Bullets End NYT Reporter Interview With Thai General

Gen. Khattiya Sawatdiphol, a renegade Thai general also known as Seh Daeng, was shot minutes after this photograph was taken on Thursday during an interview by reporter Thomas Fuller. Love|Peace The big international news story is that Gen. Khattiya Sawatdiphol, who is allied with the red shirt protesters, was shot during an interview as the military planned to encircle the barricaded encampment.

Unless you click on the story online to read it, you don’t know the punch line. The writer of the story, Thomas Fuller, was interviewing Gen. Sawatdiphol when he was shot. In no way does the NYT make this fact of any importance.

I understand the concept of editorial restraint, but even the NYT is in a financial fight to survive long-term. Why not give us a lead-in we all can relate to in the first paragraph, if not the headline? Just a clue to bring readers to a very intersting story, which is as much about the writer as the dead general.

Anne’s Comment on “Dissident Thai General Shot; Army Move to Face Protesters”, written by Thomas Fuller for the NYTimes

My comment is focused on how big media survives in the 21st century. Working on our “Anne of Carversville” website, I saw your headline on NYT online just now. I turned to a writing colleague and said “Oh, God’, Thailand will be anarchy soon and a total police state.”

I’ve been to Thailand many times in my career, but am not up-to-date on the good guys and bad guys. I don’t have time to post the article as written. Too specialized for us, even though we selectively cover international conflict, especially when women are involved.

I leave the NYT and move to Huff Po, where the fp headline is “Dissident Thai General Shot in Head During Interview with “New York Times” WTF! Back I go to the NYT, where I read the story, thanks to Huff Po.

As others, I applaud your courage in not wondering if you were next and running for the nearest Buddhist monastery. Most of us would.

Nor do I believe that your headline had to be Huff Po’s. I will say that their headline is of interest to us all. Yours was to the select few interested (me for one) AND having the time to read it (not me).

Thanks to Huff Po (who the media elite loves to hate) your story will be told far and wider than it ever would have been, without Huff Po. I believe your editors should loosen up just a bit on a story of this nature.

Vietnam War press coverage wasn’t nearly as sanitized. When you look at the old footage of Dan Rather and others — even Walter Cronkite on air — it’s clear how much serious media has changed. Perhaps it’s a reason why crazy cable pundits have our ears.

Again, great reporting. Now little ol’ me will post your story, too — from your angle though: your restraint and calm reporting under very scary circumstances, qualities that make for great journalism. Read on at the NYTimes