Stories: Social Issues

  • Congo Crisis Escalates

      Delphine Schrank is a freelance writer who prior to her 2008 IRP Fellowship was a reporter for the Washington Post Delphine Schrank is a freelance journalist who just returned from five weeks reporting as an IRP Fellow in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a troubled land where decades of conflict have left the country's eastern area prone to violence...

  • African Widows Left Destitute by Relatives Snatching Property

    LIVINGSTONE AND LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – When Tamara Zulu's husband died, leaving her as the sole breadwinner, she turned to her skills as a tailor to support her five children. Then came Ms. Zulu's in-laws. A month after the funeral, relying on tribal traditions that assign inheritance rights to relatives of deceased men, the out-of-towners swooped in and took...

  • Castro’s Cuba ‘Revolution’ Becomes ‘Devolution’

    I played deaf a couple of times in Cuba. After four weeks the hustlers had put me in so many socially awkward situations that it became my game to turn the tables on them. I gave them blank, uncomprehending looks and pointed to my ear when they asked for money. Then I watched them try to extricate themselves from the...

  • Risky Journalism: In Castro’s Cuba, Reporters Who Reject the Party Line Pay Dearly

    They are a sullen bunch, smoking cigarette after cigarette as they wait their turn to use a single telephone in a small apartment. Suddenly, the doorbell rings and talk stops. Estrella Garcia, the apartment owner, heads to the porch to toss a door key down to yet another journalist, who slowly trudges up the stairs. As a self-described "member of...