Social Media Divided About Whether Robert Fisk Was ‘Greatest Journalist Of His Generation’

In 1990 Robert Fisk published Pity The Nation: Lebanon At War, one of the most detailed descriptions of the 1975–1990 conflict in that country. Critics claim his journalistic reputation was tarnished by his later reporting from Syria.

Politicians and journalists have been paying tribute on Twitter to Robert Fisk, the veteran Middle East correspondent, who has died of a stroke, aged 74.

Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Australian journalist John Pilger and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis all tweeted tributes to Fisk, who spent most of his career working for The Independent newspaper.

Fisk was born in England but later took Irish citizenship.

​But among the tributes there was also harsh criticism of him on social media by some who claimed his reputation had been tarnished by his allegedly naive coverage of al-Qaeda – he interviewed Osama bin Laden twice – and of the Syrian conflict.

Journalist Neil Hauer tweeted: “Robert Fisk is dead. He was a good journalist once. Then he spent his last years lying about and mocking the victims of chemical gas attacks and smearing civilian aid workers as Al Qaeda. F*** him.”

​Fisk, who moved to The Independent from The Times in 1979, lived in Beirut for many years and became the western world’s most trusted source regarding the Lebanese civil war and the Israeli invasion of 1982.

In the aftermath of the NATO invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 he travelled to the border between Pakistan and…

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