When we partnered Francisco Rodriguez (left) and Giovanna Dell’Orto (center) on our Migration Reporting Project in Guatemala a few years ago, it was only the beginning.
Francisco and Giovanna have kept in touch and, earlier this month, Giovanna hosted a conference in Minneapolis (flyer), which brought together journalists covering refugees and migration from all over the world. Of course, she invited Francisco, which gave me the chance to finally meet him in person. We reflected upon the way in which our project changed his thinking about journalism.
Over the years, I’ve been inspired by many great journalists. But my first inspiration was probably Lillian Ross, who died recently at the age of 99. According to a piece in The New Yorker (where Ross was a staff writer since 1945), “her 1950 Profile of Ernest Hemingway was written like a short story, and her five-part article about the director John Huston and the making of “The Red Badge of Courage,” published in 1952, set a new standard in magazine writing for inventiveness and literary verve…The finest reporters,
Greetings from Rabat, Morocco where I am with 15 eager American students and Aida Alami (photo), a contributor to the New York Times (Aida is also on Round Earth’s Advisory Board). We’re here this week helping the students polish their pitches before they and their Moroccan partners embark on 5 weeks of field reporting.
Journalists Amy Bracken (American) and Michel Joseph (Haitian), along with Haitian photographer, Edine Celestin, started work together this week, the first team reporting for Round Earth Media’s project on inequality in Haiti.
Reeling from natural disasters, bitterly divided over politics and still struggling with a colonial past, Haiti appears to be trapped in a self-destructive spiral. Out of the limelight, however, people work to rebuild their lives with ingenuity and a dogged refusal to be left behind.
As a young reporter, I was attracted to work in Minneapolis-St Paul by the intense competition between two award-winning daily newspapers and renowned TV newsrooms. That competition produced great journalism and an unusually well-informed citizenry. (That’s a very young Mary Stucky on deadline, checking the clock at the 1984 Democratic National Convention.)
Throughout the country, great American news outlets thrived for decades in productive competition until the Internet disrupted the advertising and subscription model that had long supported journalism. Since then, more and more news organizations have embraced collaboration.
On Sunday, September 3rd, the leader of the opposition party was arrested in the middle of the night, charged with treason, and taken to a remote prison. The following edition of the paper carried the headline “Descent into outright dictatorship,” above the fold. At the bottom was an article titled “Cambodia Daily faces immediate closure amidst threats.” That was the last issue.
(Click on the photo above for “The Devastating Shutdown of the Cambodia Daily”
Hurricane Harvey inundated Houston
Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida and the Southeastern US
Hurricane Maria pummeled the Caribbean still reeling from Irma
Two earthquakes devastated Mexico
Hurricane Jose still threatens parts of the US
The news is heartbreaking. Before the advent of the internet and the 24/7 news cycle we didn’t have as much instantaneous news about disasters like these. While we might prefer not know, I don’t think that’s an option.
What a program! From our very first semester in Morocco (more than 5 years ago), with this story in the New York Times. To last semester’s reporting for public radio stations nationwide (PRi’s The World).
And from South Africa, a great start to the second semester of our new journalism track on a program about political transformation in this fascinating,
Lately, I’m hearing — even from my news junkie friends — that they’re done with journalism. Tired of reading bad news. Tired of the shouting. Tired of news stories that are thin and unsatisfying. Just tired.
I share these feelings. And yet, I spend almost every day working to produce journalism. Working with dedicated, ethical, sincere early-career and veteran journalists.
I still have hope for my profession.
The words of John Foley, Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences,