. Google hasn’t hit pay dirt just yet so this journalist might have to venture into a *gasp* library.
But sometimes I wonder how much local people know about their own history. In other words, would a reporter be incorrect to assume her readers have an extensive base of knowledge about Grenada’s history?
I was struck by a statement heard on the local TV news. The anchor was reading e-mails from viewers regarding the anniversary of the October 1983 coup. Several expressed a wish that Grenadian history was taught more in schools. Then I came across this gem of a poem by a now-dead Grenadian journalist that you can read yourself. The author laments that European history is given greater priority in education than Caribbean history.
I guess understanding your audience and their issues is just a matter of time and experience.
Regardless of audience, which in blogging is such a fluid concept, I am in search of some context.