David Levinson and I are temperamentally almost complete opposites, but one thing we share entirely is a fascination with the world and an absorbing concern about global perspectives. This brought us together and led to our starting Berkshire. He’s the one who reads the newspapers religiously, while I tend to look for books that will expand my still far too limited knowledge of the world. Neither of us watches much TV (except of course sports), and because we walk only five minutes down the hill to work we don’t end up listening to all the NPR our driving friends seem to manage.
But now that I’ve become a huge fan of BBC World’s John Simpson, through his books, I’ve asked Rachel to see if her TIVO machine can record the BBC World News and the show “Simpson’s World.” Here’s a little from Simpson’s News From No Man’s Land: Reporting the World:
“…the most arrogant approach is to say that all people can understand is news about crime and traffic and consumer affairs and the weather and show business, so thatâ€™s all theyâ€™ll get. The world is a difficult, dangerous, highly complex place, and unless we help people understand it to the best of our ability, we are failing them in the most shameful manner. And–as happened with American audiences after 11 September–they will turn on us angrily and demand to know why we let them down.â€
He’s talking about the media, but we have the same job as publishers.