david remnick

3 GREAT STORIES: Starring Malaysia Airlines & Tom Emanski

Every week, I shine the spotlight on some of the best storytelling in the business and offer my comments. “3 Great Stories of the Week” will post every Monday at 8 AM.

After the crash (7/18/14, New Yorker): In the immediate aftermath of Thursday’s crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, more questions existed than answers.

The best reporting involved a certain amount of restraint — namely, resisting the temptation to jump to conclusions.

Credit the New Yorker’s David Remnick, then, for this column the following day. He provides perspective by interviewing a former PR man for Vladimir Putin and Boris Yeltsin, choosing to take a macro view of the crisis in Ukraine rather than specifically dissecting the crash. And before U.S. government officials — and even President Obama — weighed in with their thoughts, Remnick warned of the dangers of assuming before investigating:

But let’s stop here and register the proper cautions and caveats: There has been no investigation, no conclusive proof. (And there won’t necessarily be a proper and convincing investigation, either, considering the deliberately chaotic and militarized state of eastern Ukraine these days, and Russia’s clear interests.) We shouldn’t pretend to know for certain what we don’t.