Sunday, April 16, 2006

Reuters Knows You've Got to Work to Sell It 

You are a Reuters reporter and you've just been handed the job of explaining to the world why it's a good thing that Iran is giving the PA's Hamas government a check for 50 million smackers.

You quickly realize you can't just say "Iranian wackos wrote a big check to fund Hamas terrorism." That will never sell. You need to find motivation. Context. Some way for your reader to understand why it is so important -- and GOOD, and NECESSARY -- that Hamas be given AT LEAST this much. But how?

Crying children will usually do the trick. A bawling little kid deserves all the money you can scrape up. Unless of course it's your own kid, in which case she should just stop crying and eat her brocolli. But that's a different story because if you get the right crying child -- with unwashed hands and a little barbed wire and broken glass in the foreground -- it will be clear there is no brocolli to eat.

But what if the Israelis didn't make any children cry today? No problem. Just go out and find a crying kid, any crying kid. Kids cry all the time (trust me on this one).

A Palestinian girl cries in front her family house at Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza strip April 16, 2006. Iran is giving $50 million to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority to fill gaps left by Western aid cuts, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Sunday. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
A job well done.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: