In defense of Simon Romero

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Quico and I got into a bit of a disagreement this morning about the tone of his recent posts on Simón Romero’s work covering Venezuela for the New York Times.

The Gray Lady’s coverage of Venezuela today is wildly improved from the ho-hum, PSF-lite days of Juan Forero who, at times, seemed to be one careless edit away from referring to the opposition as "the squalid ones." 

And yet, while I think Romero is hitting all sorts of interesting notes, Quico appears to be less enthusiastic. He found Romero’s coverage of the ETA-FARC links underwhelming, and even though he praised his reporting on the situation of political prisoners, his choice of words left a lot to be desired.

A casual reader glancing over that post would read that Quico

  • called Romero’s story "bland";
  • said it "read like a hatchet job";
  • said reading it was "a strange experience";
  • called it "mundane."

This is unfortunate because, in fact, Quico liked the piece, and his use of "just-the-facts" adjectives were meant as a compliment.

Quico has long been a fan of Romero’s work, but his latest posts don’t convey that. Which just goes to show that it’s not always what you say, but how you say it.

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