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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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Mekong Dams: The backstory

July 27, 2018

Mekong Dams

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.

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Greetings from India

March 2, 2018

Hello everyone,

Greetings from India where I am vacationing (OK, also working) for a few weeks and just now got strong enough Internet to send this weekly newsletter.   Next stop: Morocco where I’ll be helping our students prepare their story ideas.

As many of you know, our unique method means stories have two reporters: one from the United States and the other from the country where the story happens.  Our student partners are no exception. These young reporters, with mentoring from Round Earth’s experienced editors,

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Forgotten

February 23, 2018

 

The British-Irish freelancer Iona Craig has just won the Polk Award, one of journalism’s most prestigious acknowledgements.   For years Craig has covered Yemen which is, according to the Poynter Instituteone of the most godforsaken places on earth: A beautiful land, where early coffee cultivation began, riven by cholera and a devastating proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. It’s a war in which U.S. weaponry and ordnance is helping flatten the country, 

Poynter praised Craig’s determined,

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Courage

December 15, 2017

Journalists from Cameroon, Mexico, Thailand, and Yemen were honored at the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 27th annual International Press Freedom Awards for courageous work amid risks such as imprisonment, threats, and exile. — Committee to Protect Journalists

Thai reporter Pravit Rojanaphruk, faces sedition charges for his critical reporting on Thailand’s junta.

Ahmed Abba, a Cameroon correspondent for Radio France Internationale, has been imprisoned since 2015 on terrorism charges for his reporting.

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Could it happen here?

September 29, 2017

Here’s how it happened for the Cambodia Daily.

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” 

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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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