Today, in the morning, during Professor Andrews Leckey presentation (from the Reynolds Chair Business Journalism), I had a great surprise when he said: “the Latino people save more money them American people, that’s way our ATM are in english and spanish”. I was really surprise and confuse at the same time. Because, according of my analyses, all Latin America tend to reproduce the consume habit of American People. So, it means that the Latinos should spend money as the American spend. But not, maybe the professor was referring to the Latinos that are living in US. I imagine that the majorities of the Latinos People here in USA don’t have a very stable finance situation as Americans, this is can explain the reason why they tend to save more money than others. Anyway, it just something interesting that I learned in my Humphrey routine.
Had a great meeting with Andrew Leckey and Linda Austin at Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Journalism.
Regarding to our conversation about corruption both in journalism and economics as well, I would like to add one thought.
As Professor Leckey said, corruption is human nature, in general, and it exists in all, even the most developed countries. Factors that can influence level of corruption in specific spheres are salaries, too.
And there is another one, very important element, in my opinion, is level of perception of corruption among citizen.
Somewhere it is perceived as unavoidable and even kind of normal in formal and informal human relationship in society. Thus it can be preserved for a long time – just because people find it okay to deal with it.
But societies where most people realize that corruption is abnormal, unfair, humiliating and criminal, much more likely will become healthy societies, and will do it faster.
The Namibian turned 26 yesterday.
Announcing the decision in a media statement, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Joel Kaapanda, also confirmed an earlier report in this newspaper that the Cabinet had overturned former President Sam Nujoma’s order that no Government department should buy copies of The Namibian.
“Cabinet further directs offices, ministries and agencies to source all local newspapers for political office bearers and senior Government officials in accordance with their sectoral requirements and interests,” the statement said, without naming The Namibian.
The Namibian is the only news medium that the Swapo government has officially boycotted through a Cabinet order and a Presidential decree.
Documents obtained through Government sources in 2000 and 2001 indicated that the Cabinet imposed the sanctions “because of its [The Namibian's] anti-government stance and unwarranted criticism of Government policies”.
Interestingly, the ban was decided on the birthday of The Namibian’s founding editor, Gwen Lister, on December 5 2000 and yesterday’s announcement marks the reversal on the historic first edition of the activists-driven newspaper 26 years ago.
Even without mentioning The Namibian, the announcement is unambiguous that the Cabinet is moving away from a decision which disregarded the popularity of a media outlet and the use of taxpayer funds to punish a critic, real or perceived.
“That Cabinet directs offices, ministries and agencies to place Government notices, announcements and advertisements on a competitive basis in all local newspapers and publications, as well as electronic media, taking into account procurement requirements in terms of the Tender Board Act,” reads the two-paragraph statement on the letterhead of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.
The letter, signed by Kaapanda, was faxed yesterday afternoon. Kaapanda could not be reached for comment and the Permanent Secretary Mbeuta ua-Ndjarakana did not respond to a message left at his office.
The paper’s editor, Lister, had long argued that while the sanctions did not cripple the paper as the Cabinet seemingly had hoped, it nevertheless denied many readers instant access to vital information such as publicity campaigns on census and voter education.
The Namibian has no peer in popularity, just as it was unparalleled among newspapers in its anti-apartheid stance. It is the country’s largest newspaper in circulation and readership, printing between 32 500 and 46 500 copies a day and selling more than double the number of its second-biggest competitor. It has a readership of about 200 000 a day and one copy is read by up to eight people, according to some research organisations.
Hardly a single Cabinet member is said to have argued for the ban to remain in place, although it stood more than 10 years mainly out of ministers’ deference to Nujoma.
People in the know say President Hifikepunye Pohamba personally led the move to lifting the sanctions. People familiar with Cabinet discussions say some of the ministers juxtaposed The Namibian’s reporting with that of the Swapo mouthpiece Namibia Today, which they said was divisive “because it supports some factions against others within the ruling party”.
Some Cabinet members referred to the government-owned and perennially taxpayer-subsidised New Era as at times more critical than The Namibian and thus making the ban ‘mind-boggling’.
The 2000 boycott of all advertising has regularly been condemned as an imprudent use of government funds merely aimed at muzzling freedom of expression.
I really enjoyed the presentations of today. I forgot to ask Evgeny. What made you guys change from Vodka to BEER? And do you make beer in your country? If not, we need to talk, since this is a global fellowship. Namibia makes the best beer and they are not too shy to drink most of it, before it is ready for export, which was the initial idea. Now the youngsters are bathing in it and miss their job interviews and blame the unemployment situation on the government.
ANYWAY, We have many countries in our groups and obviously each of them are proud of their countries, so maybe we should make business with out pride and export goods to each others countries. We can form our own global company when we return to our countries. This is a great opportunity…lol.
www.freerice.com is a website, launched in October 2007 by John Breen. He donated the site to the UN World Food Program in March 2009, to grow the site and “help to feed and educate as many people as possible throughout the world.”
On www.freerice.com, users play games on a variety of subjects to earn rice which is then donated to humanitarian causes. Games consist of multiple choice questions with varying levels of difficulty which adjust to the ability of the user. Subjects include Basic Math, Language Vocabulary (English, Spanish, German, French, Italian), World Capitals, World Flags, Geography, Basic Chemistry, Literature and Art.
Users earn 10 grains of rice per correct answer, 100% of which goes directly to the UN World Food Program.
Freerice.com has aided the folowing humanitarian efforts (Source):
- Since January 2011, all rice raised on Freerice is being allocated to Haiti.
- In Bangladesh, to feed 27,000 refugees from Myanmar for 2 weeks.
- In Cambodia, to provide take-home rations of four kilograms of rice for 2 months to 13,500 pregnant and nursing women.
- In Uganda, to feed 66,000 school children for a week.
- In Nepal, to feed over 108,000 Bhutanese refugees for 3 days.
- In Bhutan, to feed 41,000 children for 8 days.
- In Myanmar, to feed 750,000 cyclone affected people for 3 days.
Listening to some of the presentations today reminded me of a few things that are different here in the United States. Sure, there aren’t any civil wars and we have the closest thing to a democracy that exists today. However, the thing that kept going through my mind as well listened about Russia, China, and even a nation that is technically newer like Macedonia: The United States, and specifically Phoenix, is just so young!
Macedonia has been in conflict with Greece regarding its name because of a dispute that dates back to before Christ. While the country is new, that land has been inhabited since then. They have buildings that date back hundreds of years and conflicts with neighbors that are even older. Here in Phoenix, the oldest building was built in the late 1800′s and it is now a sports bar. Even the United States does not have an extensive history. Going to the east coast is where you will find the oldest buildings, but they don’t even begin to compare to the history of Europe.
Phoenix really does not have much of a history before the invention of air conditioning seeing as people could not stand to live here. That means that Phoenix really did not begin its modern history until the 1950′s. We have 60 years of history. Macedonia has over 2,000. What’s more, there are places whose civilizations are even older than that. It just goes to show that although we here in America may think that we know what is right, but we are still the new kids on the block and you never know, maybe we still have a few things to learn from these countries with such rich histories.
In English, time is linear or spacial. You can fall behind schedule and look forward to dinner. In Mandarin they use these terms along with vertical terms to describe time. Earlier events are said to be sha’ng (up) while later events are said to be xia’ (down), as a spring or a fountain, flowing upward. It is easy to understand how the difference plays a role in secondary language acquisition, but there are theories which take it a step further.
I have always been interested in foreign language, culture and perspective; the theory of linguistic relativity bridges that gap (see the 2 key points, right). I believe that there is a prominent formative quality of language, as there is with many other environmental influences as a child. I agree with that much. The point where my opinion differs comes a little further, where one’s language fundamentally limits one’s capacity for perception. We will all have our own personal bias, but I firmly believe that we, as rational human beings, are capable of more objective observations. The pursuit of new perspectives and experiences are what makes travel and international exchange worthwhile. I cannot accept that by simply growing up in the United States and by speaking English, that I will never be able to expand my mind to the wealth that exists.
The theory does leave one consolation. If I become fluent enough in another language – to the point where I can think and speak in that language – I may be able to follow a new pattern of thought. True immersion. Assimilation. I’m not sure if I would want to take it to that extreme, but seriously learning a second language does mean accepting certain aspects of the culture.
