Stringer: A Reporter’s Journey in the Congo

Stringer: A Reporter’s Journey in the Congo, by Anjan Sundaram ($15.88 hb)

stringerAmazon:  In the powerful travel-writing tradition of Ryszard Kapuscinski and V.S. Naipaul, a haunting memoir of a dangerous and disorienting year of self-discovery in one of the world’s unhappiest countries.

Her is an interview with the author (on The Daily Show)

From a review on NPR by Ted Koppel:

In journalism, a stringer is a freelance reporter or photographer who gets paid on the basis of each story or picture sold. So, much of the time there’s no regular salary, no living allowance, and often, no travel subsidy. It’s a tough way to make a living; especially since the competition in a major market like New York or London is prohibitively fierce. The trick for a young journalist is to find a location rich in material but light on the competitive side; the more poverty-stricken, dirty, corrupt and dangerous, the better. By those criteria, you couldn’t find a richer environment than Congo, where Anjan Sundaram embarks on his career as a stringer. His reasons are never entirely clear: one moment he’s at Yale, about to embark on doctoral studies in mathematics, and the next he’s telling his advisor that he’s off to Congo to try and be a journalist. “To play the fool,” says the advisor, who clearly knows something about journalism; and who also, we later learn, knows something about youthful idealism.

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