George Anastasia: Media Must Shine Light on Crime

Novinite Insider » INTERVIEW | September 29, 2004, Wednesday // 00:00
George Anastasia: Media Must Shine Light on Crime George Anastasia. Photo by Kameliya Atanasova (

George Anastasia, a veteran reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, is the author of five books of nonfiction about the Philadelphia mob. He has won many awards for investigative journalism and magazine writing.

Mr Anastasia talked to Editor Nadya Dimitrova

Q: What provoked your interest in organized crime?

A: I think it was my heritage - being an Italian-American. As an early assignment as a young reporter I was sent to cover casino gambling in Atlantic City, New Jersey and organized crime was a part of that story so I started writing about it.

I started out in that business as a sports writer and I think writing about organized crime is probably the only other topic that gives you as much freedom in terms of being stylistic in your writing as writing about sports. I think that is why I stayed with it.

Q: Have you ever considered reporting on something else besides organized crime?

A: Occasionally, I have written about other murder cases unrelated to organized crime, but again it is crime, I have also written about political corruption. But the well has not run dry, things keep happening and you can't make it up better than it is. As long as I still have that feeling about it, I don't have any desire to go do anything else.

Q: Why did you decide to write your books?

A: I write the books because in writing for the newspaper I report about all this information and invariably I had more information that I could fit into a newspaper article or even a series of articles. And the other part of it is our goal as reporters is to be objective and in writing a book I could be much more subjective. I have opinions about all this and I can express them in a book legitimately, while in the newspaper my aim is to be totally objective, so I can't express my feelings. So that gives me an outlet, and I think I need that outlet.

Q: So, the challenge of writing the books is being subjective?

A: I think being subjective is one of the advantages of writing a book, because you can take an issue and expand on it and try to make sense out of it and express you own opinion as to this ludicrous, this crazy or this is amazing. Whereas in reporting for the newspaper this is what it was you draw your own conclusions.

Q: Do you think that by writing about organized criminality journalists could prevent crime?

A: I don't know if they can prevent crime. The purpose of writing about organized crime is to let the public know what it is and let the public know how it affects their lives. And the public has to decide whether they want to bring pressure on the institutions, law enforcement, and judiciary, to solve the problem. Our job is not to solve the problem. Our job is to shine a light on it and let people know it exists, and let people know not only that it exists, but that here is how it impacts you.

We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Interview » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Bulgaria news (Sofia News Agency - is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." (Sofia News Agency - and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria