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Here's Why the New York Times is Better than Everybody Else

I know I'm a couple days late on this, but I wanted to point to this remarkable news article from Thomas Fuller and Seth Mullens of the New York Times the other day:

Thai General Linked to Protests in Shot in Head During Interview

BANGKOK — A renegade major general who allied himself with the protesters who have paralyzed Bangkok for weeks was shot in the head and critically wounded here on Thursday as the military began sealing off a barricaded encampment of antigovernment protesters.

The general, Khattiya Sawatdiphol, 58, had become a symbol of the lawlessness and impunity that have torn Thailand apart as the protests have pitted the nation’s poor against its establishment.

He was shot during an interview with a reporter for The New York Times about 7 p.m., one hour after the military announced the start of a blockade and cut off electricity and water to a tent city of thousands of protesters. 

The reporter, who was two feet away and facing the general, heard a loud bang similar to that of a firecracker.

I love the downplayed "during an interview with a reporter for The New York Times about 7 p.m". The person writing the story saw a man standing in front of him get shot in the head. While the person shot was answering a question posed by the reporter. What amazing poise and grace. What a stunningly useful thing these reporters and photographers did for me. All in the context of a $2 newspaper.

Screen shot 2010-05-16 at 4.41.48 PM
These people are marvelous, and essential Here's a key passage:

A half-hour before he was shot, General Khattiya was addressing a scrum of reporters at sundown at the barricades. Most peeled away, leaving the general in a conversation with the reporter. 

I shared this with my children, on newsprint. I showed them the image of the general with the bloody skull, I recounted these passages to them about how the reporter came to be in the spot at that time, doing his job.

The do this daily, and I appreciate them so much.


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Daniel X. O'Neil: Chicago-based writer and internet developer. I am a co-founder of and the People Person for EveryBlock, a site that pulls together local news and public information. I run dozens of personal projects and websites for clients, and also own half of a poetry book company.


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