Stories: Journalism

  • Gay, Out And On The Airwaves In Kinshasa

    Sitting at his desk in a stuffy office with a rainbow flag hanging behind him, 31-year-old Patou Izai says it takes a lot of courage to come out as gay in Kinshasa, the sprawling capital city of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Although this vast, volatile Central African nation does not have the harsh anti-gay laws adopted by neighbors such...

  • A working journalist abroad: lessons from using a ‘fixer’ in South Africa

    "So nice to meet you, can you tell me about your toilet?" It's not a question that people are expecting when they meet a journalist. Yet it's one that I found myself asking over and over again on my reporting trip in South Africa. Toilets I learned are funny, most people laughed as they showed me where they...

  • Ecuador’s Media Express Fear Over Freedom of Speech

    Ecuador's government must not start regulating private media and social networks, journalists and press watchdogs warned, after its National Assembly voted to constitutionally define communications as a public service. President Rafael Correa's party, Alianza Pais, enjoys a two-thirds majority in the assembly. It voted on Thursday to lift presidential term limits, prompting violent street protests and...

  • Mali’s Voice of Reason

    This June, as Mali’s three-year civil war sputtered to an end, representatives of the government, loyalist militias, and the rebels gathered here in the capital to discuss their country’s future. Just days earlier they had signed a provisional peace agreement. Now, they came together for a public discussion of the deal: not in...

  • Scenes From the Nepal Earthquake: One Writer Surveys the Devastation

    I had just landed in Doha—my stopover en route to Kathmandu—when a friend in California texted me to ask if I was OK. Confused, I turned to Twitter, where #NepalEarthquake was trending. I rushed to my gate. Some Nepalis were speaking on their phones, others were trying to watch footage on their laptops. Still, the mood...

  • Ecuador’s Diario HOY Moves Online: A Sign of More to Come in Latin America?

    A printing press sits idle in Diario HOY, one of Ecuador's most respectable dailies, with a roll of blank paper still fed into the machine. For 32 years Diario HOY was published on this press, but on June 29 the final edition came out with this headline: “HOY closes one chapter, and starts another.” This new chapter appears...

  • Hearing (New) Voices

    Sue Schardt wants to mess with your mind. Specifically, she wants to mess with how you think about public media. A public radio veteran, Schardt is the executive director of the Association of Independents in Radio, a network of nearly 1,000 indie producers (disclosure: including me) whose voices keep you company on your commute. Schardt is also the mastermind of...

  • “The Square” Resists the Usual Characters

    Over the years, I’ve had occasion to spend enough time with people who get reported about to hear this complaint: “We’re not characters. We’re people.” It stems, I think, from a misunderstanding: For many journalists, writing for character is fundamentally a sign of respect, but sources see it as dramatizing their reality....

  • Tanzania Cracks Down on Journalists While Pursuing Development Reforms

    Press freedom isn’t usually ranked too high on the aid and development agenda. In fact, it’s usually ignored. Even as many laud efforts by the Tanzanian government to improve the lives of its citizens through agricultural reform and other development aims, journalists here are finding it increasingly difficult to do their work, informing fellow Tanzanians. ...

  • Haiti on Camera: Photojournalism or Poverty Porn?

    I was alerted to the website Turning World by some friends here in Haiti. The site is run by photojournalist Brad Workman, who has an ongoing photo documentary in Haiti. Looking at the site, I took issue with the language, the project, and the fact that there is no acknowledgement of – let alone an indication...