Smearing a city isn’t entertaining
Brief editorial on Esquire’s July feature of Newark. The most heinous crimes of Scott Raab’s piece are the assumption that Booker is the only person in Newark trying to make a difference, and the dehumanization of the entire citizenry as “zombies”.
And let’s be clear that Raab’s piece leaves no room for nuance. In his opinion, if you’re crazy enough to live in Newark, that makes you a zombie: artists, addicts, professionals, families, ex-cons, children, teachers, bloggers, lawyers, poets, social workers.
Readers of The Daily Newarker will recognize that we share a slightly different view of the city. I encounter heroes all over this city in my work at the Daily Newarker. Businessmen and -women who want to provide their services to Newark’s underserved community; non-profit directors and employees who have this nutty idea that how they live their lives might actually make a difference in someone else’s; educators who believe that their Newark-based institutions can set national standards.
Sure, the city has more than it’s fair share of needs — and we’ve even seen monsters operate here with impunity. To equate flesh-eating zombies with their stories might seem clever to Esquire editors, but to this Newarker, it just lazy reporting.
Solid, honest reporting, not entertainment considerations, should be at the heart of good fea ture writing. Wouldn’t Esquire prefer to be known for attracting readers to exceptional journalism, not sensational, yellow journalism? No wonder the public is increasingly skeptical of the media. Some publications will print anything to make a buck.