It started in April 2012, with this story by a student reporter and photographer, published in The New York Times. Since then, students in Morocco have been responsible for some of the most important — and consistent — reporting from this neglected region. Proof positive that journalism students can produce international reporting at the highest levels of the profession.
Students arrive soon for the fall semester on our journalism programs in Morocco andSouth Africa,
I’m taking a break this week and turning the newsletter over to one of Round Earth’s most brilliant young journalists. Aida Alami returned recently from a Round Earth reporting project in Haiti (photo is of Aida at the rear of the motorbike with her Haitian and Dominican colleagues). Here’s Aida writing from her home in Morocco:
After spending a few years in New York City where I studied journalism, I moved back to Morocco in late 2009, only a few months before major political changes known today as the Arab Spring.
Most people prefer to get their news through a “side door” like Facebook rather than directly from a news source, according a new report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford. This seems to indicate a deterioration of trust between media outlets and the public, according to the report, along with a reluctance to pay for the news. Still, people are paying. The significant increase in subscriptions that began in 2016 in the US has been maintained.
From the experience of Round Earth’s female journalists to the stories we report, harassment based on gender is front and center these days.
Courageous female journalists are coming forward to reveal “The Cost of Reporting While Female,” as an article in the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) put it. (The article includes a fascinating timeline, starting in 1829, documenting the harassment of female journalists.)
At Round Earth, we support female journalists through shared experience, understanding and partnership. My colleague Elisa Lees Muñoz,
Thousands of people in Laos are still in need of rescue, after a dam in a southeastern province burst earlier this week, flooding villages and killing at least 26. The dam is one of 70 hydropower plants that are proposed, underway of have been built, mainly on tributaries of the Mekong River.
It’s been almost 10 years since I was in Laos reporting on the dangers being predicted from these dams. I took a long tail boat to what’s called the Siphandone or “four thousand islands” in Southern Laos near the Cambodian border.
Sulome Anderson is one of the most impressive young journalists of our time. The daughter of Terry Anderson, the former AP Middle East bureau chief who was kidnapped by Hezbollah militants in 1985 and held hostage in Lebanon for nearly seven years, Anderson has made a career of freelance reporting from hostile territory among hostile people. — Columbia Journalism Review
I wrote about Sulome not long ago, as yet another extraordinarily good freelancer, struggling to survive. Now she’s called it quits.
More than seven years ago, when Round Earth began working in collaboration with SIT Study Abroad on a program in Morocco, journalism as a profession seemed to be in such crisis that many wondered if there would be a next generation of international journalists. I’m less fearful of that these days.
Trey Strange is a case in point. He had never been out of the United States when he came to Morocco for our program. That didn’t deter Trey. I honestly don’t know when I’ve had a student who was more enthusiastic,
Some years ago, the Poynter Institute asked journalists to send photos of their favorite quotes posted in newsrooms across the country. I keep going back to this piece for inspiration (click on the image above for the entire list). While the digital revolution has brought many technological changes, the essential importance of a free press remains the same. From the Prince George Citizen in British Columbia:
I’ll leave you with Supreme Court Justices Black and Douglas concurring in New York Times v United States (the so-called Pentagon Papers case).