I’ll use my post-presentation blog post to respond to a few comments and questions from today’s seminar, and also provide some more visual explanation of my choice in leader profile.
Elena asked me what was my favorite interview(s) by Riz Khan, and to answer that I’ll be posting videos throughout this post as examples. My personal favorite is, in fact, the most popular video on Al-Jazeera’s Riz Khan Youtube channel – an interview with celebrity philosopher Slavoj Zizek. Not the prettiest man in the world, and has some controversial (though often brilliant) theories. Nevertheless, Khan devotes an entire show to him. Notice the graphic package his put together, and also the way they use audience questions and Facebook comments toward the end.
[Aside: I haven't been able to embed videos into posts on this blog ... is anyone else having this problem?]
Next, Antonio said he preferred “Cosmopolitan Journalist” to “Diplomat Journalist” because it expresses freedom of ideas and multicultural understanding, without any of the politics or deception that are bundled up in diplomacy. The more I think about Antonio’s comment, the more I agree.
Dr. Bill was good to point out the problems with my “East-of-Center”, “West-of-Center” designation of Khan and Zakaria. I meant it as a sort of pun on Left-of-Center and Right-of-Center in American politics, but the ideas don’t translate well, and I came of as sounding all “Clash of Civilizations.” I apologize deeply for that. My intention was to point out that while Khan is discussing issues in a way that’s fair and does not leave anyone out, he also features more Arab and Muslim voices than a CNN enthusiast might be used to seeing.
A good example comes from his final show, “The Last Laugh,” where a few prominent comedians talk about bias, stereotypes, the Arab Spring, and more. Notice the casualness with which the guests are able to talk about things like Islamophobia, “freedom fondlings” for Arabs at U.S. airports, and pro-Palestinian beliefs. “East-of-Center” was just a poor way of expressing this observation.
Check out more Riz Khan interviews here, and Happy Halloween!
I really enjoyed today’s presentations on leaders and the qualities they possess. It’s nice to see how different people are motivated and inspired and the different paths there are to achieving success. I wanted to share more about the leadership style and experience of Queen Rania of Jordan who has become a model for a contemporary monarch.
Shaima spoke about her involvement in a club that is focused on achieving and promoting the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. Queen Rania actually gave a speech on this subject in New York last year, highlighting education, her topic of focus in her international advocacy and diplomacy work with the 1Goal:Education for All non-profit organization.
Her emphasis and repetitive mission of Education for all, Education equals opportunity helps brand Queen Rania as an advocate for universal education and can garner a sympathetic and loyal following easily. She may seem like a celebrity face at first, but her active contributions to educational initiatives inside and outside of Jordan prove she is more than just a name that wants the extra attention by the press.
Out of the six leaders,Nesima talked about four of them were women:Oprah Winfrey,Queen Rania of Jordan,JK Rowling and Moneza Khokhar.None of them were stateswomen,but the positions they possess in their fields ostensibly make them distinctive.
I remember my Editor once sharing his thoughts in our weekly meeting about the performance of women vis a vis men.He shared from his experience that he found women more dedicated and focused in the work.He even explained the impact of recruiting more women in the newspapers as it increased the speed of the work and also the quality as compared to the time when there were less women in the newspapers.He has the same opinion about me as I used to handle all the work and performed more tasks in short period of time in comparison to my male colleagues.
Look at the Humphrey Fellows of this year in Cronkite School and even overall more than 50% of them are women.Condoleeza Rice ,Hilary Clinton,Dilma Rousseff(Brazilian President), Laura Chinchilla Miranda(Costa Rican President),Pratibha Patil(Indian President),Hina Rabbani Khar(Foreign Minister of Pakistan);I know I am not naming some other leading women Figures but all these women are great examples of women leadership and doing phenomenal tasks.
The common charateristics that I found in Nesima’s presentation about the women as leaders was the determination and the will to change the world.They all have a vision in their lives and that is to fight with the status,which is an impetus to drive any leader to fulful the vision.When it comes to the women as leaders,they can not only think about the implentation of their vision with the mind of a brave soul but also with the heart of mother which has no substitute in this world.And all her presentation many a times reminded me of our woman leader in Pakistan’Benazir Bhutto’,who was the first Prime Minister not only in the history of Pakistan but also in the Islamic World.She had the charisma and the vision to do something in her life for the country,unfortunately now only her charisma lasts but vision has diminished.
When Benazir Bhutto returned Pakistan in 2007 after 10 years of exile;she certainly had some roadmap for Pakistan.She always spoke so beautifully about seeing Pakistan as an emerging power.Her death has left a vacuum,which is not easy to fill but has opened the ways for entry of new women leaders in Pakistan,which I think will usher Pakistan in the new era where women can work to make the country from better to the best.
Did you know that the estimated population of the world will be 9.3 billion in not more than 40 years? And that by then 70% of people will live in the urban areas? Or did you hear that 65% of the “hungry” people live in just 7 countries? (by the way, there are more hungry people in India than in Africa!). This, and many more interesting facts we have learned during a great lecture “The Seven Revolutions” at Global Leadership Forum in Washington DC last week. The lecture was lead by Johanna Nesseth Tuttle, Editor-in Chief of The Washington Quarterly. Many of us agreed, that it was one of the most fascinating lectures we have seen there. It mapped seven key trends that will bring change out to the year 2025 and defined major challenges that lie ahead of us.
According to this study, seven major or “revolutionary” areas of change are population, resource managment, technology, information and knowledge flows, economic integration, conflict and governence. Some of the facts were really shocking – f.e. more than 884 million people (one out of every eight persons) live without safe or reliable access to water today!
After the lecture, we had a discussion about these challenges in our regional groups. We found out, that one of the most important issues Europe is facing (at least middle, south and east region), are transparency of governments, corruption, brain drain, insufficient support of innovations and poor management of resources.
We have ended the lecture up with a quote of Antione Saint Exupery we should all bear in mind: “Your task is not to foresee the future, but rather to enable it.”
If you want to learn more about The Seven Revolutions, visit here: http://csis.org/program/seven-revolutions/security.
I met my 15 other Pakistani Humphrey Fellows in GLF on Last Sunday,as I couldn’t meet them in Pakistan due to not attending the pre departure orientation.I was not very much happy to see and meet them but rather impressed to witness their intellect and intelligence.It goes without saying that all of them deserve to be the recepient of this presitigious reward on the basis of their educational qualification and professional development.
The interesting part of my interaction with some of them who belong to Superior Services of Pakistan is worth mentioning.As these officers of Superior Services in my country don’t mingle with the people as a part of their job ,few of them who work with the Police held candid discussion with me about the role of media in Pakistan.I have some of my university classfellows and some university seniors and juniors working in Superior Services and I never follow any formality talking with them,as I am already acquainted with them.But talking with these Humphrey Fellows about role of media in Pakistan also propelled me to thinking that what kind of role media is playing in my country.
Most of their complaints from the media were about the exaggeration of some news and presenting some happenings in totally different and erroneous manner.They also expresed their reservations about the coverage of suicide blasts and bomb blasts in Pakistan,that if such kind of happenings dont occur so often in other parts of the world but even if an event happens in other countries which disturb law and order situation,then these countries dont project it in the manner as our media do in case of suicide attacks or bomb blasts.
I listened to their grienvaces and conveyed to them that how breaking news hold extreme importance in the media and the people also want to be updated as to whats happening in the country.It is also a caution to inform people to onfine to the safe places or their home in order to avoid further damage.But,I think they were absolutely right in terms of highlighting such kind of news which help shaping the negative image of Pakistan.The time has come when I think its the responsibilty of media to also highlight the positive aspects of Pakistan which are hardly known to the world,let alone to the Pakistanis themselves.
Pakistan is a land blessed with different natural resources,manpower,resilient nation and talented people,the humphrey fellows are one example of this talent.I also want to mention that every year hundereds of Pakistanis apply for Fullbright and Humphrey Fellowship,which makes Pakistan as one of the most competitive countries for these scholarships.Many of my friends in GLF asked me the reason as to why such big number of Pakistanis are selected for Humphrey Fellowship.I dont know the reason but what I know is that these fellows deserve to be so.
As promised last Monday, a little experiment in Storify, where I track Occupy Phoenix through its official coverage, citizen journalism, and social media:
[Please forgive the short, lazy blog post; all my energy tonight went into the Storify itself.]
Since the series of natural (and nuclear) disasters hit Japan, the country’s tourism industry has been making a slow climb back to its former popularity. However, the country is still seeing a dramatically lower amount of tourists than at this time in previous years (about 33%). The next step in the push to renew the tourism industry is set to begin in April, with a competition for 10,000 free round-trip tickets. Winners will be required to blog or otherwise document their experience in Japan, utilizing social media. The first of these visitors may arrive as soon as June or July 2011.
A 2 year old girl died in China after sustaining severe injuries. She was hit by two cars and, although there were numerous observers, no one came to help her. This was one of the most recent incidents which is causing Chinese citizens to question current moral trends. Experts suggest that the intensely competitive society, mixed with overpopulation, and government influences has resulted in the desensitization of the every-day citizen.
With Col. Moammer Gaddafi as the most recent dictator to fall victim to the Arab Spring movement, it was only perfect timing to have Reza Aslan, religion scholar, activist and best-selling author of No God, but God and Beyond Fundamentalism , to come to ASU to discuss what’s going on in the region.
Aslan was invited to lecture on Thursday at ASU’s law school as part of the Alternative Visions speaker series held by the Center of the Study of Religion and Conflict (where I am a current communications intern).
At a separate discussion with the religious studies department, Aslan said that the Arab Spring was a means of pushing back against dictatorship, colonialism and hegemony, much like what political Islam wanted to do and because of its success, jihadism is now a “dead philosophy.”
“In a span of a few months, the use of non-violent methods of the youth did more than what jidhadist have been trying to do for 30 years,” he said.
After the wave of Islamism and jihadism, now comes a new wave of the future which Aslan believes will create the possibility of an Islamic democracy, which will consiste of dedication to the rule of law, human rights and pluralism but whos moral framework is based on Islam, the religion of the majority of the state’s citizens. He likens this model to the United States, which although is a democratic county with separation of church and state, is still “deeply steeped in Christian/Protestant morality.) This is acceptable and tolerated here and it works, so why shouldn’t this be the case in an Islamic country as well, Aslan asks.
During his lecture, Aslan addressed the five myths about the Arab Spring.
1) It was a surprise
For anyone who was paying attention to the Middle East over the years, it was not a surprise. There were many signs of this uprising such as the high populations of young people, rising unemployment rates, poverty, corruption of the government, spread of communication technology
2) It’s not about democracy
Polls done in the region ranked democracy as the number one demand over jobs and wages for people in the Middle East/North Africa region. Stability over democracy leads to neither stability or democracy. Paying off dictators to serve America’s interests instead of supporting democratic structure and politics was wrong and only fueled anti-American sentiment and Islamism and other nationalist ideology
3) It’s the 1st step to Islamization
The countries in the Middle East are going to become more religious but it’ll be a good thing because they will be more democratic and the oppression of religious expression that was present in many of these countries by the leaders will finally be allowed to be celebrated and practiced freely. Democratization is the best thing to fight extremism.
4) It’s bad for Israel
In the short term, it will be bad because Israel will now have to face the people of the countries and not the dictators who are paid off by the United States. They won’t be able to get away with the occupation and settlements in Palestinian territories and avoid compromise and negotiation. Israel will have to be accountable to the other democracies surrounding it. Aslan also said this statement about the effect on Israel shouldn’t even matter because everything is not about pleasing Israel which is already the strongest country in the area with billions of aid given to it by the US.
5) It’s bad for America
Again, short term, maybe so, because we won’t be able to use the region as our “personal gas station.” We can’t bribe a democracy to do what we want the way we did with a power-hungry dictator. Long term, having democracies will be good because they will fight against the forces of extreme political ideologies, will moderate and regulate the people and will result in better educated and stable societies.
Today we had a Wednesday excursion to Arizona State Fair (Oct 14 – Nov 6). It was not so crowded thanks to mid-week; though, there still were hundreds of people. Attractions and authentic food and events – I really liked it, despite of still HOT weather.
I would like to share some wonderful images of some of the thousands rivers that the Amazonia Region in Brazil has. The work is from the great photographer Magi Moss, when she join the project Brasil das Águas (Brazil of the Waters) in 2003-04. You can see amazing is that patrimony not just for Brazilian People, but also for the whole world. Click at the picture to see more.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the federal student loan debt has gone beyond $1 trillion this year. These loans can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars, to over $100,000 per student. I suppose my question is how likely it is that the money will actually be paid back. Sure, no one likes having debt, but how many students actually graduate with enough of an income to begin paying those off? Odds are, most people I am graduating with will start with jobs that aren’t paying enough to be paying the bills, let alone enough for extra money to put towards those student loans.
The most interesting part about student loans is that they are one of the only kinds of debt that are forgiven when a person dies. Their family does not inherit the debt that the person’s schooling as inflicted. How much money would the United States have if that wasn’t the case? If I were in the student’s position, what would be the incentive to pay it off knowing that while it could effect your credit score, you will actually get away with getting a $100,000 education without actually having to pay for it? Just some food for thought.
Here’s the link to the story:
I suppose I wasn’ t the only one confused with the new Facebook changes. I could no longer find recent and top stories, the privacy settings changed, pictures got bigger. Facebook developers are altering the site constantly to keep up with trends, and we can’t blame them. Eventually, we’ll get used to every change (although the confession of Mark Zuckenberg that they are monitoring your Internet activity even after you logged out is quite disturbing).
One of the new features that Facebook introduced in September is a “subscribe” option. The feature is, in my opinion, similar to “following” somebody on Twitter. Its great advantage is that people can “subscribe” and see your professional/public activity, but you don’ t have to accept them as a friend. This is part of Facebook’s effort to give users more control over their accounts and their News Feeds. But I think that it is also a great tool for journalists who want the general public to know about their work and articles but don’ t want them to to see your pictures and personal updates.
If you would like to promote your work this way, the only thing you have to do is to enable the “subscribe” option on your profile. Once you enable it, it will appear on your personal profile. You can subscribe to other people’s profiles in the area of your interest as well. You can choose how many and what kind of public updates you will receive from them. The “subscribe” option enables you direct distribution into the News Feeds of your readers and two-way dialogue.
Do you think Facebook will be successful with new its new “subscribe” feature? Do you think it can compete with Twitter and its “follow” option? And finally, do you think it might help journalists
to communicate better with their audiences?
A historic trade is happening in the Middle East right now. Israeli sergeant Gilad Shalit will be exchanged for the release of 1,000 Palestinians. Shalit has been imprisoned by Hamas for five years when he was captured near the Kerem Shalom crossing. There have been many international campaigns and lobbying from his family to release him since then. Shalit will go across the Egyptian border, be flown to the Tel-Nof military base and then to Mitspe-Hila, Israel. This is only the first stage in a swap deal between Hamas and Israel, as only 477 of the Palestinians will be released on Tuesday.
The Palestinian prisoners will return to their homes in Gaza and the West Bank.
Eight out of 10 Israelis favor the deal, according to a poll by the Dahaf Polling Institute for the Yedioth Aharonoth newspaper, but some in Israel are not pleased by the entire circumstance. They are happy to see Shalit back home but not to see “terrorists” set free, especially the families of victims of Palestinian attacks.
This deal could be a turning point in the relationship between Israel and Palestine as an example of conciliation and cooperation and it’s quite interesting to see the live reaction and online reaction as the worldwide community sounds off. Storyful put together a nice compilation that explains what’s going on with the prisoner swap between Israel and Palestine. The BBC also broadcast the event live on its website with Twitter updates.
UPDATE: Breaking, first picture of Gilad Shalit, alive and well http://twitpic.com/72373c
Reclaiming our Community’s Power Conference
Oct. 5th, 2011
One of the great conferences I attended in October, 2011 is “ Reclaiming our Community’s Power” that organized by the Protecting Arizona’s Family Coalition, Pafcoalition, and moderated by its Executive Director Mr. Tim Schmaltz. It is really insightful to meet representatives of the leading non-government organization in Phoenix who came together to figure out how to influence effectively on politics. And for doing so, they share ideas, exchange and plan to work together. And Ttat’s the main goal of the conference to inspire non-profits and other community groups, agencies and related businesses to effectively influence the 2012 election through nonpartisan community engagement, to provide practical tools and actions, and to empower the people they serve to be full participants in election activities and outcomes.
I was impressed by the kind efforts most of participants offered to help make their plans real. Some offered volunteers; some other offered fund, some else offered on-line services. That’s really amazing to find the people work practically before they leave the conference’s location!
One of the main and leading presentations given was that by the National Key Speaker, the talent / Lindsay Hodel. She inspired the audience with her innovative and pioneer experiences. Through her organization “Nonprofit Vote”, Lindsay seeks to build nonprofit capacity: expand the capacity of nonprofit to participate in voting and elections. She aims to increase voter turnout: promotes higher voter turnout among those traditionally underrepresented in the democratic process.
Inspired by the reading from my class of Digital Media Entrepreneurship about crowdsource and crowdfounding, I founded the “Queremos” a great crowdfounding initiate in Brazil, more preciously in Rio de Janeiro City. Queremos means “we want”, and is based in raise funds to bring international bands or singers to play in Rio. What was the problem there? So, according the founders of Queremos, they decided to do more than complain about why those cool concerts when go to Brazil, wasn’t go to Rio as well. One of the suppose reason is that there was no interest from the Rio audience. Anyways, doesn’t matter the real reason, the important is that, these guys created a creative alternative to fill that gap. They have developed a unique format where they divide by a slice of the public the value needed to produce an event, thus, ensuring its realization. Their differential is in to refund almost or fully the amount paid for the public, when they collect the money from the ticket sales.
In steps, it works like that: first, they identify the possibility of produce the concert, then they raise the production costs, having that amount in mind, they divide the total in many units needed to be reliable the purchase by a fan who is a kind of collaborator. For example, in case of Belle & Sebastian concert (made in 11/12/10) were 100 units per 200 R$ (brazilian currency). By selling all units which they call – refundable ticket, they ensure the realization of the event. After that, they announce the event and start to sell the regular tickets. By selling all that regular tickets they can refund their collaborators, in fully amount. Thus, those ones can watch the show for free. If the Queremos doesn’t sell all the regular tickets, they will refund the collaborators partially, according of the average of the sales. If they don’t sell anything , the concert still guaranteed and the investors will enjoy a private concert.
According the Queremos, so far, they have realized more than 20 concerts with practically all the regular tickets sold, it means that the investors have had their reimbursement guaranteed. The units (or refundable tickets) sales operation is made by credit card, which is the most thrustful way to reimburse the investors. The Queremos also incentives their investors to spread out the concerts by social media as much as they can, because it will bring more audience. Also, at the Queremos webpages there are videos with interview, concerts of the next singers or band to play in Rio through them.
Apparently, their profit comes through ticket sales and sponsors that eventually they get to sponsor the concert. In their website, they says that they are studying a way in include the collaborators in the profits. That is really a cool idea that shows how people can be entrepreneurs doing something fun and enjoyable. As well, making their audience to participate and have fun together.
When I started looking at the courses in early August,Studio Production course struck me in the first glance.There are couple of reasons for this strike;first one was offcourse I wanted to learn more about the studio production being the producer and,secondly studio production is the basic of the broadcast production.Even though I was told that I would not be registered for the course,I didn’t care about it,as I wanted to learn.
I will never forget the first day when I met the students outside the class and they all greeted me in such a manner that we had known each other for a long time.I was quite perplexed about the course as to whether I would be able to keep up with the pace alongwith American students.I knew most of the terms due to having been into the profession but I never knew that I would learn to operate all equipments and perfomed all roles that a person in studio performs.
I really enjoyed as some moments were really funny especially when our instructor and my mentor Brian Snyder lost his temper.When I first saw Brian with such attitude,it reminded me of my teachers in the school,scolding students to make them work right.That attitude of Brian really gave us an impetus to perform the asigned task right the next turn.
My apprehension was always switchin or what is called the job of technical director.I couldn’t do it when Brian was absent in one class.Then I took it in the last class and to my astonishment,I did it so well that I couldn’t believe that I did it.The switiching here is more difficult than one in Pakistan.As here,the keys to go for graphics is more technical than the one we have.But I did it,bingo as Brian says.
The last day was really memorable when my friend Chelsey brought a cake with Brian’s picture on the cake.We all shared some funny and serious moments from the class.
My all fellows have left strong imprints on my mind that will remain forever.The way they used to appreciate me for every role I performed and they always made me feel so special.I love them all.
I never knew that I would make so quick friends out of this class.I really miss this class and all my lovely fellows.Nothing stays permanent in life,people come and go but memories always have permanent abode.
I wrote a previous post on the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. Since then, the protests have spread across the country. I witnessed Occupy Tempe last weekend and this weekend, Occupy Phoenix will begin.
October 15 has been called a day for unity for change, according to the official website.
“UNITED FOR #GLOBALCHANGE
On October 15th people from all over the world will take to the streets and squares.
From America to Asia, from Africa to Europe, people are rising up to claim their rights and demand a true democracy. Now it is time for all of us to join in a global non violent protest.
The ruling powers work for the benefit of just a few, ignoring the will of the vast majority and the human and environmental price we all have to pay. This intolerable situation must end.
United in one voice, we will let politicians, and the financial elites they serve, know it is up to us, the people, to decide our future. We are not goods in the hands of politicians and bankers who do not represent us.
On October 15th, we will meet on the streets to initiate the global change we want. We will peacefully demonstrate, talk and organize until we make it happen.
It’s time for us to unite. It’s time for them to listen”
Moving from just attacking corporate greed, American students are finding their own voice by holding Occupy College movements to criticize rising college fees, student debt and lack of opportunities after graduation. At first, the organizers told participants to not go to school as part of their civil disobedience and later changed their mind to not seem “anti-education.” The college protests will happen every 2 weeks at the 90 confirmed colleges. One website, Occupycolleges.org, has links showing how to start a college walkout, become a citizen journalist and educating the public on the message behind Occupy Wall Street.
The one set back to these grassroots movements is the police arrests and pepper spray use, which is causing more chaos and determination.
I am taking a media law class this semester and today’s class was all about reporter’s privilege. Here in the United States, there is this idea where there are certain circumstances where, despite what the government may want, a reporter does not have to give up a source. The law may vary a bit state to state, but there is even a federal law that states the only place where a reporter is required to testify is in a grand jury situation, which even then, is very dependent on the situation.
This idea made me wonder whether or not other countries have this same luxury. With how different government works in other countries, it would be insane to just assume that the whole world has this law. Moreover, since some countries even go as far as to regulate what can and cannot be reported on, I would imagine that if a reporter were to write a story of interest, the government was force the reporter to reveal sources.
If this is the case, then I would then be interested to know how cooperative reporters are with the government or if they are more loyal to their sources. Here in the United States, there have been many reporters that have gone to jail so as to not reveal their sources. However, it is possible that the punishment in other countries may be more severe.
This exchange I had with myself during class made me realize that although there are classes like mine throughout the United States that are constantly critiquing media law and how, at times, unfair it may seem, we as the media, still enjoy many freedoms and have protection that other areas of the world may not.
On 23 September, Palestine formally applied for UN recognition as an independent nation. The UN forum was overwhelmingly supportive, giving sustained applause as Israeli delegates walked out, but I am curious to see if it holds any power over the decision. The United States, which has been a strong Israeli ally for 60 years, still has veto power as one of the permanent Security Council members.
But is there even a place for 3rd parties in the conflict? Palestinian officials hope that, by this bold action, they will be able to put new pressure on Israel in order to establish a lasting peace. The level of international involvement in the conflict has been incomparably high; Israel and Palestine, however, would prefer a bipartisan resolution.
By seeking approval from such a highly sympathetic organization (the UN), Palestinian leadership hopes to build upon the already-high global pressure for Israel to negotiate the borders of a future Palestine. It would be based on the 1967 lines, including the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza.
Kim Barker definitely surprised me in a number of ways so much that I feel I could actually write a number of blog posts on her surprising ideas (which I very well may.) However, the most surprising to me was the comparison she made between reporting in Pakistan and reporting in Mexico.
I have been to Mexico many times. Whether it is to one of the most touristic places like Rocky Point or Los Cabos, or to one of my parents’ hometowns such as Los Mochis or Chihuahua, it does not feel like a foreign land to me. That is probably why I was so surprised to hear the comparison. Despite the fact that I know about the violence not only to those directly involved in drug trafficking and human smuggling, but to the reporters who are trying to do good by uncovering it, I never considered it one of the most dangerous places to report. But when Barker compared it to Pakistan, the idea was really put into perspective for me.
Call me small-minded and stuck in my small world, but Pakistan just sounded so far away and with the stories I have heard, sounds like a place I could never actually imagine. However, when it comes down to the violence and I take my familiarity with Mexico out of the picture, the sadistic nature of violence cannot even compare with that of Mexico. It was an amazing realization for me to experience.
“Journalism can’t change the world. But you can change one life at a time.”
I found Kim Barker’s visit to our class very enlightening and eye-opening into the somber, serious world of foreign correspondence. She had a very strong personality and determined attitude that I think lends itself to adapting well to different, strange environments or high-stress situations. From what she spoke on, I wanted to share some key thoughts.
On the difference of being a female reporter/foreign correspondent in conflict zones
-There were people saying women don’t belong in those environments, pushback for local women journalists to get involved
-Women have to deal with getting grabbed in a crowd. She has punched others (foreign journalists can do it and get away)
-Compared to what local women go through, it’s nothing. It’s an opportunity if you’re a foreign woman; you’re like a weird 3rd sex.
-On how to build a safe network of sources
- Without speaking the normal language, you don’t have the ability to read people and their body language
- It’s challenging working with a translator
-Need someone who doesn’t work for the ISI (spy agency), not someone who’s a religious/ethnic minority that will attract attention for asking around
-Pass on good sources to other journalists as a trustworthy person (this can create very lucrative jobs for local people)
-On whether foreign correspondence is better or worse than local reporting
-Locals know the language and way around
-Foreigners can be more fair, objective with less stake or opinion about conflict
-Don’t need fancy cameras to photograph anymore, now iPhones are enough to send photos in
-On whether she feels her war reporting was important
-America cares more about Casey Anthony, not the war reporting and coverage
-4% of US news was on Afghanistan/Pakistan, while 1% of news was on Iraq when we spend billions a week on the wars
-Wanted to show how badly things have gone, spiraling down the drain
-What’s important is the people affected, sources interviewed and their families, translators, drivers etc. who risk their lives and aren’t given their due for the stories that come out
-No story is worth dying over
If I am not wrong in calculaitng the hours I spent today with Kim Barker,a reporter who works now for Pro Publica-they accumulate to approximately five hours.I first met her today in Richard Ruela’s class where we talked about the coverage of US Media about global issues.Afterwards,I had a personal meeting with her lasted for about 35 minutes before Humphrey Seminar,just to know what she wanted to discuss and how would we run the class.I was talking to her during those 35 minutes some special things about my country and Afghanistan,where she stayed for 5 years.
It was the first time during Humphrey Seminar that we’ve had a guest speaker.Kim has also written a book ‘The Taliban Shuffle’after coming to the US about her experience of reporting in Afghanistan and Pakistan.Many of the issues discussed in the class were totally new to my fellows especially the feature she talked about the pinching of women in Pakistan by men in the public,as she had also faced it.As of result of bringing into the disucssion was quite different from me,as none of my fellows has shared such kind of feeling about women going through such kind of treatment in the hands of men.
I never knew that the two hours session would go such smoothly ,all the fellows were involved and everyone really admired Kim for her experience in Pakistan and Afghanistan.For me it was really shocking to read some features about Pakistan that she has written in her book but I am glad that someone has written about them.