I think that not only me but every Humphrey Fellow have same feelings that I do have .It was really exciting and more informative trip .(Global Leadership Forum),the people of 93 countries were gathered there and shared information about their countries cultures ,foods,living standards,political situation and the issues pervailing over there.I could not forget these days in my life.The panel discussions /sessions on different leadership skills and visit of Washington Post ,Voice of America . I was very excited that when Hillary Clinton came in the state department dinner hall and addressed welcome speech. Amazing time for learning and getting information about America creation.I loved a lot and I learnt a lot that I could never before.
From the reviews, the main target the Rally for Sanity went after was partisan media. Video clips of Glen Beck and extremist talking heads on both sides of the aisle was the main butt of the jokes. Jon Stewart said about the 24-hour news machine, “This machine “did not cause our problems but its existence makes solving them that much harder…If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.” A review in the Daily Beast said, “Stewart’s outrage at the sensationalism and superficiality of cable is largely on target. But it is, as he said, a “funhouse mirror” held up to a nasty political system and a conflict-driven society.” Additional jokes were made at the sake of ABC, CBS, AP, New York Times and NPR, news outlets who banned their journalists from attending the rally.
The rally seemed to highlight for me a strange balance that the media is trying to pull off. While some outlets are going for extreme partisan views to attract audiences, others are stepping so carefully that they don’t criticize the sometimes obvious mistakes of politicians.
Being today in Washington DC is a blessing for a journalist: the rally at noon between Capitol and the big Needle, organized by the top Comedy Central duo Stuart/Colbert, and covered by each and every TV station you can imagine. The audience around the world could see all that happened on the stage and hear the live reports.
But the feeling behind the scene is a special experience – the human contact and the energy created by thousands of people who gathered to send a unique message to politicians: to make sense.
I am happy that I had a chance to share the moment with all of them.
Photos are just another way of telling stories, and therefore, together with all other mediums is subject to the perspective and interpretation of the storyteller.
I believe it is totally unethical to remove elements from a photography by digitally manipulating it. Maybe a good way to determine how much a photo can be manipulated is to ask oneself, “Is this photo still telling the same story that the photographer intended?”
It probably all comes down to the editor’s preference. Just as text piece can be changed from what the original writer intended so can a photograph. Simply by cropping it differently a photo-editor can make the photo tell a totally different story.
The reason why so many people care about it is because you often see the original photo somewhere else but not the original text of an article that has been modified.
The National Press Photographers Association says, “As journalists we believe the guiding principle of our profession is accuracy; therefore, we believe it is wrong to alter the content of a photograph in any way that deceives the public.”
The panel discussion on ” The Media and the 2010 Midterm Elections” during the Global Leadership Forum was a grim reminder how both the media and polity are falling in the hands of the corporate elite. All three speakers, Professor Kevin Klose, Ms. Kay King and Dr. Jeremy Mayer, contributed immensely to my knowledge about the US electoral system, emerging and ending trends.
Does the heavy involvement of money in electoral races not shut doors for politically conscious but relatively less wealthy politicians? I am surprised that none of the speakers uttered a word about the election manifesto of political parties during the mid-term elections. In a question, which I could not ask because of lack of time, I wanted to know how different the election manifestos were during midterm elections as compared to the presidential polls. In addition, do political parties reshape their electoral promises during the midterm elections? I still have to find out the answers to these questions.
My concern is politics, like the media, will further by driven by corporate interests rather than political ideologies in the future.
When CEOs join the electoral race and devoted political workers lag behind because of numerous unavoidable reasons (such as scarcity of money to run advertisement campaigns etc) then we should not get surprised what Dr. Jeremy Mayer pointed out: “Many campaigners avoid the media. They don’t invite or welcome the media in their campaigns”.
They don’t feel the need to talk to the media because, in some cases, they have got their own media outlets or media cells. They now run their election campaign via Twitter and Facebook. Along with so many other questions, I will conclude with one more question: What is going to be the future of election reporting? Will election candidates and voters need us in the futre? Dr. Jermey said: “People now prefer to switch to media outlets that provide them the information they’d like to hear while living in their comfort zone.”
WASHINGTON DC: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while addressing the 2010-11 batch of Hubert Humphrey Fellows at a reception held on Monday evening said that people-to-people connections were at the foundation of all the work done at the State Department.
218 Hubert Humphrey Fellows from 93 countries of Middle East, South Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, have gathered in the US capital, Washington, to attend a week-long Global Leadership Forum (GLF-2010). The fellows are currently affiliated with 18 American universities. The State Department reception held at the Benjamin Franklin Room was attended by the ambassadors and senior diplomatic officers of various countries. The ambassador of Pakistan, which is the largest recipient of the prestigious fellowship, did not show up for the event.
Assistant Secretary Ann Stock and Dr. Allan Goodman, the president and CEO of the Institute of International Education, also attended the reception.
Most Humphrey Fellows said they were not expecting Secretary Clinton and her visit to the reception was a “big surprise”. As she walked into the reception, fellows, mainly the females, cheered Clinton enthusiastically.
Secretary Clinton said it was exciting for her to see a diverse and impressive gathering as the Humphrey Fellows began a “very worthwhile year of study.”
“I came here to really thank you for deciding that you wanted to come to the United States and to learn and to let us learn from you as we build greater understanding and more bridges between people. I think that the idea of nurturing talent and creating opportunities for the next generation is really key to what we’re trying to do in the Obama Administration and here at the State Department,” she said, “We’ve got to build more mutual understanding and mutual respect. We need more links between people in government today and people who will be in government tomorrow. So we do expect great things from you when you return home after this period here as a Humphrey Fellow.”
Secretary Clinton complimented the sizable representation of women in the fellowship program.
“I must confess I’m very pleased to see so many women here. I really believe that investing in half the population pays off,” she said.
She also paid tributes to former vice president Hubert Humphrey in whose commemoration the fellowship has been launched by billing him as one of real inspirational leaders of the last century in the United States.
” He took stands on issues, whether they were popular or not, and he fought hard for them. He was an early leader when it came to civil rights. He supported the creation of the Peace Corps. He was someone who really appreciated the legacy of service.”
She urged the Fellows to maximize the unique learning opportunity during their stay in the United States.
“I hope that each of you will take advantage of this opportunity – ask questions, schedule meetings outside the classroom, volunteer to help on projects, just take it all in. Because we want you then to take what you have learned and put it to use in your own countries. You will meet friends that you never met before, both among the other Humphrey Fellows and here in the United States. And so you will get a chance to exchange ideas and to really test yourself. The students sitting in your classrooms or studying next to you can be a valuable resource for you.”
She also highlighted the significance of networking for personal and professional purposes. “When you get to know someone as an individual, it really does change your mindset, and I find that in my own experience and I hope each of you will as well. There’s an alumni network of more than 4,000 Humphrey Fellows in 156 countries around the world, so there’s a built-in opportunity to have a network experience because of who you are and this extraordinary opportunity.”
She further said the Humphrey Fellows had a lot of partners and allies across the world.
“Remember that we stand with you. We believe in you. We support you. You are here because a lot of people decided that you should be here. So we know that this is a challenging experience, but we all think you’re up to the challenge. And I think if you can take advantage of this time, your experiences will help you become even more ready to assume a leadership position in your own country and society,” she remarked.
On the second day of the Global Leadership Forum, Shanta Nagendram, Director of SkillsFocus Consultancy of Malaysia, shared her experiences as a Humphrey Fellow in 1987. She spoke in detail about skills, perspective and knowledge required to become an effective global leader in the 21st century. She shared her learned lessons and repeatedly talked about the importance of networks and contacts the fellows make during their stay in the United States for ten months.
“I have one bad experience for every ten good experiences in the United States,” she said, confessing that perceptions about women, blacks and Muslims had worsened in the post-9/11 which had made exchange programs and international tours more difficult. However, she urged the fellows not to confuse the people of America with the political polices of the government.
Shanta said she came from a middle background when she joined the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship program but found it as an extraordinary learning opportunity. She wanted to become a successful negotiation consultant and today her clients include the US Government, leading multi-national companies and international non-governmental organizations.
Participants of the Humphrey Fellowship also took part in an exercise to discuss pressing global issues in the context of Copenhagen Consensus of 2004 and 2004.
During their deliberations, the Humphrey fellows hailing from assorted domains of life prioritized areas in need of greater need for allocations for issues like air pollution, conflicts, diseases, education, global warming, malnutrition and hunger, sanitization and water, subsidies and trade barriers, terrorism and women and development. Most groups prioritized education, diseases and hunger in top sectors they believed needed global attention and spending.
WASHINGTON DC: The Global Leadership Forum (GLF-2010), which is an essential component of the State Department-sponsored Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, was an implicit demonstration of increasing relationship between the United States of America and different countries of the world in the domain of education and cultural exchange.
The five-day long conference kicked off on Sunday in the US national capital in connection to a ten-month long program which the Fulbright Exchange Commission administers with the collaboration of the International Institute for Education (IIE).
Pakistan, with twenty-seven Humphrey Fellows, is currently the highest recipient of the coveted mid-career fellowship.
The Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, founded in 1978, to respect the services of former US Vice President and senator Hubert H. Humphrey, has a network of 4,200 alumni in 157 countries of the world.
Amy Nemith, Assistant Director of the Hubert Humphrey Program at the IIE, told The Baloch Hal that the GLF was the first of two times when the Fellows were brought together in Washington DC to introduce them with the US capital and fellows working at different campuses across the United States.
Amy said 218 Fellows from ninety-three (93) different countries attended the Global Leadership Forum this year.
“It is a chance for all to Humphrey Fellows to discuss what it means to be a (better) global leader. The Forum is one of the benchmarks of the fellowship year,” she said,”We are expecting from the Global Leadership Forum to give the Humphrey Fellows a broader understanding of the program. Previously, the Fellows were based at their individual campuses but now we have made them a part of a larger global community.
On the opening evening of the GLF,Dr. Allan Lichtman of American University spoke about the legacy of Hubert Humphrey whom he described as a man who proved his leadership skills even without becoming the president of the United States.
Dr. Lichtman started his talk about Hubert Humphrey amid applause when he said he truly felt the legacy of the former senator after seeing Fellows from India and Pakistan dinning on one table. ” That is what Hubert Humphrey stood for!” said Lichtman who offered a chronological description of Humphrey.
According to Lichtman, Hubert Humphrey staunchly advocated civil rights and pushed the Democrats to struggle for equal rights for all citizens. He was opposed to nuclear weapons and the war in Vietnam.
” Hubert Humphrey played a significant role in introducing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which remarkably ended discrimination and segregation in the United States,” he recalled,”he was an internal critic of the war in Vietnam and wanted it to be transformed into an internal war against disease, poverty and hunger. The War in Vietnam was horrendous for Hubert Humphrey and brought him immense misery.”
Fellows from different parts of the world admired the exchange program and described it as a helpful opportunity for the mid-career professionals to improve their management and leadership skills in order to lead in their respective domains in the future.
Hussein Habeeb Mhawesh, an orthopedic surgeon from Iraq who is currently affiliated as a Humphrey Fellow at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School and Public Health, said the fellowship offered him a “great chance” to meet people from the same profession of other countries. ” America is a relatively new nation in the comity of the world but they have assumed a leading role within a few hundred years because of their hard work,” he said.
When asked what he intended to take back to his home country over the completion of the Humphrey Fellowship year, Hussein said: ” Probably, I am going to implement some of the US health service models in Iraq on my return. The health service in the US is quite limited because of the Health Care Insurance whereas in my country health services are free. I am planning to benefit from the American health strategies in Iraq.”
He opined that exchange programs like the Humphrey Fellowship helped in eliminating misunderstandings between different cultures.
” We are facing many difficulties and shortfalls in the health-sector,” he said, ” one of the biggest needs in Afghanistan right now is the need for leaders in the health sector. I wish to take the Humphrey Fellowship opportunity as an advantage to move further in the health field in my country.”
For David Njenjere kabita of Kenya, who is an assistant Director at the Education Department, the Humphrey year is meant to focus on two areas: Leadership capacity building and professional engagements.
“The fellowship provides us an opportunity to share experiences,” he said.
Chin Idirisu Medorni of Cameroon, who is a fellow at University fo Minnesota, viewed the Humphrey Fellowship as a drastic change in his personal and professional life: “ I am sure when I go back to Cameroon, things will not be the same because the program is amazing and it has provided me a chance to learn a lot,” he remarked.
Erika Diaz Pascacio, a Mexican fellow at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said she viewed the fellowship as a “great opportunity” which was going to have a lasting impact on her professional life in the future to analyze what her goals in life are.
When asked what she believed was the most exciting thing to learn during her fellowship in the United States, Erika,
who holds a Masters degree in Environmental Management from the University of Queensland in Australia, said she had found the people in America as very hard working.
” I am so surprised that people in this country have to make their day every day. They really work very hard. If they want to get something, they really have to work hard. I hope I can share these experiences to people in Mexico,” she envisioned.
Earlier in the day, the Humphrey Fellows were taken on a tour of Washington DC as a part of which they also saw the White House, the official residence of the US President, and several other official and historical monuments.
The news report originally appeared in The Baloch Hal, the first online newspaper of Balochistan in Pakistan
Secreatary of State Hillary Clinton and Alan Goodman President and CEO of IIE
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton address Hubert Humphrey Fellows
Clinton: “We do expect great things when you return home” by Aleksandra Dukovska
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a strong message to the two hundred and twenty Hubert Humphrey Fellows from over eighty different world countries at the reception in the US Department of State yesterday.
Secretary of State Clinton underlined that investment in the people’s education should create different opportunities for them when they return home.
“What we trying to do in the Obama Administration and here at the State Department we have to build mutual understanding and mutual respect. We need more links between people and government today and people will be in the government tomorrow”.
“Therefore, we do expect great things from you when you return home after this period here as a Humphrey Fellows”, Secretary of State Clinton said.
Speaking on the opportunities and the possible doors that the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship can open in the future for the Fellows, she pointed out the great importance of networking.
“There is Alumni network of four thousand Humphrey Fellows in 156 countries around the world and there is a build in opportunity to network experience”, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said to the Fellows.
According to the Secretary of State, “this is a challenging experience, but we all think you are up to the challenge and I think that if you can take advantage of this time, your experience will help you became even more ready to assume a leadership position in your own country and society”.
Many of the Humphrey Fellows achieved their goals after they returned in their countries. Some of those success stories Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared with Humphrey Fellows of year 2010/2011.
“One of your colleagues here landed an exclusive interview with President Obama this June. Another one from the Fellows who studied law in the class of 2002, just became first female police commissioner in India and in August 2008, a Humphrey Fellow was appointed as Columbian Minister of Defense”.
Speaking on the Hubert Humphrey legacy, she said that “he took stands on issues, whether they were popular or not and it fought hard for them”.
She recall on him as an early leader who fought for the civil rights and as somebody who supported the creation of a Peace Corps and who really appreciated the legacy of service.
The Hubert Humphrey Fellowship is founded on service of Hubert Humphrey who was “one of the real inspirational leaders of the last century in the United States”, said State Secretary Clinton.
The Diane Rehm Show, a news/entertainment program on National Public Radio, is doing a special series about the United States Constitution. The first installment was about the separation of powers between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of our government. The second installment was an in-depth look at the Bill of Rights: the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. You can listen to both of the radio shows online, and the first one already has a transcript posted for you to read. The second one was just broadcast this morning, so the transcript isn’t online yet – I’m sure it will be soon.
Understanding the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights is really fundamental to understanding the way that democracy works in this country, and the reasons that it has persisted to the present day despite many social/cultural transformations and political changes.
– Ivy Bohnlein
By Malik Siraj Akbar
It was interesting to see the defensive reaction of some Pakistani (read Muslim) journalists in response to Dr. Arie Kruglanski’s presentation on “terrorism and the response to terrorism” today at the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) Center. It is not the first time I have met people who endeavor to justify terrorism under one or the other pretext.
Some of the participants of the discussion assumed that the presentation was intended to single out Islam as the root cause of terrorism which was in fact not the case. No one singled Islam out as a reason for global terrorism. Terrorists surely have no religion and are the enemies of the humanity. But when educated Muslims overreact on the issues of terrorism, they give an impression that they have become the self-appointed spokesmen for the terrorists who use the name of Islam for terrorist purposes. Why do educated Muslims not publically disown these terrorists instead of repeating their narrative that provides a subterfuge for the gruesome use of violence against civilians?
According to the teachings of Islam, no (non-state actor) can wage an armed struggle. Only the Amir-ul-momineen (the leader of the believers — say the head of the government or the State) has the authority to initiate a war (Jihad) against a rival country. In case non-state actors start operating, it is seen in Islam as an act of sabotage (Baghawat/fitna) which is punishable with death penalty.
Like it or not, 90% of the terrorist threats today either emanate from the Islamic world or are connected with the Islamic ideology. Faisal Shahzad, who tried to detonate a bomb at the Time Squire, did not cite the reasons of global poverty or the world’s inability to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for this terrorists plot. He purely mentioned reasons affiliated to Islam for his act.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, a prominent Islamic scholar who has authored more than 200 books, says: “Muslims are responsible for this state of affairs. After the advent of modern civilization, Muslims found themselves at the backseat, so they became furious. Everywhere in the world they waged a war in the name of jihad and when they failed in this self-styled jihad they started suicide bombing. It is this negative reaction by Muslims that is mainly responsible for the present crisis. The only solution to this problem is that Muslims must accept that what is happening against them is due to their own backwardness in education, modern science and in the modern concept of organization. So they must abandon all those negative activities and violent activism. They must stop all these things and go back to education. They must consolidate themselves in terms of modernity otherwise there is no future for the present Muslim generation.” (To read the full interview, please click here)
For people who link terrorism with the so-called ‘faulty” US foreign policy in the aftermath of 9/11, I wonder why thousands of Shia Muslims were killed by Sunni Muslims in Pakistan in 1990s when there was no issue of defective US foreign policy, 9/11 or Muslim reaction to the atrocities in Palestine. Likewise, who is to be blamed for the persecution of Hindus and Ahmedis in Pakistan when there was no issue with the US foreign policy in that region?
It is sickening to meet people who still deny the occurrence of 9/11.
I also found the description of “successful” Saudi model of de-radicalization very funny. I am not sure how much Saudi Arabia has succeeded in de-radicalizing its society but one thing is certain that it has ruined the foundations of the society in Pakistan by handsomely funding fundamentalist religious schools. As the leader of the Islamic world, Saudi Arabia should provide competent scientists and doctors to the Islamic world not enemies of humanity like Bin Laden.
Wow, Washington DC, formally the District of Columbia is so wonderful and beautiful. It is my first time to come here. Lovely autumn…So many trees, so many colors and crowd of people/ international city/. I am wondering that am I in a forest or in the city?. So beautiful.
We are in the Marriott Hotel, located in Virginia state which is bordered with Washington DC by the Potomac river.The Washington Metropolitan Area, of which the District is a part, has a population of 5.4 million, the eighth-largest metropolitan area in the USA.
We visited the University of Maryland, College Park, which is a public research university, the flagship campus of the University System of Maryland, and the original 1862 land-grant institution in Maryland. It was wonderful to meet other HH Humphrey Fellows there.
By Malik Siraj Akbar
I woke up at 5:30 a.m today to catch US Airways flight# 44 for Washington DC. It had already started raining. I packed everything and made sure that I had not forgotten anything. I thought I hadn’t . but now, while writing this blog entry in my Arlington hotel room, I realize I forgot to pack my Humphrey T-shirt! Walter Cronkite School of Journalism had prepared special T-shirts for its Humphrey Fellows.
Mukesh, Chev, Javed and I were lucky to get the Discount Cab for $20 to the airport. Thus, it was a great deal and we had to pay $5 each.
Washington is unlike Phoenix: It is cold here. The wind blows fast enough to compel you to wear a jacket.
After settling into our rooms, the group of Humphrey fellows went out for the search of some food. We, three journalists from Pakistan, were perhaps very lucky to find a wonderful Arabic restaurant down the Key Bridge in Arlington to eat some Pakistani food. The chef there was a Bengali and the owner was an Arab.
It was the best meal I had gormandized since coming to the United States in the last three months. We had to pay $50 for the meal but we did not have an iota of regret over spending the money. After all, you cannot get good food even at times when you have a pocketful of money.
By Malik Siraj Akbar
As we all prepare to leave for the Global Leadership Forum (GLF-2010), I am exuberant that we already have 95 Hubert Humphrey Fellows from different campuses on our GLF Facebook page. It’s indeed the power of social networks that we got 90+ members only 15 hours after the creation of the group which has enabled all the expected participants of the Forum to know each other before proceeding to the event.
It was great fun to see some fellows delightedly chat with their former colleagues from pre-academic English courses in Tuscon. Let me thank you all for immediately joining the group and posting there as well. I expect the page to draw more attention as we start sharing exciting photos.
As discussed in the last Humphrey Seminar, I wish to blog about the corrupting practices among journalists in my country.
Scores of tactics are applied in Pakistan by the government, non-governmental organizations, political parties, pressure groups and lobbies to influence journalists’ professional commitment. Here is the piece of the cake as to who gets what…
- International Trips with the President/ Prime Minister
- Ticket (from political parties) to contest elections or become a Senator
- Official advertisements
- Writing off of taxes, utility bills and loans
- Free internet, mobile phone connections
- Lavish use of official vehicles
- Free access to official guest houses
- “cooperation” to post/transfer recommended candidates on certain jobs
- Appointment in selection boards, boards of governors, trustees of official bodies
- inclusion as members of inquiry committees, charity organizations
When the editors are corrupted in the first place, the guns are subsequently brandished at reporters in the following areas.
- Provision of residential plots.
- Fixation of Hajj (pilgrimage) quota (to Saudi Arabia) for journalists or their relatives
- Receptions (Breakfasts, lunches, super, dinner where journalists’ meal is paid by the host)
- Subsidized air and railway tickets (which journalists manipulate to get tickets for their relatives too)
- Trips (both national and international)
- Offering grants, officially-sponsored buildings for press clubs and equipment.
- Numerous gifts (such as cell phones, mangoes —-these are the frequently offered notorious gifts)
- Access to official vehicles, telephones and other facilities to do stories
- Access to official guest houses for personal use of journalists
- Cash money offered in envelopes after press conferences
- Free or subsidized telephone connections from cellular companies.
These are a few forms of bribing journalists in Pakistan which I could think of while packing for Global Leadership Forum (GLF-2010)
All the talk about ethics on Monday really got me thinking. I can’t go around touting my own opinions while simultaneously calling myself a journalist. It really is unfair to my readership (though small and almost non-existent) for me to be an advocate for any political party. This idea is what motivated me to change my status on Facebook. Instead of having a political party listed in my “Political Views” section, I changed the text to read “I’m a Journalist.”
This was difficult for me because I am normally a very opinionated person. I very outspoken in terms of my view on policy and certain arguments. The problem is that I have to hide some of these opinions if I plan on doing my job correctly.
I don’t think these undertones influence my writing. After all, everyone has an opinion about something. So it’s pretty naive to think that journalists are completely objective about everything they cover. What I learned was the difference between having an opinion and advertising an opinion. Changing the status of my Facebook info page didn’t change my political views. But it did change how I advertise those views.
In the end, I think its about distancing your work from your opinions. I fully believe that I can write a balanced story that flies against my personal opinions. It probably helps. By being conscious of our own leanings and biases, we can make sure to account for them in stories or to remove ourselves from them altogether. But our audience doesn’t need to know about that internal decision making. Our first duty is to report.
A Family Man
He lived a simple childhood, born on October 7th, 1952, in Leningrad. He grew up to have a model marriage and a picture perfect family. However, some allege that his father was a Nazi, that his true mother gave him up after a birth out of wedlock, and that he maintained a relationship with a mistress. All this aside, the indisputable fact is that Putin is a sportsman unlike any other, keeping the media focused on his constant outings to fish, hunt, and demolish his competition in Judo tournaments. Anyway, talking about his past irritates him. He obviously prefers to make his own picture of his way to the role of a world ruler, and have it published for example on his Official Website. Consequently, regardless of whether he has a perfect family or not, he advertises his “perfect life” of a man that is “successful in life”. The image makes many people trust that he can save or make better their own life.
In 1975 Vladimir Putin joined the KGB, shortly after graduating from the KGB school in Leningrad. He worked in counter-intelligence nearly a year later. One of his many assignments included working undercover, often as a police officer, keeping surveillance on foreigners and diplomats in Leningrad. The work as a KGB agent certainly made him learn more about his country, but also about the history and strategic dynamics of the world’s politics which gave him the necessary background for a leader of a big country full of challenges. He had many chances to observe what makes a good image of a high-ranked politician, and that sometimes the appealing face makes stronger impact to the masses than the strong-handed politics. So he built up both at the same time.
In May of 1990 Putin became Advisor to the Mayor of St. Petersburg. Eight years later he became the deputy chief of the presidential staff. Between August of 1999 and May of 2000 Putin was the Deputy Prime Minister, and Prime Minister. Most importantly, after Boris Yeltsin’s surprise resignation, Putin became acting president in December of 1999 until he was elected president in May of 2000. After his terms Putin, as of 2008, is now the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. Able to market himself as an omnipotent leader, Putin remains in a high-ranking position in the Russian Federation.
The Role of a Leader
A big nation with a long tradition of ruthless rulers from tsars to communist revolutionaries puts many challenges in front of a modern leader. And Vladimir Putin has never shown a slightest sign of weakness. During his time of control he dealt with Russian affairs with an iron fist, and helped the economy grow – though not without issues. Under Putin’s command, Russia expanded its “Kremlin control” and kept control over political activity in the public. Even media was under a close watch, as they were given blacklists of people and topics that could not be incorporated into their coverage. Russia used it’s resources as a strategic measure in it’s foreign affairs, and during the war with Georgia. During Putin’s time in office the Russian economy has seen a high and stable growth in GDP and significant drop in unemployment and foreign debt, all the while increasing the standard of living for Russians. Though, inflation and corruption still remain as challenges of the Russian Government and economy. Although there are some other facts supporting him to obtain these results, such as rising oil and commodity prices in the world as well as the strong precautions taken after the financial crisis of 1998, it can be concluded that Putin used the circumstances of the time quite effectively to improve his leadership potentials.
The unforgettable piece of the Putin puzzle is that he has stricken Russia, and the world, with a kind of Putin-mania. Fly fishing, shooting, flying jets, practicing martial arts, and being inducted into the Hell’s Angels, Putin has become a pop-culture icon. Able to command a room, a government, and keep a person that has made him a celebrity, Putin is able to control anything at his hands through intelligent manipulation and old communist tactics while using the media to his advantage.
Being a leader is about affecting people. A leader needs a strong background in his area. Moreover a good leader should be successful in his area and be wise enough to use the circumstances of the time effectively on a bigger scale. However, not all the successful and wise people with a strong background can be leaders. In the case of Vladimir Putin we can see that a strong charisma supported by a strong hand ruling can be crucial to stay on the top for a long time.
by Daria Marjavonic, Youef Hawash, Xiao Yang and Sevgi Serpil Atalay
The First Amendment, added to the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution in 1791, is one of the most precious legacies of the American democratic tradition of human rights. It says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The National Freedom of Speech Week has started at the ASU in the very First Amendment Forum with three of us Humphrey Fellows: Khanda from Mongolia, Affridi from Pakistan, and me Daria from Croatia.
The moderator Dr. Joseph Russomano had a noble idea to make us share our experiences on the subject, as journalists and citizens of our respective countries. I sincerely hope that we managed to justify the invitation to be a part of the Must-See-Monday not like an event that students just must attend, but the one they really don’t want to miss.
Everybody can find out from different media that it is not easy to be a journalist in Pakistan these days, that Mongolia is going through major changes from hard communism to democracy, that Croatian journalists have gone through “the last European war” and now face economic challenges. But it is always different to have a one-on-one conversation with people who are living it.
We navigated the rough sea of history, political changes and professional challenges the best we could. If you wish, you can see the result on ASU web pages.
by Aleksandra Dukovska
Integration of Muslim community in the society is not only the issue of the USA and Barack Obama’s administration.
Some of the European Union member countries have the same issue to deal with it. A recent poll shows that unreasonable fear from Muslim population on European ground is not only the myth.
In light of Angela Merkel’s statement that multiculturalism in Germany has “utterly failed,” interesting to note that in a recent poll, 58% of Germans believe Muslims should face restrictions in practicing their religion and 55% says Arabs are “unpleasant people, CNN reporter and anchor Hala Gorani wrote on her FB page.
“The debate over foreigners in Germany has shifted since former central banker Thilo Sarrazin published a book accusing Muslim immigrants of lowering the intelligence of German Society”, Sarah Marsh wrote in the article “Merkel says German multiculturalism has failed”.
Merkel has tried to speak both on integration and that Germans must accept that mosques have become part of their landscape. What is the possible reason for giving the statement of multiculturalism fail?
The idea of multiculturalism especially in the European Union countries that still define the nation as nationality could be deeply discordant.
The interesting aspect of German chancellor statement of failure of multiculturalism is that she chosen to become “the most aggressive major European leader to speak out against multiculturalism”, commented STRATFOR in their analysis on Germany and the failure of Multiculturalism.
According to STRATFOR anlysis, “all of Europe, indeed, much of the world, is coping with the struggle between cultures within their borders”.
Another example of this struggule we can saw in other European Union member countries.
In Britain, they are facing the same opposition to the Muslim population from individuals or far-right groups.
In the Observer article, Mark Townsend described The English Defense League as a far-right group who wants to combat the “Islamification” of British cities.
According to Townsend, EDL “has made contact with anti-jihad groups within the Tea Party organization and has invited a senior US rabbi and Tea Party activist to London this month.
“The league has also developed links with Pamela Geller, who was influential in the protests against plans to build an Islamic cultural centre near Ground Zero”, wrote Townsend in the Observer.
United Kingdom home secretary Theresa May recently banded marches of EDL in the city of Leicester, which has a significant Muslim population.
Last month at the Foreign Office reception to mark the Muslim festival of Eid, May send this message: “I think it’s important that we, as a new Government, start treating the Muslim community as a mature and fundamental part of our society, and stop talking to Muslims only about counter-terrorism”.
May said the review of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy aimed “to achieve a better balance between public safety and civil liberties, something the last government got badly wrong”.
Do you think that European politicians will succeed to find the right answer for the integration of Muslim population in their countries? In fact, did multiculturalism fail in EU?
For sure obeying to ethical rules is very important in any profession. However when it comes to journalism, it is especially quite a tough job to obey these rules. You have to be careful with your relations, however you have to have some relations to be able to get some news too. Moreover, as you dont know what you may have to report in the future, it is almost impossible for you to be careful with all your relationships. It seems that you have to have very distant relationships with your environment to be able to be a true journalist.
Do you know any journalist who covered an important issue about one of their relatives? Do you know any journalists who continued to write at his column even after he strictly criticize his editor in his column? Personally I don’t know, but if you know such journalists please share with us.
The class seemed clearly divided today about the ethical aspects of coverage of terrorist activities. I believe as journalists, our job is to present the truth as it is. Therefore, we should not become the self-appointed mitigation authority. While editing or cropping pictures from crime scene, we only end up as collaborators with the terrorists. A cropped picture may not undo a catastrophe that strikes. Such behavior, on the contrary, demonstrated under the pretext of ‘responsible journalism’ is actually an effort to tell the readers, listeners or viewers that nothing actually happened. In my views, hiding the real pictures is complete professional dishonesty.
Until we report the truth, how are the citizens going to stand against war, terrorism and human rights violation?
I attended the two-day long 18th Annual Nonprofit Conference on Sustainability Strategies at Desert Willow Conference Center on October 14-15. The conference was very helpful for me to meet a lot of new people from nonprofit sector. There were several sessions on important topics such as public relations, social networks, strategic planning, secretes of consultants and fund-raising for non-profit initiatives.
The stall comprising of books about nonprofit sector was fabulous.
The conference was organized by ASU Lodestar Center which is located in the building next to the Cronkite School of Journalism. We had visited them previously to learn about the Center which organizes several programs on nonprofit.
I enjoyed the keynote speech of Kay Sprinkel Grace, an international fund-raising expert. She spoke very beautifully about the importance of dreaming before doing something big. She asked the participants what would have happened if Martin Luther King had a plan without a dream. She said everyone among us should dream big and very big.You can’t make a big difference until you have the courage to dream.
My Las Vegas trip was the best experience of the life .I think that Las Vegas city is perferable to visit once a life not more for every person of the World as Vegas impect is given to .This is full of sins where no hiderrnce and no law bound except pracituation that is banned .Thank God that at least one sin is banned over there .This is the city of sins.People were gambling ,walking clubs of every type .The beautiful buildings of course impresses ,too .well these are in all over the America.I liked one thing very much that is lighting decorated symbols fo different status build over there.The bad thing I found that food was very expensive while drinks were cheaper then Phoenix .Amazing …..crazy and gambling city.
There was a Presentation on Putin ,The Presently Prime Minister of Russia and former President ,was held by some of the Humphrey colleagues on last Monday .It was quiet informative and good enough but very lack of the declaring his leadership qualities .I could not find these in entire presentation .The Group had worked hard a lot and their body language was pretty good and explanation power excelent but it was much lenthy that it was just compelling the people draging the hair or making the seats empty .I think that the Group should have to highlight the leadership qualities that how Putin became the leader , entered in the politicis and why he was elected President twice by the people .this was not just the reason that he took bold steps to strenthen the economy of the Russia .As we presented the leadership qualities of Adolf Hitler being in so power ,he was stupid one and he could not spare that .
I attended the 18th Annual Nonprofit Conference on Sustainability Strategies in Phoenix. This year’s theme, “From Red to Black: Innovative Thinking for Generating Income and Resources”. This conference included workshops on board leadership, strategic planning, program/organizational evaluation, marketing/PR, social media, volunteer management, financial management and social enterprise and innovation. Workshop facilitators was presenting specific examples demonstrating innovative thinking and creativity towards the organization’s sustainability.
I was very excited to listen the presentation of Kay Sprinkel Grace, Clara Miller, and Steven G. Seleznow as our Conference Keynote speakers. They are really very good. I really learned new things related to Organizational and Institutional Sustainability.
I will write more about this conference later.