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Round Earth Media

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Round Earth Media has supported dozens of journalists who have written hundreds of pieces covering numerous topics in diverse countries. To explore all these stories, visit our archives!

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Fearless

April 5, 2017

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. 

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Visiting Vietnam? Go soon!

March 11, 2017

It’s architectural gems are disappearing

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.

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Best News Sources

February 17, 2017

Greetings from Indonesia

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. 

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Fairness in Foreign Reporting

July 15, 2016

My reporting could not have been done without him.

Sydney H. Schanberg died on Saturday.  He was a correspondent for The New York Times who “won a Pulitzer Prize for covering Cambodia’s fall to the Khmer Rouge in 1975 and inspired the film ‘The Killing Fields’ with the story of his Cambodian colleague’s  survival during the genocide of millions,” according to Schanberg’s obituary in The Times. The obituary goes on to say that Schanberg considered his many awards,

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Why do they do it?

May 7, 2016

Why do they do it?

I get this question a lot, once again last week after my speech on the challenges facing international journalists.

What compels a journalist to risk his or her life simply to file a story?

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Reuters / Thursday, March 17, 2011 Journalists, including New York Times photographers Tyler Hicks (R- in glasses) and Lynsey Addario (far L), Getty Images photographer John Moore (2nd L), freelance photographer Holly Pickett (3rdL) and freelancer Philip Poupin (4th L) run for cover during a bombing run by Libyan government planes at a checkpoint near the oil refinery of Ras Lanuf March 11,

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“Now I can weave until midnight”

February 12, 2016

A Small Island in the Indian Ocean Offers Big Lessons on Clean Power
“Now I can weave until midnight.”

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As the sun sets on the small Indonesian island of Sumba, Danga Beru Haba begins weaving under the glow of a single incandescent lightbulb, the only one in her home. Although she is tired from working dawn to dusk in the fields surrounding her village of Kampung Kalihi, the sarong she is weaving to sell locally will provide extra income for her family.

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What does it mean to be an American?

June 9, 2012

Sara Mansfield Taber is out to answer this question in her powerful, provocative and insightful new memoir, Born Under an Assumed Name.   The daughter of a CIA agent, Taber composes her family’s haunting story, stroke by exquisitely beautiful stroke. This vibrant family portrait of love and heart-ache reveals much about America—our passion, confusion, contradictions, and especially, the tragedy we bring upon the world despite our very best intentions.

For those of you in the Twin Cities, Sara Mansfield Taber will be reading from her book this coming Sunday,

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A Bias for Boys

October 25, 2011

In India, aborting a fetus based on its sex is illegal, but the practice is common due to a societal preference for boys. Up to 12 million abortions have occurred as a result of sex selection. Reporter Hanna Ingber Win gains unusual insight into this quiet practice and its implication for one family near Mumbai.

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Culion Island: Coming Back to Life

October 20, 2011

Culion is a beautiful and remote tropical island in the western Philippines — but it is an island with a dark history. It was once the world’s largest colony for people with leprosy. At its peak, Culion Island was home to 16,000 patients. But today, as Mary Stucky reports, this place that was once called the land of the living dead, has undergone a remarkable transformation.

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Plear

September 11, 2010

When Kunrath Lam was just a little girl she endured one of the most brutal regimes the world has ever known. Nearly 2 million Cambodians died during the reign of the Communist Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Kunrath Lam and her parents somehow managed to survive – though her childhood was one of intense deprivation. Lam used to dream of the delicious meals her grandmother had prepared for her in happier times. Lam’s absolute favorite– plear salad. Now, in the new country she calls home,

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