After an unplanned two-week hiatus, I've resumed my weekly column for the leading Pakistani daily The News. This week's installment retails and comments on a recent long article by Orville Schell:
"The world described by Orville Schell in the April 6 issue of The New York Review of Books reads like a cross between the poignant Robin Williams film Good Morning, Vietnam and Evelyn Waugh's classic novel about foreign correspondents, Scoop - except without the humour. ...
"During my five years covering Asia based out of Bangkok, I learned that among foreign correspondents there exists a caste system. Staffers with major Western news organisations are the Brahmins, 'super-stringers' with retainers or well-paying regular gigs are the Kshatriyas, and self-funding freelancers are … well, you get the idea. If that was so in peacetime, imagine the crippling disadvantage freelancers -- who often are the most intrepid reporters, both physically and intellectually -- face today in Iraq."
My column is online here and includes a link to Schell's article (which obviously I recommend highly).