Saturday 24 October 2015

Award-winning journalism from Jon

Talking about From Our Own Correspondent...

(hmm, it's becoming a bit of a habit of mine to start posts with the words "Talking about....". I suppose I should stop doing so, but...)

Er, talking about From Our Own Correspondent...

Today's edition contained one piece that really ought to be given an award for fine writing. (A cynic might say it was too obviously aiming at such an award, but I'm no cynic.)

It came from the heart of the typhoon-struck Philippines, and tugged at this listener's heart.

The tale of a plucky fisherman braving the "wild and wet weather" was both its starting and finishing point.

"Kids of the chubby-cheeked cherubic kind" grace this feisty fisherman's home, we were told, touchingly.

Along with loads more of this sort of lip-licking alliteration came sluices of juicy assonance and mouth-watering chains of extended imagery:  
Like most Filipinos Marlon is something of a pocket rocket, the build of a bantamweight but the chin and the resilience of a heavyweight. A hard man to knock down. Typhoon Koppu, on the other hand, has lumbered across the Philippines this past week with the slow-moving mass and menace of a sumo wrestler.
And on went the alliteration and assonance: "rooftop rescues", "landslips, mudslides, lives and livelihoods lost", "Filipinos, people who paradoxically", "see the sunny side", "gripe and grumble", "skilfully skippering his skiff" (my favourite), "risking life and limb to make a living", etc.

The report ended with the hope that Marlon will be braving the seas again soon, whatever the weather, come typhoon Amen.

The BBC reporter knows though, whatever, that he's "sure" to be (given an award for this report) "greeted by the same smiling faces, kindness and character", which is nice, whatever the "extreme weather event".

Step forward Mr Jon Donnison and please collect your award for fine writing and even finer feeling.

As W.H. Auden once wrote: Round the rampant rugged rocks/Rude and ragged rascals run. 

Jon might want to bear that in might next time he sees some more chubby-cheeked cherubic children cheerfully playing on the beach somewhere award-winning, but on this evidence he clearly doesn't need any such advice. 

1 comment:

  1. Evelyn Waugh would have smiled having written "Feather footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole" to mock such overwrought writing! :)


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