Today I was talking to my nephews and niece in Pakistan on skype.The first thing they showed me was the feeders and toffees they bought.Then afterwards my youngest nephew who is just a year old and does not know how to talk but started imitating his siblings.He also wanted to show me what he had so he showed his pamper as he thought I would like the pamper as much as I did the stuff shown by his siblings.For the moment I just laughed at his action and then I realized how he was doing such things which have no meanings for me but I could just laugh at them for time being.
I started to compare my life with the life of my nephew who was looking at me and trying to prove himself very smart with his little actions.
I envied his age and just wished that I wanted my childhood back.
Glad to finally be a part of the Humphrey seminar, learning from you all and hopefully sharing something in return.
All of today’s presentations were interesting and entertaining, but what struck me most wasn’t any single piece of information. What struck me most was how each Fellow presented his or her country. Everyone represented their home nation in different ways, which to me brought out not only the presenter’s individual personalities, but also hints at how their country thinks and feels about itself.
Following Hurricane Irene coverage this weekend intrigued me, whether on Twitter, YouTube, TV or radio, because all I could see were conflicting reports of how big the storm was, what the impact would be, what category, how long of a clean up it would take after Irene goes by…
With our 24 hour news cycle to fill, sometimes it seems like we are willing to lower our standards on accuracy and relevance to keep people listening and watching rather than present the information honestly and without hysterics.
Even though the hurricane did have some serious damage in parts of the East Coast of the United States and the Caribbean, destroying homes, cutting of electricity, causing major flooding and there is a reported death toll of 24 people so far, many people have questioned whether the uninterrupted media coverage created a bigger storm than the actual one.
This is a comic by a popular website called The Oatmeal, that illustrates the gap between reality and media hyping of hurricanes.
There was a lot of misinformation about the extent of Irene, with reports saying it was a category 5 and later down to a category 1. The mass evacuations that weren’t all necessary could make some citizens less wary for other disasters, the way students become comfortable when fire drills are called.
Yet others say that it was good to have so much non-stop coverage because people were more aware and prepared to face the storm had they not been fully warned of this emergency situation. It’s better to be safe then sorry, as they say.
I think the media industry has a real responsibility and duty to follow the code of ethics and put the public’s well being as a priority when it comes to our job. Striking a balance between immediacy and reality is important when dealing with in-depth coverage of breaking news events. If we want journalism to be a public service, we should strive for it to be an effective and beneficial one.
What do you guys think of the way the news handled the hurricane coverage?
In this world, we become so overstimulated that we begin to close our ears against the noise. We are in such a hurry that we don’t take sufficient time to really HEAR people when we communicate. Oftentimes, with recording technology, it isn’t necessary to pay attention. There are so many things going on that we become desensitized to the headlines, so media is sometimes forced to dramatize events to get our attention. Of the 60% communication time that we regularly spend listening, we manage to retain, on average, only 25% of it. That 25% is anything but random; we look for patterns (like our name) and we use a series of filters and biases. The term “selective listening” comes to mind.
This was the topic of Julian Treasure’s July 2011 TED conference speech. He concludes with tips to improve conscious listening, the type of listening that aids in communication and understanding.
The 5 tips: (1) practice silence, (2) distinguish strains/pick apart the noise, (3) savor every day sounds, (4) change your listening filter/perspective, (5) practice RASA (Receive Appreciate Summarize Ask).
One of cultural things I like in Americans is their attitude to recycling garbage. It is impossible for Russians, as well for, I think, still for most nationalities, to sort waste to properly recycle it later. Maybe I can’t imagine it, but am sure that American do the right thing.
Back home, in Russia, we have only one trash bin for any type of garbage. Chinese government is introducing two-urn system on the street: one urn for recyclable materials and one for non-recyclable. But citizens, in my observations, still don’t differ these urns. In U. S. there are sometimes three and even four waste containers in one place – separately for plastic, paper, aluminum and non-recyclable. And people readily sort their garbage before throwing it away.
We can discuss American habits, funny or excessive rules and restrictions, even U. S. foreign policy that many governments find too meddling, etc. Many may find U. S. people too individual and egoistic. But when it comes to citizens’ responsibility that helps whole society survive and develop, Americans might be model for many of us in many cases. Recycling is one of significant examples.
Today, Monday, August 29th , 2011 is the Birthday of Taati, one of my Hubert Humphrey Fellows,CronkiteSchool. Taat’s birthday inspired me not to say to her : “Happy Birthday, Taati”, but, also, to think about the roots of celebrating birthdays.
Interestingly enough, I have found that this custom has its roots in the ancientEgypt, as the Pharaoh of Egypt was the first to celebrate his birthday. General speaking, celebrating Birthday was common among the rich and ruling elite not among common people.
In the pagan cultures, there was a belief that bad and evil spirits came around the person who had a turning point in his / her life, such as turning a year older, that ‘s to harm him / her. Therefore, family and friends of the celebrant surrounded him / her to protect him/ her from the evil. It was a habit, also, to give gifts to the celebrant and bring him / her happy wishes.
The custom of celebrating birthdays has stand till our recent times. Regardless the fears of the evil spirit, it is always our happiness to share with our friends and family their happy and turning points in their life. Hence, I wish to say to Taati and all people who celebrate their birthday.. “Happy and Blessing Birthday.”
This weekend was at least totally different. For the first time since I arrived to Phoenix I moved out somewhere from our apartments. With some American friends Elena, Evgeny (my Humphrey Fellows) and me went for campaing to Sedona (OK, that was not our first destination according to the plan) but lot of things in life is coming unplanned. So for that purpose is great to have plan B. I am not sure that we had plan B in the early stage of our trip,but we were enforced to create it very soon since we have spent 6 hours on the road looking for appropriate camping destination since our plan A (Fossil creek) was full of other camps. But, this time my blog will not be about beauties and unxplored places in Arizona, but about one event that got me thinking about it. Of course, if you spend plenty time on the road in the mood of noticing things (as I was) I am sure that you you can spot a lot of interesting road signs, landscapes but also other drivers and their behaviour.
And that is exactly what I am going to write about. Coming back from Sedona, I was in the car with three Americans and our driver wanted to overtake other car but ups, there was not possible even our car was faster than what was then main star of my story. Two lanes in one direction, left one suppose to be for cars who are faster and right one for others. Car that we wanted to overtake was on the right side but in the moment when we were almost beside him he came into the left lane. Then, our car moved into the right lane to avoid ‘weird car’ but then that car moved also into the righ lane. And that sitauation lasted for almost 10 minutes, when we realized that driver is probably drunk since is car was moving zigzag, but literally. And, my American colleagues wanted to call the police. Wow!? I could not beleive. That was one normal, logical step. But, in that moments my mind came back to roads in my country where is situation totally different. It could not happened that people when see drunk driver would call police. (OK, I mean there is a lot of polices control in BH roads so drunk driver probably wouldnot have a possibility to drive long distance in that condition) but here I am talking about awareness of trip safety. Lot of young people drive when they are drunk and and lot of them loose their lifes in car accidents.
Police do their job. But, despite that fact, there is a still lot of young drivers who are loosing their lifes in car accidents and probably, it is going to be untill they start to behave themselves in the responsible way. And responsible pattern of bahaviour I saw today. And I was shocked, but in the positive way. Probably, a lot of American young drivers don’t think on this way, but today, these guys showed that it is not all aboutmoney, law or penalty. It is about human life.
Few people would argue that Steve Jobs is a genius. During the past decade, he kept transforming the world as we knew it. Every time he comes up with a new product, it ignites a revolution in a particular industry. First, the music companies with the iPod; then, the mobile market with the iPhone, and more recently, the publishing business with the iPad…
How does he do it? I’m sure there is more than one answer to that, but I want to share a few given by Jobs himself. In 1989, long before his biggest innovations, he talked about the way he worked. It gives a hint or two about how a creative process can be. Here’s the full text, published by Inc. Magazine, when it declared Jobs The Entrepreneur of the Decade.
Who could believe 15 or 20 years ago that a company named by a fruit would take a large bite from the radical change in the way media functions today? As gizmodo.com puts it in an article named Steve jobs invented Your Dell PC and Your Android Phone, “hate him or love him, but this man lead some of the most talented bands of engineers in the history of the planet to create gadgets that have changed the way we understand technology”.
Could anyone have predicted that the devices that Jobs and the Apple community (now more than 40.000 employers) invented will take part in the destruction and reinvention of doing professional journalism? Not to mention changing the way media consumers act in the new market circumstances.
The more interesting thing is that in his last letter as a CEO of the multinational corporation which was founded more than 30 years ago, Jobs predicts that the bright days of innovation are about to come.
So, there might be more than one answer to the question “How does he do it?“, but at least one of them could be found in the content of an old commercial launched back in 1997 named simply Think Different.
There are always two sides to every story. The thing is, more often than we think, only one side gets to be told. Usually, History is written by winners not by the defeated. Ask those involved in uprisings or those who are part of a minority. Their voices are frequently ignored by the larger audience. Therefore, we don’t get the bigger picture.
African-americans in the United States know that first-hand. Not so long ago -less than 6 decades- they were still facing segregation in this country. The “colored” had no right to speak freely against the abuse of power they were subjected to. It was dangerous to do so but no impossible. Some courageous men and women took the risk and raised their voices. They had something to say and they wanted to be heard. They spoke with actions more than with words.
The Help is a book-turned movie that shares the point of view of african-american maids in Mississippi during the 1960′s, a decade dominated by racism. With humor and intelligence, it makes you reflect on how important it is to listen to the “other”. It reminded me of leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, who stood up and provoked changes. They were brave enough to show the world their point of view, the other side of the story. Their story.
Forgive me if I sound a bit weird, but I am still going through a culture shock. I keep staring at the people at the light rail, asking for money…some are sleeping outside with all their possessions, because they have nowhere to go.Others are just sitting there, helplessly looking into the far distance without hope…and I wonder…What happened to these people???Does anybody really see them?The culture shock part is that they are WHITE! I try to explain this to people in my country and everybody think I’m joking. WHY? Because you will not see this picture a lot in Namibia… and if you do…It will never be a white person, because all white people in Namibia belong to rich families. Even those who are not that wealthy, belong to a HIGHER class. The few blacks who are out there, gets something from someone who is passing by…Here, everybody walks by as if there is nobody in front of them.
Another shock hit me cold in he face the other day. Right in front of me I saw two twelve year old girls kissing. Okay, I do not discriminate. I never did…but these were KIDS! My daughter’s age…are they supposed to know about relationships at all at this age? If it was grown ups, I would not have been this shocked, but two twelve year old girls??? I don’t know, Maybe it is because this has not hit Africa yet, but they better be prepared for it…and I’m glad I’ll be over the shock by then…
I don´t know what the people are like in your country, but I have to say that the Americans are probably one of the friendliest people in the world. I am not saying they are about to commit to a deep relationship with anybody they meet on the street, but they talk to you. And they are willing to help you.
This never happens in Europe. And I don´t mean only Slovakia, but almost all Europe. It doesn´t matter if you are in London, Barcelona or Rome. You can be sure that if you walk around the city with a map in your hand, nobody will just stop and ask if you need help. Actually my friend from Miami told me, that when he was in Paris for the first time, he was asking people for directions and at least three of them told him to go away (but OK, Paris is extreme).
Maybe it could be an interesting sociological study to find out why the Americans are so talkative and friendly with the strange people. You can travel by bus, or just stand in the line at the grocery store and they start asking you questions – where are you from, what do you do and so on. Then you tell them that you are from Slovakia, and they start making connections (my ex wife´s boss had a cousin from Czech which is close to Slovakia right?…). Most of the time they seem geniunely interested in you.
Or I went to set up a bank account. By the time I got my password and checks the guy knew everything about me. How many times I was in US, which states did I visit, what is the national food in Slovakia, what is my favourite music and so on…In european bank they would just ask you how much money do you want to deposit and the discussion is over.
So what it is that makes americans so friendly? Is it the way they were brought up? (my mum always told me not to talk to strange people…), do they feel the necessity to help to others? Or do they just have a curiosity in their genes? Any suggestions?
I have been praying to God since I have come to Pheonix that this is not the purpose of my coming to USA that I be totally disassociated from my religious life.As one day I was searching for the churches I found this church.I wrote to the Pastor as to how could I reach the church.Then I called him yesterday and he arranged a lady who picked me for the church.I was surprised to see the attendance of the church as it was only 30 people there.I never imagined that the Presbyterian church would have such small number of congregation.My church in Pakistan has 800 members.Never again in my whole life I have seen the attendance in my church during regular Sundays less than 200 persons.The service was almost similar to what I had in Pakistan.
The people were very welcoming .The lady who picked and dropped me was very kind.The pastor was also very much concerned.The way he introduced me to his little congregation was very encouraging for me.I am so happy that finally I found my church.
So here my expedition of finding the church ends.
Weibo.com, the most influential social media in China, celebrated its two years’ anniversary today. “Weibo is a lifestyle. Weibo changed our life. We also changed the world through Weibo.” This is the catchline of Weibo.com’s newest advertisement.
“Weibo” (微博) is the Chinese word for “microblogging”. Weibo.com was launched by SINA Corporation on August 28, 2009, and now has more than 200 million registered users. It has a similar market penetration that Twitter has established in the USA. People call Weibo as Twitter’s Chinese version.
As the most popular social media in China, Weibo is playing a very important role in China’s society. It becomes a platform for Chinese citizens debating on topics related to social issues, politics, and governance. Two months ago, millions of Weibo bloggers criticized railway officials after a train crash that killed 40 people. About 10 days ago, residents in Dalian, a city in northeast China, “reported” their protest against a local chemistry factory through Weibo.
As its catchline says, Weibo is changing China with its unique way.
Happy birthday, Weibo.com!
Blogging, however much I love the concept of it, I positively loathe having to actually get down to doing it.
While I have never been a serious blogger, I have ventured deep enough into the territory of blogging so as to not get mired in the veritable swamps of texts, pictures, comments, links, permalinks and whatnot.
This post, on another brand new blog that I am embarking on for the Humphrey year, will show you, dear reader, how hopelessly addicted I am to blogging, while being the most unsustainable guy romping around on the blogosphere.
To the blogging world, I am a prospector who hits gold, but gets easily distracted by a whole plethora of other things that glitter.
Dust storm hit Phoenix again last night. It is the fifth dust storm in Phoenix this summer. It reminds me the dust storm in Beijing.
Big wind blew the dust all over the sky and made Phoenix’s night blurer on Saturday. I was walking on the street near our apartment. The dust in the air made me feel hard to breath. The only thing in my mind was running back home, immediately.
This weekend’s dust storms are not as severe as the previous three though. The biggest one of this summer occurred on July 5. It was a Tuesday evening. A dust wall, which was more than 1000 feet high, moved between 30 and 40 mph from one side to the other side of Phoenix. It was amazing!
When my classmate showing the video of the dust storm on YouTube, I could not imagine this was the city that I would stay for 10 month! The Washington Post quoted weather experts’ word said, “such massive dust storms only happen in Arizona, Africa’s Sahara desert and parts of the Middle East because of dry conditions and large amounts of sand.”
Beijing, the city I live, also faces the problem of dust storm. It usually occurs in spring, when the weather is dry and becomes warmer. People have two major concerns about the dust storm. One is air pollution; the other one is public health. Environmental protection always becomes a hot topic while the dust storm hit Beijing and other cities in China. People argue that government should plant more trees and grass in the arid and semi-arid regions to prevent the formation of the dust storm.
According to the Climate Institute (climate.org), “dust storms are usually the symptom of poor land management and a constant reminder of the interaction between people, the land they use and the climate. Desert is a very important source of dust storms in historical time, however, in more recent time, human behavior has created another source on the desert margin in semi-arid areas that previously were stable.”
We may notice that there are more “strange” and “extreme” weathers in recent years. People in California cannot understand why it is so “cool” in this summer. Meanwhile, people in Beijing also confused by the unprecedented rainstorms, which made road became river.
Obviously, environmental protection already becomes a global concern. No country can keep out of the affair. Every country should have a clear and responsible strategy of environmental protection. And global cooperation is also necessary.
Hi guys, Dr. Bill and Professor Nancy,
I’d like to share with you that I’m feeling very uncomfortable in read our blog, because of the design. This contrast: background black and the white letters is too bright. Is it possible to change for color more neutral, without strong contrast? It can be a topic to our next class with Nacy. What do you think guys?