I am genuinely interested in journalism. I try to contribute empirically to a public and academic debate about the quality (and future) of journalism. I read newspapers, blogs, academic papers about journalism and I find what journalists do useful. I find the ongoing crisis in news media fascinating and worrying.
But I have no stomach for the latest rounds of lay-offs at De Morgen, the newspaper I love to hate. Two people in particular whom I admire will be sacked. One is a poet, the other is a sports journalist. I met the first, Bernard Dewulf, on a basketball court 8 years ago. Since then, we’ve been hoopin’ it up every Wednesday. Bernard has a smooth stroke and a killer right drive. The second, Hans Vandeweghe, I met at a couple of triathlon races, including my own. Hans is not a nice guy. A mister know-it-all. A throwback investigative sports journalist. But a damn good one.
Bernard writes columns that can end wars. Every office space I’ve ever worked in was, has been or is adorned by one of his columns. I admire his observational talent and love how he manages to lift the mundane out of its dreariness. I understand the market logic of the news biz, but fail to put this sad news into perspective.