The recruited reporter
Reporting on jobless protesters in Adelaide, Ross shows his skill with building a case from details.
In this chapter, originally published in Tempo as one of his first articles from Australia, Ross stresses his status as a foreign reporter. By chance, he comes upon a gathering in Victoria Square and starts taking photographs. Immediately, the assembled men swarm around him and try to co-opt the journalist for their protest against increasing unemployment: “They pose in front of me in rows”, Ross writes; “in the first one they lie, in the second one they crouch, others are standing, as if at a company outing. Whether I want to or not I have to photograph them.”
The protesters and the shabby, cramped employment agency they show him clash, in Ross’s writing, with the well-paid grape pickers whose private cars he had marveled at in the beginning of the chapter. From such concrete contrasts Ross builds his case on economic trouble lurking behind Australia’s façade of mass affluence. The unemployment figures in the last paragraph merely confirm what the reporter has already seen.
Colin Ross. Erstes Erlebnis in Australien. In: Der unvollendete Kontinent. 1. Aufl. Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus; 1930; 45–8, 48 verso.