Round Earth Media

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, including the Pulitzer, to be shared with his colleague, Dith Pran. 

Indeed.

At Round Earth, our teams of early career and in-country journalists report side-by-side in equal partnership. We share in everything we do — from awards to story credits.

This is fair.

We also think it’s the best way to produce journalism of excellence from outside the United States.

I’m reminded of a piece I read recently in preparation for my trip to South Africa to establish our new program and partnerships there.

“The white gaze [sometimes defined as looking at the world through white eyes unaware of racism] is gradually dying out with more African journalists getting the opportunity to tell their own stories,” writes Hassan Ghedi Santur, a Somali-Canadian currently studying at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.  “Who tells the stories of Africans has historically been about power.  And that equation is slowly but surely tipping in favor of Africans themselves.”

My dream — and most earnest intent – is to work together in equal partnership, mentoring and supporting our teams of young reporters to produce journalism of excellence for audiences in the U.S and in the countries where those important stories are taking place.

I leave you with Sydney Schanberg.

“I’m a very lucky man to have had Pran as my reporting partner and even luckier that we came to call each other brother. His mission with me in Cambodia was to tell the world what suffering his people were going through in a war that was never necessary. It became my mission too. My reporting could not have been done without him.”

Warmest regards,

Mary Stucky
Round Earth media is a non-profit supporting young journalists around the world, enabling them to find and tell stories the world needs to hear.

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