García Márquez was always a reporter and storyteller

Gabriel García Márquez was a reporter, and that shows clearly in his famous literary works, which are based on his many experiences in Latin America and Europe.

Like Ernest Hemingway,  another reporter, García Márquez participated in real events, associated with real people and wrote about real people and events disguised in his style of magical realism.

Magic and the supernatural dominate Latin life, and, as a reporter, García Márquez drew on the tales around him. But he also created literary figures based on the real people about whom he had written.

García Márquez grew up in a Colombia that still suffered from the war between the conservatives and the liberals. He was working in Venezuela when the dictator Marco Pérez Jiménez was overthrown.

His book, Cien años de soledad for which he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982 draws heavily on his home town in rural Colombia.

García Márquez, 87, died Thursday in Mexico City. One of his major contributions may well be the Fundación Gabriel García Márquez para un Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano. The foundation reflects the concern by García Márquez about the practice of journalism.

The author says practical journalism skills and ethics as paramount. The foundation was founded in 1995, and García Márquez said at the time that there was a crisis of ethics in written journalism. He mentioned such problems as unnamed news sources who might not really exist and reporters failing to cite sources that actually deserve the credit.

The foundation has continued to prosper and offers classes and seminars to working news people, frequently online.

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