Don’t miss this excellent video “explainer” on the war in Syria from VOX. Click on the image above for the video.
I’d like to hear from you! What did you read/hear/watch this week that’s not to be missed?
Years ago, in preparation for spending 6 months on assignment in Bolivia, I read a magnificent book byWilliam Powers:Whispering in the Giant’s Ear: A Frontline Chronicle from Bolivia’s War on Globalization (2006). Little did I know that, during my stay in Cochabamba, I would become friends with Melissa Draper and that Melissa and Bill would marry years later. It is a small world!
Today, I received an email from Bill — he’s working on a new book and shared the draft manuscript with me.
Student Journalist Emily Rizzo (right) with Ahmed Kathrada and Barbara Hogan
It’s been 5 years since SIT Study Abroad approached me with the idea of starting a journalism program in Morocco. I agreed — under two conditions. We use the Round Earth partnership model (an American journalism student partnered with a young journalist from the country). And, we publish the stories in top media outlets– if they’re good enough. To their eternal credit, SIT said “Why not?” But others weren’t so sure.
The foreign editor at a major national newspaper recently asked for a column about young journalists who inspire me. There are many but none more than the Indonesian, Febriana Firdaus.
When Western journalists parachute into a country for a week of reporting, they contact journalists like Firdaus who give them story ideas, sources and generally work as a “fixer” (usually without a byline or fair financial compensation). We’re out to change that. It’s our model to pair a Western journalist with a journalist from the country where the story is taking place to work together inequal partnership.
As we prepare to launch an exciting new reporting project in Haiti, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what journalists do right — and what they do that is not serving citizens of the United Sates and the world. My conclusion? We need to go beyond scattershot stories. We need to provide context. We need to dig deep into the way in which our systems and policies work against prosperity and dignity for so many people in the United States and the world.
Some perspective from this new study* in theColumbia Journalism Review (click on the photo above for the entire report). This is especially important with President Trump’s immigration plan making headline news.
“The right-wing media was able to bring the focus on immigration, Clinton emails, and scandals more generally to the broader media environment. A sentence-level analysis of stories throughout the media environment suggests that Donald Trump’s substantive agenda—heavily focused on immigration and direct attacks on Hillary Clinton—came to dominate public discussions.
HO CHI MINH CITY— Once an architectural gem emblematic of Vietnam’s era as a French colony, the Tax Trade Center with its iconic Art Deco facade is now mostly rubble.
Despite a petition drive spearheaded by a growing historic preservation movement, the building was demolished in recent months. In its place, developers plan a 43-story complex with a connection to the first subway line in the city.
(From “The Truth Is Hard” a new New York Times ad campaign.)
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last 12 years in countries without a free press. Countries where journalists are intimidated, threatened, jailed and even killed for doing their jobs. As an American journalist, I’ve often reflected on how easy we have it. Many times I’ve wondered what American journalists would do if they faced even a fraction of what journalists in the countries we cover deal with —
Hollywood’s Dark Side?
Young extras in Morocco get a brush with fame, but there may be a cost
OUARZAZATE, Morocco – Strolling this town on the western edge of the Sahara Desert, you might hear a man relating a conversation he had with Brad Pitt. Or a 20-something talking about how he saw Tom Hanks on the street. Or a girl gushing about how beautiful Emilia Clarke is in person.
This week, I’m in the world’s largest island country (a mind-boggling 14,000+ islands), making plans for a project we hope to launch next year to cover this important and neglected country, home to 13 percent of the world’s Muslim population. Almost every major US media outlet used to have a bureau in Jakarta – the only newspaper left is the Wall Street Journal. There are magnificent young freelancers here – Americans and Indonesians — eager to work with us.