• Humanities
  • 5 de June de 2024
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  • 5 minutes read

John Carlin: “I would propose to promote reading, particularly books”

John Carlin: “I would propose to promote reading, particularly books”


John Carlin, writer and journalist

John Carlin: “I would propose to promote reading, particularly books”

The challenge would be to make reading enjoyable

John Carlin. / Image: courtesy of the author

License Creative Commons


David Rabadà


Meeting for coffee with John Carlin is one of the most vivid experiences that a self-respectingly educated mind could ever appreciate. There has been twice that I have had so far the opportunity to share with him that coffee or, I’d rather say, that gathering, and both times my senses have felt sincerity and intelligence. This writer and journalist has been a reporter in Africa and America and has written about more than 60 countries for the main media in England, Spain and the USA.

He has as well produced more than 10 documentaries and published eight books, two of them turned into Hollywood films. We’re talking about ‘Invictus’ and ‘Die Hard 4’. That’s not surprising if we consider his extensive professional curriculum and his master’s degree in “English Language and Literature” from the University of Oxford. To converse with John Carlin is to enjoy a rich and well-ordered mind full of knowledge.

At the right, John Carlin. / Image: David Rabadà

John, could you tell us the details of your latest professional project?

Well, there is more than one.

Projects then

Well yes. Every week I publish an opinion column, generally on politics, but also on cultural issues, for La Vanguardia. I am currently writing a book about war, peace and international politics, but I am also producing a documentary about football.

What positive relationships would you establish between your professional projects and the educational training you’d receive?

My educational training was a key factor in my professional development, perhaps because I was lucky to have received it in the pre-internet and pre-screen era. I learned to receive information through reading and then synthesize it in writing. Thanks to the habit of reading that my teachers imposed on me, I also learned to tell stories in an orderly and, I may suppose, also entertaining way.

For my part, I confirm that it is enjoyable. Regarding the current educational system, if you had been trained by it, would your professional activity have improved or worsened?

My personal experience may not be much useful, since I studied in another era (sixties and seventies) and in another country (United Kingdom). But, according to people I know they’re involved in education in Spain and Catalonia, I have the impression that if I had gone to school in recent years, today I would not be as much prepared for my job as I am actually now. Or at least that my chances to receive an appropiated education useful for my job would have been much lower.

“Prohibiting access to cell phones and computer screens in classrooms, while promoting books, could be a step in the right direction”

Why do you think it would have made you worse?

I believe, or I suspect, that a young person today does not usually receive the educational tools that may be necessary to assimilate information and to organize it in writing, which is the basis of my work.

Looking at your professional path, how do you think the current education system should be improved?

Again, and based on what experts in educational respects have told me, I would propose promoting reading, particularly books, but also newspapers, and then helping students to understand what they read and to be able to summarize it through a written text. The challenge would be to make reading enjoyable and that what could be considered an overwhelming effort could become a pleasure and a source of personal satisfaction. Banning access to cell phones and computer screens in classes, while promoting books, could be a useful step to get closer to that goal.

Source: educational EVIDENCE

Rights: Creative Commons

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