About a decade ago I started talking about re-search, rather than research. Why? Many journalists and other non-fiction writers just rewrite what someone else has written, because that’s easier than doing any research. Through their plagiarism things that are no longer true, were never really true in the first place, or were outright lies from the beginning are unthinkingly further disseminated. Untruths of this kind are at the root of many of the worst prejudices in our world. From the destructive consequences which the frequent lack of research has you can extrapolate what a force for good research can be. It must, however, be genuine research, that is re-search to have that effect. Just going through the motions of, for example, going to a distant winegrowing region, visiting producers, tasting wines and taking notes is not enough. You’d be surprised how often that kind of thing happens too, and in all fields of journalism. A good journalist actively searches again, because she or he knows that they always approaches their subject with preconceptions. The goal of their re-search is to overcome them, for without that there can be no new story to tell, and no truth comes out (although the truth will out). Why did I never write that here before? No good reason!
Now I’m back with those two letters – RE – because this blog is undergoing a process of re-thinking, re-orientation and re-newal . Many personal changes during the last weeks and months are the background to this, but, of course, those kind of changes don’t necessarily lead to re-thinking, much less re-orientation and re-newal. I have to do this because yesterday over a cup of coffee my colleague Jürgen Fränznick, who was also my first landlord in New York City (at the Hotel of Hope on East 7th Street in the East Village of Manhattan) made some very pertinent criticisms of this blog. Regular readers should not dismay though, for you may hardly notice the change during the coming weeks and months. My blog will continue to look much as it has done since the spring of 2012, and the mix of subjects will not be abandoned. However, it is time to be more direct in the way I tell these stories, and this may be the last elliptical story! It is also the last story for some time from NYC. I’m sad to leave, because I love this city, but all things must change.