Like many, I was dismayed and surprised last night to learn about the questionable “truthyness” (remember that word joining the lexicon during the Frey hoopla?) of Greg Mortenson’s story of building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I didn’t see the Sixty Minutes segment last night, but did read it about it online.
I read Three Cups of Tea and was impressed and enthralled with the tale of mountain climbing, the kindness of Afghan villagers, the little girls with no education, the kidnapping by the Taliban, and Mortenson’s vow to come back to build schools.
To learn that his story, while many parts are true, has completely manufactured embellishments, and especially to learn that his charity to fund these schools first and foremost supports his lavish lifestyle and book marketing is disheartening. Yet another, in a long list, of admired folks that have such self-centered souls.
But I’m also intrigued with this story for a completely different reason. Byliner.com is introducing #1 in an ongoing series of “long form” journalism, stories and articles, with this report by Jon Krakauer. The 89-page PDF is available for free download at this link for 72 hours. It will be available as a Kindle Single on April 20th. I’m still unclear as to what will be offered directly from Byliner, but have requested information from them.
I think bodes well for reporters, newspapers, and authors who research and write investigative pieces and other in-depth reports on a variety of subjects. Non-fiction writers and readers could be well served by this site or others like it.
Stay tuned for further reports on Byliner.com.