Citizen journalism is where it’s at, except maybe not for Robert Makofsky, a writer for the Port Jefferson Patch. Makofksy wrote up a dedication for Marie Colvin at Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism in — you guessed it — Stony Brook, N.Y., where CNN’s Christiane Amanopour appeared to speak and honor her.
Colvin worked at The Sunday Times from 1985 until her death on Feb. 22, 2012. She died covering the Siege of Horns in Syria. She was 56.
Makofsky writes like he’s your father who never worked in journalism but suddenly thinks, hey, anyone can do this. He breaks all the basic guidelines. He fawns. He repeats himself. He puffs up Amanpour like she’s the greatest woman to ever walk the face of the Earth. Did we mention he repeats himself? He injects himself unnecessarily in the story. His lede: “When I heard that Christiane Amanpour was going to speak at Stony Brook University in honor of Marie Colvin at the dedication of the Center for International Reporting on Tuesday, Feb. 5th, I was overjoyed.”
The event was to honor Marie Colvin. The author, who’s busy falling at Amanpour’s feet, admits he has no idea who Colvin is and never bothers to tell us until paragraph three that she was an international journalist. How did she die? You’ll have to look that up for yourself. He writes confusing sentences like this one: “She lost an eye while covering a story and eventually lost her while covering the conflict in Syria on February 22, 2012.” Did Colvin lose the eye, did her sister, who was at the dedication and mentioned in the previous sentence, lose her eye? Is there a word missing? Was any other body part missing?
Compliments for Amanpour (what the hell, in no particular order): 1. “I have been a fan of Ms. Amanpour since watching her cover the Iran War in it’s early stages for CNN news.” 2. “She appeared honest, sincere, and human in the midst of the chaos and carnage of war.” 3. “I sat glued to my chair for most of Ms. Amanpour’s talk.” 4. “The humility Ms. Amanpour displayed on Tuesday evening is an example for all of us to follow.”
Just as he began, Makofsky concludes on a weirdly personal note: “I was inspired by Christiane Amanpour. Her message of finding and revealing the truth, doing what you can when you can, standing up for what is fair and just, and not expecting anything at all for your efforts was only bested by her grace and her humble demeanor.”